Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
When it comes to losing power I am. As many of you know I'm a worrier, and I've always had the supplies handy in the event of a power failure, but I learned over the Christmas season, it may not cut it.
Where I live if the power goes out it's only for a few hours (with the exception of the blackout of 2003), so I always knew I have enough to get me through a day or two. I received quite a wake up call this year as many spent the Christmas holidays in the dark. You can hear more about that on my Everik Battery Backup post.
Once again my area of Ontario is preparing for Old Man Winter to rear his ugly head. Overnight we are supposed to get hit with another snowstorm, so today I did a few things to put together an emergency kit.
I went out bought new flashlights (including a headlamp that is supposed to work for 5 hours), lots of batteries, extra food a few things to make things a bit easier if the power went out. When I came home I saw that I received a lot of suggestions on my facebook feed.
Although I already have a lot of the items listed I really went through the Waterloo Region Emergency Management site that was suggested. If you follow this Personal Preparedness link and scroll down to Tips on Preparing a Family Emergency Survival Kit you can see a bunch of bullet points of what you need, scroll down a bit more and see a much more detailed list.
In addition Diane told me about some lights that you can purchase from the Red Cross. This year I plan on purchasing those along with that 2 of those 72 hour emergency kits. One for home and one for my vehicle.
There were a few extra things that I did to prepare.
1. Prepare A Source Of HeatI have a fireplace insert, but I haven't had a fire yet this year and was worried about starting it up without it being properly prepared for long burning fires, so I went a bought the Chimney Sweep Log that's advertised. I followed the directions on this youtube video and it burned for about 3 hours without any issues. I also bought a package of six long burning fireplace logs (each one is to last about 3 hours). I have wood for the fireplace, but again I don't use my fireplace as a heat source, so I don't have a huge wood pile that's easy to get to (I'll fix that next thaw), so between the wood I do have close by and the fireplace logs I would be able to stay warm while I come up with a plan.
2. Prepare Your Wallet And Your CarBack in 2003 during the blackout I had a full tank of gas and had just taken money out of the bank. This proved to be helpful as we were able to drive to my parent's cottage, since it occurred in the middle of the summer. I figured we could cook food in the BBQ (or fire pit if it got to that) and if it was too warm we could hang out in the lake. It was a wonderful surprise to find out that they had not lost power there so we stayed for a couple of days. Even though there was hydro in the area, many of the stores could only do cash transactions because their POS system home base was located in a place where the power was out.
If a storm was to hit and I found out it would be out for days, and I could drive to another area where there is power, that would be my plan. In addition to fuel, also make sure you have windshield washer fluid and lots of supplies in the car. If you are not planning on leaving (you've heard the power will be out for hours, not days) below are some more things to do to prepare.