Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ice Storm Preps

Number one on the list:

Make Raisin Bread!

Yeah, I have no idea why.  But it sounded good.  And technically, it IS one of the many things we do to prepare here for inclement weather (i.e. the possibility of the power going off for gawd knows how long).  Even though it looks as if we're going to miss the majority of the bad weather, I don't want to be ill-prepared just in case we end up with another doozy of an ice storm.

So here's what we do when an impending Ice Storm of Doom is predicted:

Plug in the truck.  Paul has to go to work, so the truck is the only thing that can manage to get up that huge hill in order to get out of here.

Our well pump goes out when the electricity does.  Fill all available 5-gallon buckets with water for the critters (and keep them indoors so they don't freeze over).  Fill up the bathtub with water.  This will be used to flush toilets, wash dishes and provide general washing-up water.  Fill up the pressure canner and other large pots with water for cooking.

Fill up the porch with firewood.  Maybe even fill the wheelbarrow and put it in the garage for ease of firewood access.

Give the hay-eating critters extra hay so I don't have to go out there so often.

Wash everybody and everything.  Hot showers / baths for the humans, wash every single dirty item of clothing (even if you only wiped your hands once on the hand towel in the guest bathroom).  If it's not raining & not too humid, use the clothesline to dry, otherwise hurry up and use the dryer before the power goes out.

Wash dishes.

Vacuum rugs.  Sweeping can occur during a power outage, but trying to get all the dog/cat fuzz and raisin bread crumbs out of the rugs can be pretty challenging without the use of a vacuum cleaner.  One day I'm going to get one of those non-electric floor sweepie things that your grandma used to have for the berber in the kitchen.

Make sure you know where all the flashlights are (and have new / charged batteries), where the oil lamps are (and filled) and location of matches & lighters.

Charge cell phones.

Make Ready-To-Eat and no-heating-required meals like quiche, bread, cookies and biscuits.  (No dieting during an ice storm!!)  Start thinking about what meals can be easily made on top of the wood stove.  Tonight is going to be Venison Chili & Cornbread.

Make sure husband has the generator "ready" in the event that the power is out for more than 8 hours.  At that point, we have to decide if the freezers / fridge needs to be run in order to keep everything frozen.

We're lucky enough that we don't have to make one of those "French Toast Emergency" runs to the store (i.e. get white bread, milk & eggs from the Walmart along with a million other ill-prepared folk) right before a storm, so we can avoid town and the madness that usually accompanies a severe storm warning.  Although I have to admit, it is kind'a funny to watch people fighting over a bag of Wonder Bread.  I mean, come on!  A crappy loaf of  bread is what's going to save your ass in the event of a natural disaster that may keep you at home for more than two days?  Do you think you're going to emerge from your house three days later, the lone survivor, and the only thing that saved you was your foresight in buying an extra loaf of white bread?!?  I mean, if I were in the strange predicament that I had to run to the store for last second emergency food, I'd be filling my cart with peanut butter and canned beans and granola bars and powdered milk.

But that's just me.  You know.  Eating homemade raisin bread while it's sleeting outside.

Hope those of you in the path of this storm are hunkered down and ready.

Anything I missed?  Let me know!


  1. Those of us living the true homestead-y type of life are so far ahead of the loaf grabbers! (Not said to be arrogant, it's just where things are at.) I think if we really knew the utter chaos (and panic) most people would be in if there was any extended period lacking all public utilities, we'd prepare ourselves even more. If that were possible.

    Stay safe and keep us updated.

  2. Sounds the same as my hurricane preps except for the firewood and engine block heater thing! I sure love not paying the city for water but oh how wells (and the lack of electricity to them!) can interfere with that basic luxury of being CLEAN! I hope you get through this unscathed or at least that if the power goes out it won't be for long, ice storms are awful.

  3. Sounds like you are very prepared. We did pick up a non-electric sweeper one year, but it doesn't work as good as the electric one. I hope to rip out all my carpets some day.

  4. You are very prepared! I felt lazy just listening to everything you got done!

  5. Don't forget the gawd awful line for the bottled water. People fight over bottled water like you wouldn't believe. They also have a habit of buying TV dinners... now come on why do you buy TV dinners when you are worried about a power outage.

