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Gustov is coming, get your butt in gear

August 30, 2008

If you live in an area where you are totally safe from the approaching hurricane, then go plan for whatever disaster is prone to your area.  If you are live near the gulf coast of the US, then prepare NOW.

I know you already have your personal kit ready, and you have your car prepped.  I covered both of those here and here. Now, if you are sheltering at home and you lose electricity, here are some things you need to know.  (If you are ordered to evacuate, then for heaven’s sake, LEAVE!)

Here’s a link to a good resource, preparing food during a power failure.  Some of the best tips:

  • Conserve Fuel. Try to prepare food that does not require long cooking time, or cooking at all.  If you can, cook food in your fire place, or on your grill.
  • Conserve Water.  Use the liquid from canned food for some of the water required to cook it.  Save the liquid from canned fruit to use in place of water when making beverages.
  • Make only enough food for one meal at a time.  Anything you cook needs to be eaten within two hours if no refrigeration is possible.
  • Avoid most meat, seafood, creamed foods, and most dairy products because they can easily spoil.
  • Stock up on canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruit and dried or dehydrated foods.

One important point I would not have though of is to avoid home canned vegetables.  The reason is the long cooking time needed to prepare these.  When the whole point is to conserve your resources, these are not the best option.

The paper has an extensive list of foods to avoid and foods to choose in the event of a power failure.  There are options you may not have even considered and luckily, you still have time to stock up on these before the power goes out.  For example, I’ll be making sure I have plenty of bottled hot sauce on hand so I can spice up whatever I prepare. No reason for your emergancy food to be boring.

Where I live, flooding is unlikely, but a power outage from downed power lines is a real possibility.  I have plenty of wood so I can make campfires, and I have the pots to withstand cooking over an open flame.  I would use a grill, but I don’t have one. If you have a grill, or a little propane cooker-use it OUTSIDE. Never use these in an enclosed carport or in your home.  I wouldn’t even put this warning in here if some people were not stupid enough to have tried it.  You can burn your house down or suffocate.  A disaster is no time to throw away your common sense.

I have water stockpiled and lots of canned food on hand.  Speaking of water, if you have not already done so, put some (or all if you have the space) in your freezer.  This gives you cold water when you need it and the ice will help keep your freezer cold longer.

All I have left to do is stock up on some essentials like crackers and a treat or two such as poptarts and twinkies.  Before you laugh, I have not eaten a twinkie in over 10 years.  If the worst happens, I will be thrilled to have such a delicious sugary snack to look forward too.  Plan some happiness into your preparations.  You will be glad you did.

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