Preparing to be without power

This weekend storms swept across the midwest and the Ohio Valley, according to the most recent article on CNN literally millions of people remain without power.  Those millions of people include almost all of my husbands family who live in rural Southeast Ohio.  Being without power for them is certainly an inconvenience but as inhabitants of “Gods country”  as the Handy man refers to it, is nothing new.  Because of all the trees and back country roads, they have been known to lose power during ice, wind and snow storms more often than the rest of us. So, they tend to be more prepared to deal with these outages. Which leads my to my next point.  This weekends storms gave us the opportunity and motivation to revisit our level of preparedness in the event we are not so lucky next time around.

For most people their biggest concern in water.  Be are blessed to have multiple sources of water available.
1) We storage potable water in our basement for drinking and cooking.
2) We have a 2 acre pond on my parents farm within 200 yards of our house.
3)  A quarter of a mile down the road there is a spring at the local community church.  Fresh cool water has not stopped flowing from it in the 25 years that we have lived here.
4) We have a ravine at the back of our property with a fairly steady stream, at least in the spring and early summer.

Having said that, the Handy man and I did talk at length yesterday about the pros and cons of putting in a cistern, so that we would have access to clean water via hand pump here on our property,  however as funds are always a consideration…….discussion to be continued.

We have a generator but we unfortunately do a lousy job of keeping gasoline stored for it.  We try to keep the gas cans full but before you know it we end up using them for the 4 wheeler, the lawn mover, the chainsaw……. Having seen the pictures of people lined up for miles to get gas at the only gas station in hubbys hometown that had power was a BIG wakeup call.  What good is the generator with no fuel?  He estimates the generator needs about a gallon of fuel an hour when running under load.  We have GOT to get serious about this and get a tank put in.  The first thing we did was go fill all of our gas cans up with fuel.  It cost us about 150.00 but is well worth it for the piece of mind it brings.  The second thing we did was to secure a 250 gallon tank to have here on the property.  As soon as we get it moved over here, and save up the extra funds we will have it filled as well.
Aside from the above mentioned concerns, my next concern for being without power is conserving food and preventing loss due to spoilage.  We purchase our beef and pork by the side.  We get whole chickens by the dozen through a local amish farmer.  We freeze corn and beans.   We have ALOT of food in our 2 chest freezers.   It wont take much time to lose alot of food and alot of money.  I would like to put up enough meat in jars to get us down to one freezer. (I also think it would be awfully convenient to have the meat precooked for soups, BBQ beef and the like.) I have found a few recipes for canning chicken and beef and will be trying my hand for the first time this week with canning meat in the pressure canner.  Ill let you know how it goes.

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