Thursday, July 15, 2010

Power Outage Preparations

I built this stone bed myself a few years ago.

In the event there is a power outage where you live, (there won't be one where I live) and you have food in your freezers and refrigerator, this is what you should do. Do not open your freezer at all. As soon as you know you are without power, start using the food in the refrigerator first.

If you are able to get to a store that sells dry ice, get some, as you can use that for the freezer. If you are without power for any length of time, even if you have a gas stove, you may not be able to can the food in your freezer in time to save it. But if I had the way to cook it, I guess I would cook it up and start getting everyone to eat it. Not all of it would thaw at the same time, so you might be able to get by with it.

If there is any doubt about the food being safe to eat, then do not eat it or give it to anyone else to eat. Of course, if there is cold weather, you may be able to preserve some of the food with snow and ice.

A few years back we lived without refrigeration for over a year. At that time we had a gas refrigerator in our kitchen but just turned it off to see if we could do it. We did. We did not like it, but we did it. Now we have been living without one again. This time we don't even have the gas one if we wanted to use it. So I have learned how to live without one. I used the ice that hung off our porch during the winter. I would put the ice in my ice chests with the food I had stored there. Winter is easy, a piece of cake. Summer is another story!

I have many people ask me if they could run their refrigerator with a solar panel. No, you would not be able to run a refrigerator on one solar panel. You would need a few. Here is a site that I have bought from,  Backwoods Solar to learn more. If you live off the grid or are going to, they will send you a free catalog. Their catalog provides so much information it's like an encylopedia. If you had a lot of solar panels and a lot of sunshine and a Sunfrost refrigerator, you might be able to use it.

Isn't it strange how people lived without refrigeraton for such a long time, that once it was invented, we cannot live without it? There are many foods I like that need to be kept refrigerated or that I like cold. Eggs do not have to be refrigerated, just kept cool.

Condiments are easily put in a ice chest with cold water, but the water must be changed constantly, so it stays cool. Put the ice chest in a cool spot, like outside if you can, or even put it in a snow bank (pack it right in there). The biggest problem with the store bought condiments and stuff is that the labeling and plastic bottles get icky and make the water slippery and feel icky. I hate that, so many times I put everything in canning jars.

If you have a creek on your property, that is a good place to store those foods too. But fix it so they can't break loose and float downstream or animals can't tamper with them. I wish the creek near our home was on our property but it is not, so we can't use it or someone else could take our food. Plus, we are in the state forest and possibly some wild critters would help themselves to it!

One thing I hear from so many people is that if there was an emergency they would can up all their food. No, they won't! In an emergency you are not going to be canning food. For one thing, you may not even be at your house until after it is over with. Then you would come back home and find it is all thawed and not able to be canned. Another thing is that if it was canned, and you came back home after a few days in a shelter your home canned food is going to look mighty good to you about then! Just heat and serve. In fact, even if you can't use your stove you can heat it on an open fire or a charcoal grill if you have the charcoal stocked up and the starter fluid. So be prepared and plan ahead before you have a power outage.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
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