Practical Preparedness

Heather says:

First of all I want to thank Ivy for managing our site for the duration of my 4,000 mile round trip to the Midwest.  Mr. Heather was lucky enough to join us for the return trip and was able to experience the magic that is traveling with three children under five.  Let me assure you, a good time was had by all.

In my corner of the world, September is a month narrated by the Weather ChannelWe watch the eastern Atlantic crossing our fingers and hoping that the next hurricane turns back out to sea.

Living in the Lowcountry I’ve observed two aspects for preparedness, necessity and comfort.  I covered necessary preparations early in the season and with Hanna looming in the Atlantic I am battening down the hatches.  We live far enough inland that the storm surge is not a threat, but we are preparing for what may be several days without power.

My plans for this week include:

  • Cycling all laundry so nothing will mildew waiting for the power to return.
  • Putting fresh sheets on all beds. Without power nights can be pretty sticky.
  • Boredom prevention: new books for Mr. Heather and I, a few crafts and small surprises for the kids

So, tell me Home Eccers, after safety has been taken into consideration, what would you add to the list?


  1. Clay Adams on February 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I dunno what you resources are, but here in Texas, even far into the country (away from hurricanes, etc) we love our portable generators. Not only can your electric generator get you through power-less days with ease, but it helps in a pinch when you least expect it. Well worth the investment.
    There's good articles on power saving and safety etc. also on <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  2. Survival Guy on November 18, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    You should have the basics

    1. Food (buy stuff you don’t have to cook, cans, granola bars etc.)
    2. Water (clean drinking water, you need about 2 liters a day)
    3. Light (flashlights and lanterns
    4. Heat if needed

  3. mom, again on September 3, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Fran came along just after we’d returned from a camping trip. Meaning, we had a little propane canister for our camp stove. When we went to get more a couple days later, there were long lines of people with the grill kind, waiting and hoping to trade the empties in for new. Before getting in line, we went to the front to ask if they even had the little kind, and found ourselves escorted in immediately, with no limit on how many we could by. I have never felt such envy as was directed at us as we walked back past that line with fuel in hand moments later!

    So, my advice, a camp stove might be more useful in the long run, than a grill! Is there an adaptor to use the little canisters with a grill?? Might be something for people to look into getting!

    Also, learn before hand where you might be able to buy dry ice. There was a place in Durham that was selling it, but I could never seem to find the it in the time I had to spare for looking. It was in an old area of town, surrounded by warehouses and railroad sidings, not well mapped, well lit, and poor signage. When we moved to Southern California, I discovered some groceries sell it by the pound. If this is so in the hurricane areas, I’d get a chunk at the slightest hint of bad weather. A very small chunk would keep your freezer rock solid for days.

  4. Bramble on September 3, 2008 at 12:19 am

    1. radio with batteries.
    2. take empty milk cartons of various sizes, fill them with water and freeze. use them to fill up any empty space in your freezer and fridge. as long as you dont open the doors a lot while the power is out, you’ve got a chance at saving your stuff.
    3. camp stove.
    4. battery operated fan. cuz no power = no AC and that sucks in the south.
    5. its cold here, come on up 🙂

  5. Tracy on September 2, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    I have a nice storage of dry food and milk, canned goods and so forth. If my power goes out I will be fine, just bored. I hope it doesnt happen since I live alone and I wont want to be in the dark for long. I also have a kerosene heater that needs to be serviced for the season and Im getting more juice for it. Big heavy blankets will cover my bedroom door so I only heat 1 room if I have to.

  6. Heidi @ Carolina Dreamz on September 2, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    You are really preparing to have no electricity for 3 days?

    Crap. My family really keeps me in the dark about storms, but thanks to my LC friends, I know too much now. The stress keeps me awake, so what did I do to prepare? I went to the doctor and refilled my allergy medicine and asked for some Ambien! 🙂

    To your list, I’d only add Adult Chocolate (for when I’d lock myself in the bathroom. Hide it in there.)

    We are very prepared and do you have a phone that could work without electricity? I’m not too far away if we need something the other may have..

    Back to laundry and cleaning floors. I, too, want them to dig me out and find clean floors and bedding.

    We are eating out of the refrigerator all week, too. Which is a jumbled non-balanced week or meals. Me thinks.

