A week ago I sat in the cold darkness with my family praying for the power to return. A winter storm came through dropping heavy, wet snow at a rapid pace. It was beautiful but at the same time it was extremely destructive. The weight of the snow toppled trees which in turn took out power lines. Our electric company reported the damage to be similar to Hurricane Isabel from 2003. Thousands and thousands were without power and we were one of them.
Of course things could have been worse! We were thankful that we had no damage to our house. I can’t imagine the despair that people who have lost their house due to a natural disaster go through.
However, it was still a stressful event to be without power or running water for 50 hours. We are on a well so when we loose power, we loose water. Thankfully, I had an inclination that we would loose power so I filled the bathtub with water for flushing the toilet.
We also placed a lot of our refrigerator food in ice chests and packed snow around them. My biggest concern was our outdoor freezer with our quarter of a cow. That freezer had about $500 worth of beef in it! Since it was outdoors, it did stay cold a lot longer than our indoor freezer. After 24 hours, we opened it to find the meat still frozen solid (thankfully!). We made the decision to move the meat to my friends freezer since she had power. That was a smart decision since we did not gain power for another day.
For heat we used our propane fireplace. It heats the upstairs well where mine and hubby’s room is. We were conservative with it since we had no idea when the power would be back on. Our electric company said that some people would be without power for up to 5 days! The downstairs was a cool 56 degrees but the upstairs was in the mid 60′s. Our boys slept in our bed so we could keep them warm (thankfully we have a king size bed!).
For entertainment, we played board games! An epic game of Monopoly and Yahtzee was favorite too. One evening we used my laptop to watch a movie to settle the boys down. It had just enough battery for a two hour movie! We also did an Easter craft out of desperation for entertainment. The first day we also spent time playing in the snow. After that first day though, it became very icy and not fun to play in.
Since we live in such a rural area, it is so important to be prepared for storms. I wrote a post about preparing for a hurricane just a few months ago. Most of those tips are about the same when preparing for a winter storm. If you have not taken steps to make a disaster preparedness kit, make sure you do it! You never know when you the power will go out and you will need to rely on those supplies.
Although we survived just fine, we hope to not go through another 50+ hours without electricity anytime soon!