Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just Before

So, we are now playing the waiting game.  Other than filling the bathtubs later, and putting some toppings on the pizza crusts I made for dinner, we're just trying to watch movies and enjoy electricity as long as we can.  We're not sure what the best and worst case scenarios are here, there's rather a wide range, but since I'm detail-obsessed and you won't hear much from me for a while, here are some of the things we've done to prepare for Irene:

We've got water, not quite as much as would be ideal, but enough.  I don't know exactly, but I'd say about 14 gallons of drinking water, plus a 50- or 60-gallon rainbarrel outside if we got really desperate.  We've also got a few gallons besides of milk, juices, etc.  I'm not really sure what would happen to a water supply that you wouldn't be able to use it, I'm guessing contamination, in which case we could still flush toilets, but that rain barrel's there for flushing if it gets that dire.

Plenty of food, and IF our underground propane tank is fine (?why wouldn't it be?) we could cook on our gas stove (with matches).  But if not, we have a grill and a camping stove we could take outside.  Also beef jerky, dried and canned fruit, and a big batch of rice pudding I just made, along with all sorts of bread, rolls, and zucchini bread.  If we're careful about opening fridges and freezers, there are hot dogs, some yogurt we could use with oats to make our signature muesli, milk for cereal, as well as lots of fresh fruit and cheese.  I've also got some corn tortillas and salsa which wouldn't be too bad at room temp, as well as some special candy, cookies, chips, etc. to make things more pleasant.

Boredom and fear may be our biggest problems.  I already had the kids brainstorm what they would like to do besides read, and they've thought of their favorite games (especially chess and Apples to Apples), Mad Libs, drawing, playing with stuffed animals or playdough.  I also have a big library book called Fussbusters at Home which is marvelous for ideas, we have a puzzle or two, and I can play the piano or flute easily enough without power.  We stocked up at the library on Friday, so I think we can do this...

Of course, we've put away or tied down anything that might blow around dangerously, and moved everything non-waterproof at least a foot off our basement floor.  We have no battery back-up for our sump pump or any generator, so things could get icky down there.  Most of our friends and neighbors aren't worried about most of the effects of the storm, except for their basements.  We echo that.  Though, to confess, we're also worried about the very very large, mature trees across the street coming down on our roof.  Don't tell the kids, but their room is in potentially real danger.  We'll be having them sleep in with us during the night the storm is going by, both to comfort them and to keep them out of harm's way just in case.

Flashlights and extra batteries, check.  Candles, check.  Cell phones charged and gas tanks full, check.  Extra cash.  Safe Box for ID and documents.  Good neighbors nearby.  Can we be any more ready?  I don't think so.  Here we go!!