Winter Storm Survival – Keeping Warm When the Power Goes Out

Winter Storm Survival - Keeping You and Your Home Warm When the Power Goes Out - Conserving heat, dressing for warmth, food and water needs, hygiene issues.

It’s winter, you always *planned* to get supplies if the power went out.  Now it’s below zero and the power just failed. What do you do when a winter storm leaves you without power?  This post contains ideas for winter storm survival while sheltering in your home, but many of the ideas could be adapted for elsewhere, especially the section on cold weather clothing. Plan NOW instead of trying to remember all this when you are freezing and the power is out. [Read more…]

Emergency Water Storage and Filtration – What You Need to Know

Emergency water storage - How much water do I need to store? What containers should I use for water storage? How can I filter/purify water in an emergency?Water is life.  In case of emergency, a reliable water supply is critical.  If power is interrupted due to storms or other events such as solar flares or grid overload due to high demand, for most of us, our water supplies are also interrupted.  Municipal water supplies could also be a likely “soft” target for terrorist attacks.  Emergency water storage should be a part of any emergency preparedness plan.

How Much Water Do I Need to Store?

FEMA recommends a three day supply with one gallon per person per day, half of that just for drinking.  Age, physical condition, activity level, foods consumed and environmental conditions will influence those requirements.  Hot, humid weather, illness, pregnancy and lactation, increased physical activity levels will all increase the amount needed.  The Crisis Preparedness Handbook recommends 20 -30 gallons per person for a period of two to three weeks without water.  This allows water for drinking, cooking, hygiene and some reserve.  If you plan to rely heavily on dehydrated food, store an extra 2 to 5 gallons per person. [Read more…]

Best Battery Chargers and Batteries – August’s Picks

Battery Chargers, Power Packs, Solar Chargers and Emergency Radios with Chargers, Rechargeable Batteries, Non-rechargeable Batteries, Battery Storage Units - Out Top Picks

When my husband and I were first married, there were many times when I went looking in the kitchen “stuff” drawer for the right battery, only to find out that we didn’t have the right size battery or the rechargeable batteries were completely dead.  Since then, we’ve gotten more organized.  We have dedicated battery storage, and battery chargers that can recharge nearly every type of battery – even alkaline (if you’re careful), specialty rechargeable batteries, and batteries that are mostly dead.  We have battery adapters that will let you use AA batteries in place of C and D batteries in a pinch.

For Christmas last year, my husband’s parents gave us a heavy duty storage case stocked with long life alkaline batteries.  (If you’re reading this, thank you grandma and grandpa!)  My husband, August, did a ton of research to find the best battery chargers and rechargeable batteries to keep in our emergency supplies (and for everyday use), so I asked him to put together a post sharing what he found out. [Read more…]

How to Put Up a Snow Fence

How to Put Up Snow Fence - Install Snow Fence to Keep Your Driveway Clear this Winter.  Learn the do's and don'ts of snow fence installation and location.

When I was a little girl up in northwest Wisconsin, we had a lot of Big Snow winters.  The snow started early and lasted all winter long. (Sound familiar?)  The country roads cut through massive snow banks that my friends and I would build tunnels through.  (We always used the buddy system so someone was on the outside to watch for the plow or dig you out if needed.)  One year I made several snow carvings of different animals, each about 5 feet tall – a duck, a horse, a swan – it seems there were others, but I can’t remember now.  Cars would slow down as they passed mom’s place, trying to figure out what those odd shapes were back off the road. 

One of the other fixtures I remember from years ago was grandma’s snow fence.  Grandma had a fairly long, thin driveway, and without the snow fence, I’m sure it would have been blown shut more often than not.  When my brother bought grandma’s place, he planted a treeline where the snowfence had been, which now protects the driveway like the fence protected it for grandma – probably even better.

One of the first things we did when we moved here was to plant windbreak trees, but they’ll take a while to grow.  Like grandma, we have a long, narrow driveway – except it’s even longer than grandma’s was.  Unlike my brother, Rich, we can’t plant trees parallel to it along the whole length, because part of the land upwind from it belongs to our neighbor. 

After spending many days last winter literally stuck at home because the driveway drifted shut almost as soon as it was plowed (see the driveway in the post, ‘The Long Winter), we decided that this year we were going to put up a snow fence in an attempt to keep the driveway passable.  Since my husband will be home again this winter instead of working out of town (yeah!), he needs to be able to get out reliably to get to work.  Our neighbor used a short section of snow fence for one of his worst drifting spots last winter and it worked well, so he was cool with us running fencing through his field just for the winter.  (He does our plowing, too, so I know he’d appreciate it if the driveway stayed plowed for a while.)  In this post I’ll discuss why and how snow fence is used, so you can decide if you’d like to use it for your home. [Read more…]

Kelly Kettle – Cook and Boil Water with Minimal Fuel

Kelly Kettle Review - The Kelly Kettle makes it quick and easy to boil water with minimal fuel in about 3 to 5 minutes. Can also be used for cooking and grilling with kit items.

What’s a Kelly Kettle?

The Kelly Kettle makes it quick and easy to boil water with minimal fuel in about 3 to 5 minutes.   With the items in these kits, you can also use the Kelly Kettles for cooking and grilling.  The Kelly Kettle was developed by the Kelly family in Ireland over 100 years ago, so they have some experience building these handy items. [Read more…]