Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Preparedness Challenge-Day 2

Today I was glad I waited till 830 to check the challenge.
And more glad that I had already gotten a yoga workout in!

Today's big challenge was a power outage. Big storm last night, power out till 6pm.
Part two was taking a family member to the dr because that flu that has everyone quarantined got worse, and on the way home the car broke down.

So for Challenge one-no power!  We could keep the fridge running, but turned off A/C, lights, computer, everything.  Nothing was available that could not run on alternate power!

Good news-we have a generator!  I totally could have played the generator card and gone on with life as normal.  But in keepin' it real, I would not run the generator for a one day outage.  That sucker likely wouldn't be coming out unless we had an extended outage that happened in the winter when we like to hover in the single digits during the day (which started in November last year-3* on Thanksgiving morning.  Awesome.) and plunge below zero at night.  Even then it would be used sparingly, as there are other tactics we would result to to stay warm before breaking that puppy out.
So instead of using the generator excuse, I traumatized my children every time they reached for a light switch by yelling "NOOOOOOO!  Do not use power!".  Yeah, they love me.   They were thrilled that they got to take a flashlight in the bathroom though since our bathrooms are interior and have no windows.   The big whammy today is that Tuesday is MY laundry day.  That pile of running clothes in my room is getting more rank by the minute.  Of course Charlotte also wet the bed last night.  That hasn't happened in months so of course it happened on a day when it had to sit till 6pm.  A load of towels had been started early this morning and then thrown in the dryer, which was stopped halfway through, so they sat damp in the dryer till 6pm.  I had to change my to-do list today because ironing and my sewing project couldn't be done.  I did finally attack the sock basket and match up about a hundred pairs of socks.  No, I am not exaggerating.

15 points for keeping power off all day, minus 2pts every time power is used.  We stayed in the clear for all 15 points!  yay!
5 bonus points for every cooked meal you have during the power outage, up to 2 meals.
Oh you best believe we cooked!  I love cooking with gas, and I love that we still have a stove when the power is out.  I lit the stove up with a match

(the kids loved it) for breakfast.  Yes my stove needs a deep cleaning.  And I should have taken a picture of my finished product because my brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal with almond butter stirred in and slivered almonds on top was fantabulous.

We went big with dinner instead of just throwing burgers on the grill.

Grilled chicken and diced peppers and onions.
Oh, and serve it over rice heated on the grill?  You betcha!

Leftover rice from last night heated up nicely.  I did cube the chicken and serve it all up together.

Super yummy meal!
I know I could have photoshopped out those stray pieces of rice.  I really didn't care that much.

In addition to the gas stove and the grill (extra propane tank on hand!), we have a camp stove and a good amount of fuel for that stored as well.  Oh-Dutch Ovens too!  And if we are quarantined at home, we'd have all day to cook something in them.  Which yes, means we have bags of charcoal on hand.

5 points for discussing with the family a plan of how to stay warm in the winter during an all day power outage.  My favorite part of this is that Dallin's first suggestion of how to stay warm in the winter was rubbing your hands together.  He figured he'd resort to that before wrapping up in blankets or putting on more clothes.  With a bald father the kids all know that a hat can play a big role in keeping warm!  And my favorite suggestion of how to stay warm (and yes, it was mine not a kid's) was to have a party!  People=body heat!  And yes, I'm serious.  It is nice to know that we have the generator (and appropriately wired furnace!) to run things if necessary.

5 points for an inventory of everything plugged in in the house.  We included the garage and I realized that the kids hadn't even thought of the fact that the garage door runs on electricity.

Challenge number two-trouble shoot the car!  What are 5 things you would check in a broken down car?  If it is winter, do you have blankets or snacks in your car?

10 points for telling someone the five things you would check to trouble shoot your car.
5 points for tools to fix a flat AND jumper cables in the car.
5 points if you have blankets and snacks/water in your car.

Feeling good about today's challenge.  Feeling better that in the winter I keep extra gloves and hats in the car in addition to the blankets that are there year round.  And on the days when I wear cute shoes instead of functional shoes, I also toss my snow boots in the car when heading out.  I hadn't started doing that till last year, I'm not sure why I had never thought of that.  Cute boots with four inch heels aren't practical if you need to get out of the car and do anything, or trek somewhere in the snow.
Happy for my granola bar stash in the car.  Happier that I ALWAYS have enough food to feed an army in my purse.  Hey, I get hungry.  In the car today was a water bottle plus Sam's sippy cup (I do need more water in there), fruit leathers, protein bar, and puffs.  That could have kept me fed for, gosh, easily like an hour and a half.  the kids have to fend for themselves.
Just kidding.

We do need to get another set of jumper cables for the other vehicle, and Aaron needs food/water that stays in his car regularly, even though there is often food/drink there when he is headed to work.
Ironically, on last month's grocery list was small plastic tubs for each car to house all of these things.  I condensed the list since Aaron valiantly volunteered to do the shopping for me, and I pulled those off the list because I have something specific in mind and didn't want to burden him with the chance of picking the wrong thing.  Yes, I'm that uptight, shocker I'm sure.  It is back on the list for next month so we can be more organized in the car.  And so is that second set of jumper cables.

Feeling good about the challenges so far, and more than anything else, feeling grateful that I have been taught to be prepared!  Grateful also for a husband who takes this seriously and helps keep us on track!