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Preparing for Winter Blackouts

All of us in the lower 48 states are going to experience frigid weather beginning today through next week. With that, I expect our area to perhaps have, at the very least, rolling blackouts if not full-on blackouts. My family and I have been preparing by making sure our charging banks are charged so we can recharge phones, tablets, and laptops. A couple of these charged power stations will even allow us to run a lamp or small appliance if we need to. We bought an electric cooking eye with multiple watt settings to use with the power stations (most of these stations will allow no more than 500 watts, at best 1,000 watts). The eye we purchased has the capability to run as low as 300 watts. Many are simply1800 watts with no lower wattage available, which will not work with these chargers, obviously. This will allow us to at least heat up a pot of soup in case we lose power. There are other options available such as canned heat and special cooking/heating units which claims to be safe for indoor use. That way we can conserve other canned foods that don't need to be warmed up if the power is out longer than expected and our power stations no longer have a charge.

Our insulated covers are on all 3 of the outdoor faucets. We have tons of flashlights with batteries in place. And both propane heaters and several fuel tanks have been brought up from the basement. Those also have the ability to blow the hot air with either power or C sized batteries to better circulate the heat in those areas we have them sitting in. If we are able to keep power, we will use those heaters and the electric fireplace to allow the heat pump to cycle and not run continually. I'll pull out some additional blankets, and we'll make sure all charged devices are above 90% every day we do have power. There's no doubt that we'll leave our water trickling day and night to keep our pipes from freezing during this polar plunge. A stream about the size of pencil lead should be sufficient. We also leave the bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open, as well as closet doors that may have pipes running through them (because of sinks, tubs, and/or toilets in the room beside them) so the heat can get into those areas too.

We keep our drapes, curtains, and blinds closed. These act as barriers and keep much of the cold air trapped behind them. We place cotton strips from a cotton coil in the cracks around the front door, which has no need for a curtain. Cotton coil is what hairdressers use to keep perm chemicals from leaking onto your forehead and neck, but it also works great to briefly and quickly insulate door cracks. 😉

As for fridge items, as long as the temps are cold enough to preserve foods, we also have an Igloo cooler with a lid that we can place outside to keep a few fridge foods and drinks cold in the event of a power outage. The lid seals tightly and keeps out stray cats and dogs as well as raccoons, foxes, coyotes, skunks, and other wildlife that might venture onto our deck. We also have a fridge/freezer thermometer I can place in the cooler so we can monitor the temperature (between 35 and 38 degrees is ideal). It's also a good idea to have a manual can opener readily available in case you don't have a power station to plug into and/or cans don't have a pop-top lid.

If you're extremely sensitive to cold or your area is expected to receive the coldest temps, you might still have time to buy a battery-operated electric blanket to cover up with - or even a heated sleeping bag pad to lie on. I don't believe there is any such thing as being overly prepared in these situations. 

Having charged devices will allow us to write Etsy or eBay descriptions or blog posts in the event we don't have internet connection, so we can upload our posts or descriptions at a later time. We can browse the internet via our iPhones, take Udemy classes, read Kindle books, shop, and look for Upwork jobs if the cell phone towers don't experience interruptions due to the snow or cold temps. 

I have also cut about 2,000 circles to make fabric yoyos. I wasn't expecting this polar air at the time I cut these, but these will definitely keep me busier than the digital devices will. 


Stay warm and safe this weekend and next week, my dear sisters. Make sure you and your family/pets (please don't leave your pets outside during this time), your home, and your devices are cold-weather ready.

Blessings,

Patricia

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