  6. Take care, stay warm, stay dry. Bread looks delicious.

  7. We have anatural gas generator. Before we installed it five years ago we had power failaures all the time. FAter we installed it...not once. Obviously the generator manufacturer is the one who controls all weather.

  8. I think Raisin Bread is a necessity in case of an ice storm. You cracked me up with the "French Toast Emergency" run to the store stuff! I hope the storm isn't too bad and that no power outage occurs. :)
    P.S. Being the cat lover that you are, I would like to point you to a new blog I have been following...Tyche's Run. She did the cutest post about the cat behind the sofa today and her last post featured a video of her Pygora goats. You really should check it out!

  9. You are so organized! I can tell you've been through this before. The last big storm threat, I did a quick zip through Aldi's for coffee - and got caught in line behind baskets and baskets of....chips. Yes, that should do the job - I suppose you can count it as a vegetable if you really stretch. I do the same thing with water - fill everyone's buckets before and have lots on hand. Having the woodstove is a plus. Hope you don't lose power.

  10. I should start reading your blog first thing in the morning!
    I always get a chuckle and sometime an outright laugh. The description of the shoppers did it this morning. Now if you would get that milk cow you wouldn't even need the powdered milk. I priced it recently and almost fainted!

    The bread looks good....I made cookies......

  11. Mama Pea, I hate to sound snobby, but it does make me feel just a teeny-tiny bit more "intelligent" when I don't have to run out for last minute stuff...especially when people KNOW winter brings storms & power outages.

    Erin, that's our big problem, the well. One day we plan on getting a solar well pump. One day.

    Kristina, I ripped up all the carpeting the first weekend we bought this place. Carpeting just doesn't make sense on a farm, with animals, with kids and especially if you're trying NOT to use electricity.

    Kelly, I'm as lazy as one can get! We should have a lazy contest. Call me sloth.

    Rivenfae, I forgot about the bottled water. Like, couldn't you just fill up some containers at home?

    Tombstone, the bread TASTED great too! (All gone, BTW)

    Donna, you are such the conspiracy theory nutjob! It has NOTHING to do with the generator's the aliens.

    Candy, I went over to Tyche's place, thanks for the link!44

    Susan, not being a coffee drinker, but living with one, I can understand how THAT would be a necessary storm prep item! Chips, hugh?

    gld, if it weren't for the fact that we're still working on fencing & pasture, I'd be begging Paul for a cow! I don't get enough cream from the goat milk and I WANT butter!!! I've got my eye on a Jersey....they are soooo pretty.

  12. I always have a portable radio ready, some tunes are always good! And chocolate!

  13. Man, oh, man, does that bring back some memories. Mom and Dad didn't have a generator, and we would ALWAYS have several times that we'd end up without power. (The local utility insisted there was no problem... Until the wires that Dad had been telling them were bad burned through. Dad was a telephone repairman, and was up close enough to SEE the problem. But I digress.) The minor things we'd do that were different. We would get firewood on the back porch, and put canned soup, chili, hot dogs, that sort of thing in our itty bitty trailer, so we could have hot food. (And my parents could have hot COFFEE!) Husband and I live very close by, but on a different utility. We have had power outages as well, but not as frequent. We also have a fireplace, which we can cook in, and a generator. Bless him, Husband bought a generator that was used in a firehouse, I could probably roast a turkey and the thing wouldn't so much as flicker... Dad was able to get a small generator for the house now, but we still have "Outage Parties" if the juice stays out too long over there...

    Cat (oh, and chocolate is a *must* for a power outage...)

  14. I once asked a housekeeping person what they called that little sweepy-thing - she said "It's a HOKIE!". Humbled, I asked if it worked - wordlessly, she opened it and dumped a pile of debris into her trashcart. I made a mental note to stay outta her way, but she did make a point...

  15. We're pretty prepared but I can remember not so long ago that we weren't. When Sandy came through and our power was out for days our problem was lack of cash on hand. No power = no ATM = no purchase without cash. After several days we started running low on gas. We were able to siphon out of the vehicles but it was a wake-up call for us. Now we always try to have extra cash. Live and learn!