Thursday, 1 November 2012

Three things on Thursday - Planning for Emergencies - Part two.

Last Thursday was the first post in what I intend to be a weekly series on planning for emergencies - the (three) weekly baby steps I am taking to get myself and my family prepared to make it through a power outage, an evacuation, a Chemical spill, etc.  Kind of timely in the face of the storm that has been all over these past few days.

We were lucky this week!  We lost power off and on Monday evening, then lost it all through Monday night until about 8:30 Tuesday morning.  Just long enough for the boys to have their school cancelled as the school was without power as well.  Power was restored to our street early and life returned to normal for most people.  Although several branches and a few half trees fell on our street we have no damage.

I learned a few things - where my plans are lacking...
Heat - Although we have several walls in our house - only our second story has doors.  Even if we had some sort of heat source in the case of a power outage (which we don't at this point), it would be pretty hard to heat an area of our house.  Something we need to figure out.  Also, we would be able to heat food with our gas cooktop - but only if our gas line was not shut down as well...something else to look into.

I had actually spent a few hours on Sunday making up some candles in glass jars in case of a power outage (PS - I don't watch the new, so at this point I was completely oblivious to the fact that there was a huge storm heading our way - I knew about the hurricane, but not that the winds were expected to reach us here).

I like candles in jars because of the kids - I like that they are self contained - and also, they have lids so when we are not using them, the wax doesn't get all dusty.  I had been saving glass jars for a few weeks and had some wax ready to be melted down.  I had big problems getting the wicks to stick to the bottoms of the jars, even with the metal pieces sold for that purpose, so it took me a couple of tries before I figured it out.
So far, I have 6 candles that I plan to keep stashed away for power outages only, although when I get to the vehicle emergency kit, I might snag one for each vehicle.

I also tried to make some taper candles in this antique candle mold I have, but all I ended up making was a huge mess.  I had to melt the wax to get it back out because the candles were just simply stuck.  I have to figure it out before I make some beeswax candles in it - although in the meantime, we might just dip some beeswax candles instead.
Note:  all the information I could find on the internet agrees - the way to get wax out of clothing is with paper towels or paper bags over the wax and then iron it with a clothes iron - I will be doing that this weekend :)  I did say I made a mess.

N enjoyed the wax melting, but ran out of patience with our many failed attempts at filling the jars.  I think he might enjoy the dipped candles a bit more - so he can see the progress.

I had planned to look into the evacuation packs but I couldn't find the backpacks.  The boys say that I brought all of our old backpacks to the Goodwill.  I don't remember doing it.  So my "non-food" goal for this week is to find some bags to use for the evacuation packs.

Now for the three things:
My goal for this past week was to buy soy sauce, popcorn seeds and honey.  I bought one of each (it's bits at a time).  I found out our favourite popcorn seeds are "unavailable at this time" which is why I only bought one.

This week, I will be looking for one item in bulk (probably a big bag of rice), some sort of container for storing dry goods (a lot of good a large bag of flour will do me if the bugs get into it) and cocoa (I just learned that it has an extremely long shelf life - years and years, so that will be a good one to have.  Cocoa with sugar and canned milk - I think that will work).

I know a few of you are thinking along these lines now as well - what are your plans for this week?  PS - I know the prepper sites all say that you should keep your preparations secret but I say we help each other along instead.  Please leave a comment with the steps you are taking - make it anonymous if you wish.

Linking up with: Keep Calm Craft On over at Frontier Dreams


  1. I love the idea of using old jars for candles. I would like to give it a try.

    I remember that my momma made candles when I was a kiddo. Maybe she still has some stuff so I don't have to start from scratch... hmmm.

  2. We make candles by dipping. It takes a long time, but it is a fun activity for the kids :-)

  3. Candle making is fun and great idea getting prepared! Tricia@ CrunchyCatholicMomma.blogspot

  4. So fun! We have lots of saved-up old jars and will have to try this with the older kids :)

  5. How about this so you can save your candles for heating up caned soup.
    Emergency Led Lighting Made Ridiculously Simple:

    Or go micro solar for under $50.00.