Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How ready are you?

I have this feeling that I will never feel quite "ready" for an emergency. Case in point:

On Sunday the electricity went out in our area for about 15 minutes. This caused me, then and now, to:

--wonder, now that the cold season is basically over, at least for a few months, how exactly I would cook food if the electricity stayed off. We do have some wood left from the winter season for our wood stove, but it has a very (disappointingly) short "lip" for cooking purposes, which until we figure out how to use it more effectively, basically limits what we can cook to whatever we can fit into something the size of a soup can. I guess there would also be whatever recipes we could find in terms of tinfoil, camping out kind of dinners, but remember, the electricity, and hence the most helpful source of recipes-- the computer-- was out at that point... (We do love our woodstove, though, and are very grateful to have it!)

---wonder exactly what condition our grill is in, seeing as how we don't usually grill for fun and haven't used it in a long time. We have some fuel for it, but it would add to the stress if a major overhaul was needed before we could start cooking on it. Move that one up higher on the list...

---wonder why I haven't put together a cardboard box oven according to the directions given over at Safely Gathered In, and practiced at my leisure with it until I was comfortable using it any old time. Move that one up higher on the list, too....

---wonder just exactly how handy the little "wood gas" stove ,that my best source (Mom) sent up with my dad when he delivered water barrels, actually is. From what I understand, it "double burns" in effect, since it burns the smoke from the woodburning. Gotta love two for one :). She got it in a group order from Grant Johnson, who has a website with pictures here. (If you are interested in a group order, you can contact him at grant@ getpreparedstuff.com. I actually called my mom to get this, as I didn't see it on his site. Hey, I'm not selling it, and neither is she, but it seems like a really cool product. ) I'm going to blog about it--soon-- once I open it up and take pictures, etc., but my understanding is that it takes very little fuel (twigs, etc.) and is very fuel efficient and effective. Planning on using this soon, but it definitely was not part of my plan on Sunday--but are emergencies ever really part of anyone's plan?

Well, I hope your answer to the title question is that you are more prepared than I am. Nothing like 15 minutes of power outage for no apparent reason to make me really take stock of how I'm going to cook with my emergency supplies. We would have been able to cook some way, somehow, but now I know ways to prepare so that such a situation would be easier.....

8 comments:

Wendy said...

Funny thing. This happened to me recently, too. We lost our power in the late evening. It was completely dark, but we weren't ready for bed yet. It took me almost 10 minutes to locate the matches and candles by groping around my kitchen (after giving up on the flashlights). Meanwhile, I had an hysterical toddler. I was prepared with flashlights, lanterns, candles and matches, but it was difficult to find them in the dark -- even though I basically knew where they were. Now I would like a plug in flashlight (that hopefully stays plugged in) that lights up initially when the power goes out. Didn't think I needed one -- now I do.

Good post!
Wendy
http://iprepared.blogspot.com

Kristen said...

We often lost power for days at a time in the Seattle area due to wind storms. We cooked with our regular gas stove by lighting it manually. In the summer, we would use our grill, but we also brought out our cammping gear, namely our propane stove. I highly recommend making sure you always have a full 5 gallon propane tank in your garage. You can buy nifty hoses and connectors at sports stores that allow not only the stoves but lanterns to be hooked up at the same time.

Marie said...

Wendy--We have actually been in that situation before, where we had supplies but had to search around for them. We decided that we would put a flashlight where we couldn't miss it even fumbling around--thing is, I checked it recently and the little light bulb was rolling around in the front, so totally useless and needs to be replaced now. So I figure even if I think I'm ready, I have to check periodically. Whatever happened to it--fell or whatever--it wouldn't help now...
That plug in flashlight sounds like something I need to look into...

Kristen--The grill I was thinking about was a small propane grill, but we don't have a 5 gallon tank,(which is a brilliant idea) just some small bottles. Thanks for the info on the connectors that allow for double duty--guess I have a lot to look into. :)

Thanks very much to both of you for taking the time to comment and the great ideas--it is much appreciated!

Marie

HermitJim said...

Anything that can make us realize just how much we are dependant on the stores or the powers that be can only be a good lesson for us all!

Living on the coast, we learn at an early age to be prepared for weather issues, aqnd that can be carried over to being prepared for other emergencies as well.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!

hsjacobus said...

Just a quick note to let you know I've moved the food storage stuff to it's own website so the link on your page is off now. Thanks as always for your support and encouragement :)
http://fridaysfoodfancy.blogspot.com/

Marie said...

HermitJim--It was a wake-up call for me that I had a lot of work to do--it's good to have supplies, but better to be able to use them immediately--thanks for your comment!

HSJacobus--I'll change the link--thanks for the info and for providing such a great resource!

Abraham said...

I love Coleman dual fuel stoves. They burn whitegas or unleaded. They are easy to use. You can get a one burner or a two burner and make spaghetti and sauce at the same time, eggs and homefries.

Marie said...

Abraham--I have not seen those, but they definitely sound like a good cooking tool to have. Thanks for your comment!