Sunday, August 28, 2011

Part 2

As I was saying....

I tend to be a bit of an ant/squirrel when it comes to stocking up, especially in the fall.  Then again, that's what I'm growing all this stuff for, right?

But I wasn't always that way.  In fact, the first year we moved in, there was no garden.  The house was too big of a project to worry about much else.

That first winter, a big ice storm was predicted.  I went to the store. I stocked up.  I was pretty darn proud of myself, knowing we'd be comfy during the storm.  Only I forgot one thing: kerosene for the kerosene heaters. At the time, we had the oil furnace and a full tank of fuel, but that's not much good in a power outage.  The same goes for our fireplace insert.  Without the blower, most of the heat goes up the chimney.

Of course the power went out. For THREE DAYS.  We slept piled up together in front of the fireplace, with the door open on the insert, trying to keep warm.  It was a miserable experience, and a lesson learned.  I tried to keep thing stocked up after that, especially the kerosene.

A couple of years ago, sick of kerosene fumes, we installed the free standing wood stove that can heat the whole house, even without the blower.  I can cook on it, and a place to make coffee is worth it's weight in gold around here.

I guess I should mention our cowboy coffee pot.  One of those camping blue enamel dealies with the percolator gear inside.  Here's a hint:  if you are using bean coffee, either pre-grind a bunch, get a hand crank grinder, or keep a stash of regular old ground coffee for power outages.  Otherwise, you'll be crushing beans with a rolling pin, smacking them with a hammer, or maybe stomping them with your last pair of stiletto heels, screaming, "Caffeine!! Coffee!! Damned stubborn beans, give me your deliciousness!!".  Just sayin'.

I have wanted a hand crank radio for a while, and kept putting off the purchase.  Money is always needed for something else, isn't it?  After the little earth shake Tuesday, and the aliens from Seattle putting some sort of brain leeches into my electric weather radios, I decided it was time.  I got a hand crank weather radio, the kind that also picks up music and news stations (or it would, if we had news stations around here).  It has a flashlight, siren (so I can chase people around telling them to pull over), a cell phone charger, and even a usb thing-a-ma-bob so I can plug up a music thing-a-ma-jig.

It's funny, I get a lot of eye rolling from people when I talk about stocking up, putting together first aid kits, canning extra food, and anything else that sounds a little bit "survivalist".  After all, Walmart will always be there with fully stocked shelves, the ATMs will always be full of cash, and the roads will always be open.  Right? Not really.

We can't seem to learn lessons from what happens in the rest of the world.  Remember the zombie post about the food riots in Pakistan? Heck, we can't even learn from what happens in our own country.  You'd think 9-11 and Katrina would've opened a few eyes.

Remember the Northeast Blackout of 2003?  These things can happen when you least expect them.  And no, I wasn't prepared then.  We still lived in the city, where it was never really dark, so I didn't even have extra flashlight batteries.

I'll admit, I'm a procrastinator about some things, including keeping the first aid stuff fully stocked.  But the earthquake was a literal shaking that I needed to wake up and realize what I've known all along: crap happens, and it's best to be ready.

Prepping isn't just for creepy survivalists, living off in the woods and eating what they kill.  Oh, wait, that sounds kinda like me.  I've never considered myself a survivalist, though.  A survivor, maybe.  More of a homesteader, actually,  learning to be self-sufficient. 

Prepping is now for everyone, and is encouraged by the government

I never thought we'd need a "bug out bag".  We're more the "shelter in place" types. However, after the earthquake, it occurred to me that we are close enough to major highways that, should there be a chemical spill, we may be forced to evacuate. 

Coming up in the next post:
Bug Out Bags for Beginners.  Or: What the hell do I put in this thing and how the hell am I supposed to carry 3 gallons of water in it?


Carolyn Renee said...

Looking forward to your BOB post & to compare our backpack contents! :)

Kevin said...

"It has a flashlight, siren (so I can chase people around telling them to pull over)"

**closes eyes to visualize this**

Started to laugh but then another vision infiltrated my brain. You running thru the night cranking on your radio chasing deer with the siren blaring to get them out of your garden.

Country Wife said...

Carolyn Renee, yours is probably way better prepped than mine!

Kevin, thanks for the idea!