becida at comcast.net
Sat Dec 16 22:43:18 EST 2006
Nothing like having the power go away to make you appreciate it.
Friday morning was dark, lot's of trees down
often the power lines kept them off the road.
Went to bed Friday night with it still dark & the
kerosene heater keeping the place warm. It's
funny, during the 6 years in Minnesota I kept a
kerosene heater & 10 gallons of kerosene on hand, never used it.
I've had another kerosene heater sitting in the
garage for a couple of years now (a neighbor gave
it to me after he didn't sell it at a garage
sale). On Wednesday I decided to buy some fuel
for it, picked up two gallons of 'heater fuel',
guaranteed no odor while burning. 1.5 gal lasted
from 4pm until 8 am and there is no kerosene,
propane (small bottles), "D" cell batteries or
generators any where around here. I watched at
Walmart as people were buying camping
lantern/fans as that was all that was left on the
shelves. All the kerosene heaters, camp stoves,
battery operated lights, camp lights, Coleman
(type) fuel and kerosene was gone by Friday night.
With no power none of the stores were open on
Friday. The banks were closed, restaurants were
closed & gas stations couldn't pump gas. This was
over several counties. After the wind-rain storm
freezing temps were expected Friday night. Expected and they did arrive.
Our emergency preps were mostly based on the RV
we lived in while waiting for the house to close.
Fueled up and ready to go we could live in it for
at least a week with the furnace running. That
was before gasoline went way up & before a grown
daughter moved 'back home' with her two kids.
Since fuel prices went to around $3 a gallon
filling that beast takes major economic planning
& without an at least half full main tank you
can't run the generator. The house battery died
too, I couldn't see buying another if we weren't
going to use it. Without power for the furnace fan you can't run the furnace.
All this came to me Friday night <g>. Then again
with my dd & her two kids living in the RV there
really wasn't room for the rest of us anyway.
Time for new emergency preparations.
Some observations- It was fun to watch people who
were way less prepared than I was down at the
store. When a grocery store did open they had
nothing that required refrigeration or a freezer,
those shelves were either empty or
covered/secured. At a Safeway in Olympia I
watched people taking gallons of water as fast as
they could open the boxes, cereal & breads were almost gone.
I mentioned all the 'D' cell batteries being
gone, and all the kerosene being gone. I talked
to a lady who went down to Vancouver, WA to buy a
generator and was shopping at the Home Depot in
Olympia for "wire & plugs" to get it to work and
another guy who had his dad pick one up for him
in Vancouver, he drove down to get it. I watched
people buying a turkey fryer and trying to jury
rig something with the fittings (the large
reversed thread male fitting that goes into the
bottle). I watched a salesman explain (or try to)
'white gas', 'Coleman fuel' & 'regular gas' to a
lady who had the last "Dual Fuel" lantern from
the shelf. I listened to a lady mumble to herself
about going to a shelter after walking away from the bare shelves at Walmart.
Lot's of gasoline was sold when the stations
could open, I saw several people filling gas cans, many gas cans.
The night sky was great, it had been some time
since I could walk out and see that many stars
but the noise from all the generators in the
neighborhood was distracting. The kerosene heater
worked great at keeping the place warm & the
'clean fuel' did not have an odor. It was worth
the extra $2/gallon for the 'clean fuel'.
This was an 'unprecedented' wind storm but we do
live in the land of earthquakes and I see a large
volcano almost everyday. Two days and one night
with no electricity, phone or internet was not
the end of the world, even with the 31ºf
night. We had plans for this night too if
necessary, not sure about a third night.
Thanks to a wind storm we have the opportunity to
rethink our preparation plans.
FWIW we have phone & electricity but no internet
yet, this will go out when we get the internet.
becida at comcast.net
Western Washington State, USA
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