January 21, 2012

Northwest Ice Storm – Power out for last 36 hours (plus build Emergency Kit one week-at a time)

Oh my, oh my! We were excited for the snow. . .but not what came after it. More snow and freezing rain meant thousands are without power in the Northwest. Our power went out Thursday night and stayed off – the only reason I’m able to post now is we ended up heading south to a hotel with internet and power.

It’s been a long few days full of trials, but also full of blessings:

  • We have a wood stove and this past fall we bought a bunch of firewood, to help reduce our power bill and just in case of an emergency
  • We have a nice stockpile with lots of options for food, so no need to run to the store in the storm
  • We have a gas water heater – so hot water for dishes and showers
  • We cooked on the wood stove – in fact we made some amazing taco soup using ingredients from the stockpile. It cooked slowly – but it was just like a Crock Pot.
  • I had stockpiled FREE Glade candles from two years ago – so plenty of light after it went dark.
  • I had built an Emergency Kit using the One Week At a Time worksheet from Pierce County – and it definitely came in handy this week
  • I had a little battery power radio that I got for FREE at the Olympia Co-op FREE store last year, that kept us in the loop
  • It made us so appreciative of the convenience of electricity, refrigeration, the Internet and more!
  • We had lots of quality family time without computers and TVs. (See my list of 14 Random Things to do When Snowed in With Kids)

But there are lots of people without heat, without water (on wells) and without food/water. Just leaving the Lacey, WA area you could see trees down everywhere over the power lines. I’m praying that power is up soon and that people keep safe. I’m also hoping that the utility workers and their families are kept safe and warm – I know they are working hard to restore power.

I recommend you checkout a post I did in March of last year on how to build an Emergency Kit One Week at a Time – so it doesn’t take a large initial investment – but rather you can buy items as you have a budget.

Posts here on the blog will be limited over the next day or so until we get power and get settled. Thank you for your patience. Stay warm!


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  1. We came back on this morning after 4 days without power. The joy I felt when a light woke me up is beyond words! I love electricity and I’m not ashamed to admit it!!

    We were pretty well prepared but 2 weak links in our chain became apparent. We need: 1) a battery-powered or handcrank radio to keep in touch with the outside world, and 2) bright lanterns (enduring 6 hours of dimly light darkness is tough on the morale). We lost a few hundred dollars worth of food from the freezers and fridge, but were able to put all the Zaycon chicken, hamburger, and bacon plus other meats in a friend’s freezer, thank goodness.

  2. Ours was out for 36 hours, but came back on last night. We are renting right now, and thankfully the house has a woodstove (and we got firewood in the fall) and we have a generator that my in-laws passed along to us for our travel trailer several years ago. It was enough to run the fridge, recharge phones, power a lamp and radio. No hot water, but at least we HAD water. It spurred some good discussions about things we want in the house we’re currently looking to buy, and a reminder that we really DO need to put together the kit we’ve talked about for a long time but never actually done- somehow moving to earthquake country will start that discussion, but we’ll be implementing it this time. We could have moved to the trailer if we needed to, but didn’t have to.

  3. Our family also lost power. 3 days without power, it was restored this evening. We have a gas stove, so we could use our burners, and those stock piles we have…well let’s just say they are a blessing. Many of our neighbors have electric stoves, so the pots of soup we made were like liquid gold to our neighbors that were cold and hungry. God bless those that struggled through the storm without, and a big shout out to the hard workers of the power companies for getting the many without back up and running. Amazing how thankful for heat and lights we become after doing without.

  4. We also lost power, luckily came back after 2 days. My family has a new appreciation for my stockpile! We did not have to run to the store and get anything. Love couponing and planning ahead!

  5. We didn’t lose power, but I was just thinking how grateful I am for my stockpile. We’ve been home for over a week, and did not feel the need to run to a store.

    Take care, Heather, Jeremy and kids!


  1. […] can tell you that the 2 day power outage we had a couple weeks ago had us sweating bullets. We knew that our freezer not only had a […]

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