Last week, we (Ted, Jake, Janeesa, and I) went bowling and ordered takeout. As we were sitting in the parking lot, waiting on our food, Sahara called and frantically told us to get home asap because the storm was coming in and tree limbs were falling on the roads due to high winds. As we drove home, we saw trees down as we got closer to our house and could see the storm heading toward us, but we got into the house just before it hit again. Ted locked up the chickens (they were waiting by the coop door), and I started going through the house to gather up candles as our power was already out.
We ate dinner by candlelight and played a round of Cards Against Humanity and then stayed up talking until about midnight after Ted and Jake both went to bed around 9pm. The girls headed down to Gramma Izzie’s house as we knew it still had electric (we saw the porch light still on when we came home – her house and our barn are on a different electric company than our house which is right over the electric company line divide). I slept but woke up at 4:30am and started thinking about things we’d need if the power was out for several days more so I started making a list in my planner.
By 6am, my list was complete, and I knew what time Walmart opened and was in the shower. By 6:45am, I knew they had power still at Walmart and was headed out the door with my list, having left a note for Ted to get the generator prepped and the trailer off the truck so we could fill gas cans for the generator as I wasn’t about to let the freezer meat go bad if the electric wound up being off for several days in 100F heat.
The point of all this is to say that while I thought I was prepped, I truly wasn’t. We didn’t have a cooler which meant the kitchen fridge and freezer foods would’ve spoiled quickly as five people getting drinks/food multiple times daily would’ve caused its cold air to dispel the first day. I had to go through the house with my cell phone flashlight to gather candles from multiple spots because I was using them for deco and didn’t have a dedicated candle spot with a lighter and matches. Same thing for the flashlights – only two of the three worked (batteries dead), and I hadn’t purchased the giant battery needed for the dead flashlight yet. I didn’t have mini flashlights for us to go back/forth to the bathroom, and I couldn’t remember where I’d set the oil lamp (only remembered that I’d put it up somewhere inaccessible to Stella because she gets zoomies on the daily!).
Needless to say, I wound up having to buy a cartload of stuff that morning because even though I had plenty of food in the freezer, it was frozen solid and isn’t really grill type food. I wound up buying new gas cans, ice bags, hot dogs, buns, loads of junk food (chips, pretzels, bagged cereal), fruit, and five new vacuum tumblers that keep ice for 24 hours as ours had all broken and not been replaced yet. Ted had to get the generator out and put in new oil and gas – it wasn’t ready to go when we needed it because we had procrastinated.
Bottom line: prepare for the event(s) that are likely to happen NOW, not the day they happen. The most likely scenario here would be an electric outage (another would be a water line break). Have a plan for if these things happen so everyone knows where to go/meet if you can’t get to your house and lose cellphone service (we didn’t lose service which was great – we stayed in contact with Sahara until we made it home).
And buy a dang cooler for your drinks/food in case your electric goes out and stays out in 100F heat!
PS Our electric came back on @ 1:45pm that day (after I got home with all the stuff and Ted got the generator running) – others in our area weren’t as lucky and did lose electric for up to four days. Others two hours north of us still had no electric as of last night (six days and counting).