Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Lessons learned from the power outage.

1. Be more diligent about oiling the hinges in the chimney flue. It was a royal bitch to get it open.

2. Batteries in the primary emergency lantern were dead. Spares had been used for something else and not replaced. That was just plain unacceptable.

3. Propane bottles for camp stove. They'd been in the same spot for years, until they were moved a few months ago. Where to? Took a while to remember, didn't it? Meanwhile, padding around in basement looking for them in the dark (because the above-mentioned lantern wasn't working) taught us another lesson, namely if you're going to be in the basement barefoot, do a better job of keeping stray pistol brass policed up. Stepping on that .45 case hurt like a bitch, didn't it? So keep basement cleaner, wear a shoe down there when it's dark, and don't move emergency supplies unless you make an effort to re-train yourself as to their new location.

Otherwise, This exercise was graded "Fully Successful".

Bonus points for having gone grocery shopping the day before, and for having bought a few dried foods just for an "eventual" outage just like this one. So "Yay me!" for that. The tea and instant chicken noodle soup were a nice morale booster. Now get more.


  1. I keep an old fashioned kerosene lamp in about every room of my home, with matches. 'Course, I live in hurricane country,..

  2. I think anytime you have a minor situation where you learn something is a success.

    I will say this, I am coming to the conclusion that it is always wise to wear some sort of shoe around the home, even if it it only some sort of soft house slipper. It might just provide enough protection to keep you from breaking a toe or perhaps cutting your foot open on a sharp edge.

  3. 1. Kerosene is better than propane or Coleman fuel for indoor light and cooking, because of the Carbon Monoxide emissions. In Detroit you get a story or two in every cold snap about someone dying of CO poisoning from their Coleman lantern. Dietz kerosene lamps are cheap and effective, Aladdin lamps provide lots of light but can be a bit spendy. Kerosene cookstoves are a little harder to find and are a bit pricier, but do provide some extra BTU's in your main living space as a side benefit.

    2. Are you keeping up with the chimney maintenance on your fireplace? Once a year cleanings are best practice. Chimney fires when you are impassable due to snow are not a good outcome!

    3. Dutch oven to use in the fireplace for cooking? Or a nice cast iron skillet?

  4. More water stored was the main one around us. Also a way to filter rain water just in case of a longer outage.

  5. Not to mention your self heating fur blanket.

  6. Odd lesson for me, although maybe it goes in the "Incandescent light isn't really our friend" category - loved reading by oil lamp. I think it was the softer light.

    This was a good "dry run" for real winter. Funny thing is, winter before last when we got nailed time after time and I had 6 ft of snow in the front yard we never lost power.

  7. Have cheap windup flashlights in every room (small house). Helps me find the stuff whose location I should already know.

  8. All good points... Fall back is this weekend, so all batteries get changed in all the flashlights. Most of the food stock has been rotated, but I do need some better crackers.

  9. Glad you're back and everything went off well. I'm sure Al Gore will hustle right over and help you deal with that 6 inches of global warming.

  10. You can get beans, rice, and some meats in VERY large cans as the grocery store. They last for many years and cost $3 to $5 a can.

    LED lanterns are the way to go! Get several and lots of batteries. Here is were a lithium battery lamp might be useful as lithium batteries last 10 years in storage.

    And if you take meds, even aspirin or Tylenol, get some before any storm hits. Being sick in a shutdown situation is not fun.

    And of course a good reliable pistol by your side is never a bad idea.

  11. NFO- Do those crackers say "Civil Defense survival crackers" on them? LOL!