A storm is fast approaching and that means some of us might lose our electric which is a real pain in the neck but it’s happened before, and it’s sure to happen again so let’s get smart about it.
1. Use flashlights! Candles are charming for lighting but they aren’t all that great in emergency situations. Dig out a flashlight and make sure it has batteries.
2. Find your can opener. In an emergency situation you can open and eat cold canned items most of the time. They aren’t going to be quite as tasty, but your family will live quite handily if you open a can of beans and pour them on a salad. It’s a nice protein enriched meal and for dessert have some canned or fresh fruit.
3. Washing yourself! Make sure you have enough water to keep clean. Each person in the family can have their own wash cloth and then you pour water onto the cloth with a cup, add soap to the cloth, wash what is necessary, and then pour more water from your sink, or gallon jug onto the cloth to rinse it and then rinse your face.
4. Wash hair using baking soda. Add a tablespoon or so to a small mug of water and pour it onto your scalp. Scrub gently and then use another mug of water or two to rinse. No suds, and no need for a lot of water.
5. Washing dishes. Use the same process you used for washing yourself. Fill a large dish with water and use a cup to wet dishes next to the dish with water, do not set dishes in the larger dish filled with water, you don’t want to contaminate your fresh water. Once you’ve rinsed the dish, use a soapy cloth, then get another cup and rinse again with fresh water. Utensils can be kept in a soap filled mug and then rinsed in a similar fashion.
6. I’ve got a leak! If your roof starts leaking you are going to want to stop the leak, but if you can’t right now, you’ll just deal with it later. Now if you find water leaking in gather it in a pot, or in a trash can and dump it regularly. If you can’t find a leak, but you’ve got water coming in, then put down newspapers. Soon you’ll see where the leak is doing the most damage.
7. If your basement is taking on water then remove items that will sop up the fluid. Got a throw rug down there? Then pick it up now and set it on top of something so it won’t draw water. Have any laundry down there? Pick it up and put it on something above floor level. We don’t know when it’s going to be sunny, and large sopping wet items will turn moldy. Save yourself a headache later, pick up the stuff on the basement floor if you are in a low lying area.
7. Toilet flushing. If you don’t have electricity and your house’s plumbing is “gravity fed” then you can use a toy bucket filled with water to flush your toilets. If you don’t have a gravity fed system then I suggest you invest in a portable camping toilet in the future, but for now, you can use a 5 gallon bucket, lined with a plastic bag with a toilet seat on top. It isn’t luxury but you won’t have to worry about having a stinky unpleasant house until your energy is back on.
Now please know that most of the stuff I’ve written about is the kind of stuff that you’d do if you were going camping. I’ve written this stuff down because I know people are worried and because I’ve done this stuff when I’ve lost electricity in the past.
The good news I hope is that the Manatawny seems lower than it’s been in the past with bad storms. The bad news is that if this storm stays around a few days that will surely change. It’s also good news that we’ve been through this kind of emergency before, so you can pack up your family and head on over to Pottstown High if you are too worried. This storm will be gone by Wednesday! We’ll survive.
If anyone is in trouble, feel free to post your concerns or worries. I can’t make any promises about helping anyone, but there are a lot of folks visiting to see what’s what about the storm. I imagine if we have some concerns showing up, that the power of social media will do some good.