The one thing I know about preparedness, from having gone through a week without power after an ice storm in southwest Louisiana, and another week without power after a tornado in Kentucky and almost a week of not being able to leave our house after a 20+ inch snow storm in Kentucky is this: I will never be 100% prepared for every possible scenario. I’ve learned to do the best I can and make do with what I have.
If you’ve seen any of the news on TV or in print media, you’ve seen the lines for folks waiting to buy gasoline. Having generators is not a guarantee that “life as we know it” goes on. I’ve always thought that having a generator gives most a sense of false security. If your power is out for a few hours or even a day or two, a generator is fantastic but if power is off for days and days, a generator is almost worthless.
Whole house generators require mega amounts of fuel. Most are hooked up to natural gas lines. If you notice in New Jersey, gas meters have been taken out and there’s gas spewing into the water/air. I doubt there are many in the hardest hit areas who have an uninterrupted supply of natural gas. Portable generators take a good bit of fuel if you’re running them a lot.
We have diesel and gasoline generators and have considered getting a propane generator because we have more propane fuel here than we ever have diesel or gasoline.
The only thing I would ever plan to run with a generator is the well, which we can run for not very long and fill the tank and that will give us enough water for showers and washing dishes. We would also run the generator for 4 – 6 hours a day to keep the food in the freezers frozen. I still can all my vegetables and about half the beef, pork and venison that we get and my freezers contain the remaining half of the meat, as well as a lot of fruits that I buy on sale (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), as well as some prepared meals that I cook ahead. Anything in jars is safe — power on, power off, moves across several states.
Generators can be great but please don’t put all your eggs in one basket . . don’t think because you have one, life will go on without missing a beat.
The news out of New York and New Jersey is so very sad but we can all learn a little from the experiences of those folks. I’m thanking my lucky stars that in the event of a major disaster in my area, we live in a rural area and not in a major city. I’m thankful that we have our well and as long as it has water, we control our supply and I’m thankful that we have a septic tank and it will not back up into our house because of a power failure. know there are folks who would be thanking their lucky stars to be in a city and not in a rural area. Look at what’s going on there and think about how a disaster on that scale — whether it be a hurricane, a flood, an earthquake, even a collapse of our economy . . how are your preparations going to hold up?
I doubt many of those folks in the area affected by Hurricane Sandy ever thought this could or would happen to them . . mass transit out for days, no gasoline, no power for as long as it’s going to be out. Don’t bury your head in the sand . . unexpected things can and do happen.
If you lose your home and everything you own, obviously the preparations you’ve done are gone too. We cannot plan for everything. Short of losing everything, most any prepping you do is better than nothing.