The weather reports were on time advising people to head to the basement and if in a mobile home-trailer to seek other shelter. Hurricane winds and oppressive heat killed 13 people so far and millions are without power, which may be for days or longer. People were stalled on the roads because of trees and debris; most were heading to Christiansburg and Roanoke to get food and supplies. Alas, many businesses did not have power either.
Although we were “prepped” when I reached for my flashlight it was dim. My wife shone her LED flashlight in my face and said, ”Hmmph! Some survivalist you are,” with a grin on her face. This was a lesson learned: All my flashlights and lanterns were dim, or dead. My wife of course brought out more LED lights, and said I needed to get up to date.
We turned off all the extraneous luxury electric gadgets to reduce the generator’s load. Since 1988 when we installed the generator, we have added more freezers, refrigerators, air conditioners and just general energy suckers. If I were to advise someone on buying a generator today I would caution him or her to think about the future. I think a 10,000-watt generator is about the limit for what we have now. However my newest generator is 20,000 watts. Then of course there are for the new shopper, all sorts of improvements, new designs and such. http://www.northerntool.com/ is probably the biggest on line store for generators big and small.
Read my earlier article on generators in the archives.
Since I keep a generator maintenance log and times of usage I was reviewing since 1988. There were so many power interruptions and of course what interested me was the major power outages from snow-ice-hurricane-wind storms. This was a reminder for me that we all just forget the difficult times and that leads to non-prepping.
Discussions with APCO suggest that their budget shortfalls precluded more helicopter-giant chainsaw cutting of trees this past year. Many trees are leaning, and if the ice hits, we will lose power again.
The unusual weather that is brining in excessive heat and no rain portends the obvious food cost increases; in fact many are writing and complaining on the net now about the cost of decent provisions. Keep in mind that grocery stores, even the mighty Wal*Mart™ is constantly unloading trucks. When those trucks cannot deliver because of major storms or worse, the shelves are empty. Today there are more shoppers heading to the food stores to stock up, but the average stock up is for only three days.
Read my previous articles in the archives about stocking up.
The heat and dryness is world wide and causing severe draughts. Our Bread Basket thinking about growing food is shrinking. Next week I will have some gardening with reduced water needs for your consideration.
Although elderly and children require special consideration because of heat, so do your pets. Keeping Rover tied to a doghouse in the sun is cruel and heartless. Bring the pets inside if they do not have shade and especially water to drink. For my big hairball I have a 5 gallon bucket of fresh water and a kiddy wading pool to cool him down under the big Maple tree. Many big dogs cool themselves through their feet and need to just stand in the pool. Others will lie down in the pool. These wading pools are for sale in Wal*Mart™; inexpensive too. The pools will wear and crack, and about every two years I buy another one and stack it with the old one to make it stronger.
Shade is important. I have another hundred Golden Rain bee trees to plant this fall and my wife admires the Golden Locust sold through http://www.millernurseries.com/. My earlier planting of catalpa trees along the west side of the house is really paying off now with blessed shade. Remember that new-planted trees require 15 gallons of water a week and from my experience with bare rooted trees that is for two years.
Read my previous articles on planting trees in the archives.
Most people just do not understand the dangers of our changing atmosphere and the increased sun radiation beaming down. The northern hemisphere is warming rapidly and the skin damage increases, especially for fair skinned people. If you have dark skin you are no longer able to tolerate skin-sun exposure either. SPF 90 and better sunscreen lotion helps along with wide brim hats, wrap around optical quality sunglasses with UV protection and sunscreen long sleeved shirts and long trousers. What is even more dangerous is the tanning coffins people flock to. When you are 50-and look like a burned prune it is too late. Cancer awaits.
Prepping also includes NOT leaving pets and children and grandma in an automobile while you shop. Tragic stories about death in the confines of a closed car-strapped in a child’s seat abound. THINK!
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