Last year next week we had a major storm that knocked out power around our area, and for some it was quite a struggle. Luckily for me I had a friend with a woodstove, a Prius that we could run power from, a generator, a well-insulated, solid house that didn’t have trees leaning over it. We had clean and long-burning beeswax candles and I was happy to cook on the stove.We even watched Madmen one evening!
Not everyone is so lucky. This year I live in an apartment in Katonah, upstairs, so I have less control than in a full house. BUT, my landlord had and I have done a lot of things to prepare, and I’d like to share, as well as suggest we use this forum to support each other.
If you are setup with sources for heat and water and power, and are willing to share that with Katonah Green readers, email me and I’ll share that info privately. If you are in need, email me at editor “@” katonahgreen.com (remove quotations) and I’ll try to find you a place to cook, charge up, get internet and maybe even get a shower. I don’t suggest posting it on the page as that will be public. If you are a member of the Katonah Green Meetup group then you already know a lot of the members and may wish to make your resources available to them. Head over here for that. My suggestion is that we have each other’s phone numbers as internet will likely get knocked out.
Here are some food items I’ve prepared in case we have no refrigeration this week. (I do have a portable gas grill and a propane stove in the apartment so I can cook) All items available at Mrs. Green’s in Katonah and Mt. Kisco and at Nature’s Temptations in Ridgefield. By the way, they had fully stocked shelves Saturday evening and no panicking crowds and are open today.
No cook/no refrigeration Breakfast food: chia and hemp seeds with buckwheat groats. I add water and canned coconut milk to this and it expands and is ready to eat in 20 minutes. I add dried mulberries, brazil nuts, walnuts, pepitas, cinnamon, allspice and raw honey to flavor.
A few other food items to have on hand:
- Canned organic soups
- Unripe bananas and avocadoes (should be ripe by Tues/Wed when we start feeling the stress of the storm’s aftermath
- Apples, plums
- Farmer’s market eggs (they don’t need refrigeration. *note that store eggs do!)
- Canned wild-caught small tuna
- greens (will last a few days uncooked)
- sunflower seed and almond butters
- rice crackers
- mom’s homemade jam
- a bottle of Pacific Redwood organic, sulfite-free wine (available at Katonah Wine and Liquor)
- a couple of packs of aseptic organic lunch sized milks ( I don’t normally use these because of BPA contamination among other things)
- organic food bars, like Rise brand (the first organic one I’ve found with no cashews or peanuts or stuff like maltodextrin)
Don’t forget that even if we lost power tonight, the food in the fridge is edible tomorrow, and that the foods in the freezer will be edible the next day or even longer if your fridge is well insulated.
I saved jars and have filled them with filtered water. Tonight I will fill the tea kettle and two big pots with filtered water.
I just learned one thing that I didn’t realize: in Katonah, we won’t lose water pressure so toilets will flush and at a minimum we can have cold showers. But do consider having potable water prepared in case of water contamination.
Plug in Inverters: Above is a photo of a great little inverter to have on hand this year: (similar inverters available from Radio Shack). I even ground coffee with mine last year.
Installed inverters: If you have a Prius, there are a number of options to use it as a backup generator.
If you don’t, here is what my landlord had installed in his non-hybrid car: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_st?keywords=2500+watt+inverter&qid=1351400703&rh=k%3A2500+watt+inverter%2Cn%3A172282&sort=reviewrank_authority
NOTE (from neighbor Michael): with inverters this big, they need to be installed properly, directly to the car charging system with heavy gauge cables. I had my mechanic do it, because I didn’t want to cut through the firewall myself. I also have a big cutoff switch so I can’t accidentally leave it on and drain my car battery. Last year we ran 2 sump pumps 2 refrigerators (10% duty cycle — not on all the time) 1 heating system.
Be safe, be prepared, check on your neighbors, get real about climate change! And even if this storm doesn’t knock out power etc, we’ll be better prepared for the next.