Tag Archives: power outage

  • Preparing for Minor Emergencies

    Minor Emergency - Train Derailment This derailed train forced us to evacuate our home.

    When I was a young, budding teenager, we lived on the outskirts of town. Everything to the front of us was houses, subdivisions, and city, but behind us were trees, a farmer’s field, and further still, railroad tracks. One chilly winter evening, we received word that we had to evacuate. As it turned out, a train had derailed and spilled its contents of ammonia.

    5,000 people were ordered from their homes.

    We were definitely unprepared for this abrupt evacuation order, but we just as certainly couldn’t stay home. And, if my memory serves me correctly, we didn’t have too long before we had to be out. Fortunately, we had some relatives on the other side of the city that were out of town, so we were able to stay there for two days until the spill was cleaned up.

    But what might have happened had we not had that familial resource across town? We had no other shelter or way to cook food. We would have been eating at McDonald’s for the next two days (which us kids would have loved), but that most certainly would have strained the family budget.

    Not only that, this happened in the winter time. Up in Canada where I grew up, winters can be brutal. There was no way we could camp out in the family minivan. We were lucky we had somewhere to go.

    This isn’t the kind of disaster we normally worry about. Never in my imagination would I have thought I would have to evacuate my home because a train dumped ammonia everywhere. There are other minor emergencies and disasters we might not consider. Power outages, broken water mains, locking yourself out of your home, medical emergencies, and other situations we just can’t quite comprehend ever happening to us. But, just like the train and ammonia event, we have to be prepared for anything.

    Victoria Gazeley of Modern Homesteading suggests that if you’ve been preparing for major disasters, it’s highly likely that you have a lot of what you need for the smaller, more minor emergencies. Power outages are a more common occurrence than ammonia spills, but are you ready for one of those?

    Minor Emergencies - Power OutageJust in case of a power outage (or other minor emergency), Gazeley recommends having a backup method for cooking food, like a Kelly Kettle. The Optimus Polaris Stove is another great alternative option for cooking when the power goes out. Alternate sources of light, power, heat, and water are also important resources to store. Check out the Government of Canada’s site for more information on preparing for power outages.

    These resources are not only good for power outages, but a host of other minor emergencies as well. Remember, a huge tornado or a massive earthquake aren’t the only things that can come in and disrupt your life. While it is still important to prepare for those major disasters, take the steps necessary to ensure that you will also be prepared for minor emergencies as well. When there’s a proverbial ammonia spill, the time to prepare has ended.

     

    How have you prepared for minor emergencies? Let us know in the comments!

    Posted In: Planning Tagged With: ammonia spill, minor emergencies, power outage, evacuation

  • DIY Oil Lamp

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    When a power outage strikes, hopefully your emergency supplies are up to date, complete with emergency power and lighting gear/options. Keeping a variety of flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns (along with batteries or solar power options to keep them charged) is ideal, but if your batteries runs out before the power turns back on, try making this DIY Oil Lamp to light your adventure.

    The San Francisco Globe shows us how to make an oil lamp that can last for 6-8 hours, using two common household items: an orange and some olive oil. Check out the tutorial here.

    Oil Lamp 2Orange Oil Lamp

    For more DIY projects, check out these articles:

    --Kim

    Photo Courtesy of the San Francisco Globe

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: power outage, DIY, light

  • Staying Toasty in Texas: No Power? No Problem!

    If you couldn't adjust the thermostat when temperatures dropped, how would you keep your home warm?

    We've been talking a lot lately about harsh winter weather; we expect winter weather each year, yet it’s still unpredictable. Icy roads, flights canceled, extreme cold, and disrupted water services are only a few of the possibilities when winter gets particularly vicious. Another example of winter trouble comes from North Texas, where the city of Jacksboro was almost completely without a natural gas supply to heat houses and public buildings for some 1,200 customers.

    A local CBS affiliate reports that liquid in the pipes caused pilot lights to go out and gas to build up in the lines. Whatever the cause, however, the result was a city-wide shutdown of Jacksboro’s gas supply. And just in time for below freezing temperatures.

    So if you weren't able to just adjust the thermostat when the temperature dropped to “uncomfortable,” would you know how to keep your home warm?

    Our article on emergency warmth includes some helpful tips for staying warm both at home and on the road. You can also find a great list of smart ways to keep a house warm without power at this wiki, and some safety considerations when using non-traditional heating methods from the NC State Extension.

    Your advice? What are your tips for staying warm without power?

    Here’s wishing everyone a safe and warm winter!

    --Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: emergency heat, emergency warmth, winter weather, power outage, power, warmth, emergency power

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