My family, like so many others, were recently in the path of hurricane Irma. While our family did not receive any damage many of our friends and family did, particularly those who live in Florida. My dear blogging buddy Kelli from Adventure Homeschool was under a mandatory evacuation. It’s the moments like these that leave you questioning so many areas of your life that you wouldn’t normally question. Your left wondering just how prepared you and your family are in a moment of disaster. Since my immediate family of four lives in Georgia, we were told that our primary threat would be tornadoes and extended power outages. Our local EMC sent out a notification warning people that we would need to prepare for a week without power. Here we are living in the modern age of comfort and long power outages seem to be a threat of the past. Yet we were told that was not the case. While our power never went out over 1.5 million people in the state of Georgia are without power even at this very moment as I sit here typing this post.
As a former missionary child, I can remember many times in my life being without power, particularly times when were without electricity for long periods of time. That’s to be expected in a third world country but that’s not something to expect when living in the United States of America. However, it should be. You see, it’s the unexpected natural disasters that do the most damage and as we approach the nearing of Christ I personally believe it’s something that every mother should take into account, for the safety of her family.
How To Prepare For Long Power Outages
Prepare To Eat
This won’t apply to those who are blessed with gas. My husband and I will hopefully be purchasing a propane tank to run gas to our house. We live in a subdivision with an HOA and are currently waiting for approval. My fear with moving into this house was that one day the electricity would go out and I wouldn’t be able to feed my family. That was almost put to the test this week, thankfully I knew a few steps to take in order to guarantee that my family could eat. While an immediate thought would be sandwiches there are some issues with that as well. For starters, my family has Celiac Sprue and bread isn’t a cheap option. Next, you must consider that with extended power outages one of the very first items to fly off the shelves is bread so, therefore, it shouldn’t be your only go to item in the event of a disaster.
Prepare To Play
Okay, here’s the truth: power outages can be fun. One of my fondest memories is from when my family was back in the United States. I was a teenager staying at my aunt’s house and the power went out. Something that even then didn’t happen in the United States. We had so much with it, playing board games in the candlelight. We laughed in the moment and still laugh about it to this day. Thankfully my aunt had board games for a group of kids to play with. The times are changing and board games aren’t something that every family keeps on hand. So it’s worth considering the way that your family will react without electronic entertainment. How will you and your spouse entertain yourselves (while the kids are awake) if you don’t have a television or Facebook to occupy your time. Yes, your children have plenty of toys but if you are without electricity for 2 days will those battery operated toys still be enough to entertain you without feeling like you are turning into a mental case?
Prepare To See
Solar powered flashlights are amazing! I highly recommend them for every family. With that being said, it’s wise to still keep candles on hand. You’ll want one for every restroom as well as one for your main rooms such as the living room and kitchen. This will keep you and your kids from having to walk around the house holding candles. I wouldn’t suggest putting a candle in your child’s room unless they are mature enough to not mess with it. During the day you’ll not have to worry about this as much, even still if the sky is dark with storm clouds you may need candles and flashlights during the day hours as well.
Prepare To Drink
It’s wise to always have enough water for your family to drink for a week. Take into account the need to mix formula and give animals water as well. Cases of water bottles are great for your family to drink but not something that you would like to pay for when it comes to animals. If the power goes out I would strongly suggest immediately filling a tub of water. Okay, now you might be scratching your head at the need for water when the electricity goes out. Depending on where you live the two don’t go hand in hand. You would be correct, assuming that the water company doesn’t lose power as well.
Prepare For Paper Products
Alrighty then let’s play with the idea that the local water company loses their power. What does that mean for you? It means many things including the lack of ability to wash dishes. With that being said you will want to ensure that you have plenty of paper products. You’ll want paper plates and plastic cups.
Prepare To Use The Restroom
So then if the water company has lost their power how long can you go without a shower? In Central America, we were accustomed to taking cold showers and since water was precious we did not allow it to run freely but rather we would turn it off for every step of the showering process. That was on a normal day. In the times without water and electricity, we would fill a bucket and bathe off that way. This may not be the ideal way of getting clean but it works.
In addition to a bucket of water for showering purposes, it’s a wise idea to fill up a tub of water. This water as stated before can be used for watering animals. It can also be used for flushing the toilets and that is something that we all take for granted. There was a time when my family was without water and power for a week. We weren’t prepared for it and not only did we stink but the whole house stunk of human waste, shutting the doors doesn’t do much when you are going on a week without flushing toilet.
Prepare To Get Dressed
Are you always behind in laundry? Yeah, it’s a typical feeling for a woman to feel that she can never get caught up on her family’s laundry but how much will your family have to wear if you lose power and especially if the water company looses their power as well? Always make sure you have enough clean undies and pajamas. Also may sure that all work clothes, especially uniforms are clean. Chances are that if it’s a widespread power outage your children will not be going to school but the likelihood of you going to work is very strong.
Prepare To Have Heat
Hurricane Irma came around at the end of summer but that doesn’t mean all power outages will be during a warm season. Now, if you are blessed enough to have gas to cook then you are blessed enough to have gas to heat. However, if you are all electric then you might not even be able to start a fire in a fireplace. If this scenario applies to you you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of blankets and socks for the family to stay warm. Remember as tempting as it may be to never bundle a baby in a way that they can’t move freely on their own, even if it’s cold.
Prepare For Communication
I’ve decided to talk about this one last, while it is the one that people typically think of first. Charge all of your devices. Here’s the kicker though, a power outage and a full battery is not an invitation to reach out to everyone you know. Save that battery life for local updates such as tornado warnings do not use that battery for checking everyone on Facebook. It’s also a good idea to have a back up battery.