    Want some bell peppers?

  7. Mom of three on September 2, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Oh thought of another. If you have any home decorating that needs to be done, this is a great time to do it, unless your home is in danger of being destroyed. During one ice storm, I bought paint and wallpaper and while the neighbors froze and complained, we painted and wallpapered the Dining Room and the Master Bathroom. We stayed warm working, never got bored and were sad to see the lights come back on because it meant our mini vacation was over. The only thing is in the dark I did hang one strip below the chair rail upside down. We just sat a dresser in front of it. LOL

  8. Shoofly Mama on September 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I always bought a mess of new crayons/markers for the kids and a ream of paper for them to create with, with no boundaries. During Gaston we lost electricity for a few days because of our old power grid, and the kids created like crazy. We also had a TON of batteries for their toys.

    I cleaned everything beforehand so that I wasn’t looking at dirty floors, too. Had tons of things like homemade chex mix and healthy snacky stuff so that the kids weren’t eating processed junk. We lost everything in the fridge and freezer, but we grilled with the neighbors and it was a great time!

    I’m taking reservations here in Fort Mill! lol

  9. Kaye on September 2, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Just found you on Twitter to see where you are from. My hubby’s from just down the road from you although we’re in Savannah now. But I digress…

    I make sure to use up any perishables in the fridge or freezer that will go bad in case of a power outage (’cause it WILL happen) and don’t buy anything that needs refrigeration. Trying to figure out what to buy at the store tonight because of this Hanna dilemma.

    Here’s another: Propane for your grill. It’s easy to get rid of that chicken in the freezer by using your handy-dandy grill, so make sure you have plenty of gas for it!

  10. candice on September 2, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    My advice? Leave a day or 2 before you’re supposed to. Haha!

  11. Lisa- Domestic Accident on September 2, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Extra medicine! In my emergency stockpile, I always have extra pain reliever/fever reducer, cough medicine, and Benadryl.

  12. Jasi on September 2, 2008 at 10:39 am

    New shelves and more water for the pantry. We are EC’s as well, but our township has been really bad about keeping us in good water and power. We have a Cartier’s and Tiffany’s within 5 miles, but sometimes undrinkable tap and no lights for days. Really silly.

  13. Amy G. on September 2, 2008 at 9:45 am

    We’re southeast coasters here, too, and along with all of the above suggestions, I’d add a Very Special Grocery trip, well ahead of the panic shoppers. This would be to plan and purchase non- and slow-perishables that would be consumed anyway and likely wiped off the shelves by panic shoppers; things like canned goods, box and bottled drinks, lots of bottled water, paper goods, etc.

    When we lost power for 12 days following Fran in 1996, I wished for two things besides ice: that I’d vacuumed the floor, since I had plenty of time to look at it without power, and that I’d bought better food so we weren’t eating tuna and soup in the horrid post-hurricane heat and humidity.

    One more thing! Non-scented candles. We got really tired of scented ones after the first few days.

    Here’s hoping none of us has to use our own advice in coming days!

  14. themomhalf on September 2, 2008 at 9:43 am

    i’m actually trying to work my way thru the advice on this web site:

  15. Mom of three on September 2, 2008 at 8:49 am

    We live enough inland that hurricanes just bring beneficial rains, (Thanks Fay). But we do have to deal with ice storms, so here’s a few I do before a major ice storm is predicted.

    Similar to your #2, bathe everyone. It may be a while before you get a good hot shower, so make sure you start clean.

    Because we are an electronic family, I tend to purchase one new game/toy that can be played with without electricity.

    Call all family and check in before the storm. Without power it may be a few days before I can check on mom and the inlaws, so I call the day before the storm to be sure they are all well. Gives me a little piece of mind.

    Vacuum really well. It’s amazing how fast those dust bunnies grow. Start with a fresh clean floor and you won’t have as many to deal with after the storm.

    In 1974, our home was destroyed by a tornado. My mom had done all the laundry and cleaned house the day before. Even ironed. She had the cleanest, demolished house in the neighborhood. I guess I get it from her. Wouldn’t want the National Guard seeing our dirty laundry in the hampers after they dig through the roof. LOL

    Hope you stay safe. With Gustav coming from the west and Hanna from the east, looks like we are going to get a pretty rainy weekend here.

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