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PatientSaver's Storm Prep Toolkit

October 27th, 2012 at 05:48 am

We're staring down the barrel of Hurricane Sandy here in the Northeast. They're predicting damaging high winds and power outages.

It was a year ago this month that most of Connecticut was in the dark for as long as a week, myself included.

Having learned a few lessons from that unpleasant ordeal, I'm preparing this weekend for the storm which is set to arrive Sunday into Monday.

1. Recharge batteries. This is a no-brainer. I have plenty of alkaline batteries on hand, but I also plan to recharge all my rechargeable batteries as a backup. I use these in a flashlight and a shortwave radio.

2. Make sure all dishes are washed leading right up to the storm. Maybe not the first think you might think of, but if there's an extended outage, I know I will gradually lose my hot water. Plus, while I can still run water, I don't think it's a good idea to use it indiscriminately, because without electricity to recharge/refill the hot water heater, the water will be drawn down further and further. As I remember, there's a heating element at the bottom of the tank which must always be submerged in water, or it will be damaged. (I learned this one year when I was investigating whether it made sense in a winter power outage, in order to keep pipes from freezing, to simply drain all the water from the my hot water tank. The answer is no, due to the damage I'd cause to the hot water heater.

3. Collect all emergency phone numbers, like CL&P, phone company, etc. It's a heck of a lot easier to reference these numbers on a single paper you've set aside rather than fumble around in the dark for the phone book.

4. Turn down the temperatures in both the fridge and freezer. Making the temps even colder in there than usual will make the food last longer.

5. Eat down the food in the fridge, which will spoil more quickly. Luckily, I don't have much in there; I should be able to finish up my cauliflower/cheddar soup, a small hunk of cheddar cheese and a few other things. Most of the rest is just condiments.

6. Put away loose stuff outside. I think I'll have to take down the bird feeder and its pole; the ground is still quite soft and it would probably come down in the storm.

7. Park the car in the garage.

8. Take a shower before the storm starts. You start feeling a little grungy after no shower for an extended period of time, plus I'm supposed to start my p/t proofreading job Monday.

9. Inventory/collect food and snacks that can be eaten without cooking. Based on what I already have on hand, this includes: cold cereal with the almond milk I'll be looking to use up, granola bars, fresh fruit and canned chicken.

10. If I lose power, or perhaps before I do, i will bring in some of the dozen or so outdoor solar lights, as i did last year. I think this is a brilliant idea; can't say it was mine. I have the kind of lights you just stick in the ground and are recharged by sunlight. They aren't bright enough to read by, but they are certainly bright enough to find your way around, when the house is otherwise pitch black.

A friend of mine said they're getting ice, but I don't think that makes sense, unless you have an extra freezer you can store the ice in. It's just going to start melting.

So I feel I have a bunch of stuff to do today. If you can think of anything else, let me know! (I can't afford a generator!)

The Second Author whose manuscript I'm editing has asked me to edit a proposal letter he wants to start sending out to publishers. I think he's hoping I wouldn't charge for it, but do you know how many people are always looking to get me to edit/write stuff for free? (And I often do.) In my circumstances, I can't afford to just give it away, so I quoted him a very nominal fee for doing the letter: $20. Hey, every little bit helps.

But anyway, since I am technically under contract to finish editing the book by November 7, I want to try to finish it THIS WEEKEND, before the storm starts. Also, so I can have it out of the way before I start the proofreading job. It may be a challenge with everything else I have to do with storm prep, plus The First Author wants me to stop by so she can make another installment payment on her book. (She is always scrounging for money, so I'm learning never to pass up an opportunity to accept money from her!)

Also, I want to return two half-used jars of peanut butter to Costco for a full refund due to their salmonella concerns.

14 Responses to “PatientSaver's Storm Prep Toolkit”

  1. carol b. Says:

    Thanks for the tips and reminders!

  2. Georgia Girl Says:

    I would suggest freezing some water in jugs. You could keep them in a cooler with a few perishables and then use the thawed water for brushing teeth and airplanes baths (wings and tail) otherwise known as airpits and hinnies! Lol! Wink

  3. patientsaver Says:

    Great idea, Georgia Girl!

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    I hope you keep power, but you have great plans in place. I remember I told my DH when he was in VA last year to turn down the fridge and freezer...but you have that one already.

    Fill up your gas tank in case fuel stations are without power for an extended time, this would be helpful.

  5. Looking Forward Says:

    Looks like you've got the planning all set. I hope the storm doesn't hit you all too hard. *Fingers crossed*

  6. Carolina Bound Says:

    I thought about you right away when they started talking about this storm. Good luck!

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    I would fill the bathtub with water. Then you have water to wash with for a week if you need it.

  8. patientsaver Says:

    Yes, I think I will fill the bathtub. I also had another very good idea, to clean the gutter on one side of the house that tends to get clogged with pine needles due to a large nearby tree, despite the fact I have screens on it. The roof there is very shallow, so i climbed out the bathroom window and was glad I tended to it as the one end was totally clogged with debris. It's amazing how even a relatively small amount of leaves can clog a gutter.

  9. PNW Mom Says:

    Sounds like you have a good plan in place. Hope it doesn't hit too hard! Stay safe!

  10. rob62521 Says:

    Good planning...hope you don't need any of this.

  11. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Stay safe!

  12. Jerry Says:

    Sounds like you have been through this before, definitely, and you know what leads to successfully riding out the storm. I hope it isn't as bad as the (sometimes sensationalistic) media are making it out to be! Looks like you have some insurance of being ready for it, no matter what, though. Be safe!

  13. Dido Says:

    Good luck and stay safe! The one other thing that I don't see on your list or in the comments is to hit the ATM machine if you can (I know that here it's not supposed to get *really* windy until 11 a.m. and you're north of me) since if the power goes out ATMs won't work. My local power company called all customers today to warm of the possibility of extended outages and to ask in advance for our patience....I guess this was as a result of people's anger last year after Irene. (And wow, last year they had gotten only to "I" in naming storms by Oct 29 and this year it's to "S"! Must have been a really bad storm year!).

  14. Campfrugal Says:

    Praying for your safety.

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