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View Diary: Reposting--Hurricane Checklist (72 comments)

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  •  Speaking of prepping your lawn... (4+ / 0-)

    For those of you have a pool, I learned of a neat trick from my parents that they learned from neighbors when preparing for Ike down in Houston.  Anything you have outdoors that's water-tolerant but could get thrown around, like patio furniture, just set it on the bottom of the pool.  Things don't blow around at the bottom of a pool  ;)

    For those who don't have the budget for a generator, if you have a car inverter for running electronics during long trips, those are great.  There are two types -- ones that run in a cigarette outlet and can get you something like 150-200W max, and ones that hook up to the battery which can get you something like 3-4 times as much.  Neither's going to run your AC, but even a good cigarette lighter inverter can handle a laptop and half a dozen CFLs, or whatnot.

    Concerning the "canned milk (ugh)" -- not that there's enough time for this, but as a note for the future -- I've found two brands of powdered milk that actually taste good, and no, I'm not kidding.  I found some sites that reviewed a ton of powdered milks (with widely varying results from brand to brand), then conducted my own double-blind taste test using the best-rated ones (plus real skim milk and a general store-brand powdered milk).  It was soooo obvious which one was the store-brand powdered milk; it was disgusting.  But two powdered milks ranked as good or better than fresh milk: Augason Farms "Country Cream", and "Morning Moos".

    Likewise, while it's too late for getting ready for this storm, we have slowly accumulated dozens of cans of freeze-dried fruits and veggies.  OMG, freeze-dried fruits and veggies are awesome.  They're nothing like dehydrated.  You look at a raisin, and it's a little shriveled black thing that will never, ever again be like a grape, no matter what you do with it, and which doesn't taste like a grape.  You look at a freeze-dried grape, and it looks like a grape; you soak it in some warm water for a while, and you've pretty much got a grape back.  But without soaking them, they're crispy, crunchy, and oh-so-sweet (the natural sugars are all concentrated).  Even freeze-dried cheese -- you add hot water to it and it cook it, and it gets all melty, bubbly, etc.

    We have our freeze-dried stuff not for emergencies, actually (that's just a nice side-benefit), but so that we always have a wide range of fruits and vegetables on hand.  We cook with carrots, for example, at irregular intervals.  If we buy a bunch of carrots at the store, who knows whether they'll get used or rot?  But having them here freeze-dried, we always have them on hand to cook with.

    We get most (although not all) of our freeze dried stuff from Honeyville Grain.  They also sell bulk grains, flours, etc, as well as the proper buckets for long-term food storage, with the airtight screw-on lids designed to keep moisture and pests out.  We also have an industrial coffee grinder which we bought on ebay which we use to grind our own flours (although that's sort of an extreme sort of thing which I imagine not everyone would be into... but ignoring that, I still must strongly recommend freeze-dried food, for anyone!)

    •  Oh, and instead of charcoal.... (5+ / 0-)

      I'd strongly recommending doing cooking with a camping/backpacking stove.  Smaller, faster, easier.  Having a nice charcoal BBQ may be fun when everything is going great for you, but when your life has fallen apart due to a protracted power outage, you really just want convenience.

      There are a wide variety of camping/backpacking stoves.  The lightest and easiest just screw onto propane/butane canisters.  On the other end of the spectrum is the liquid fuel stoves.  You have to pump them up to pressurize them, and they're more likely to have mechanical problems (although most are pretty reliable), but the fuel (esp. if they can run on gasoline) is cheap and more readily available.  Well, "more readily available" unless you live in Iceland, where remote gas stations don't carry things like tylenol but do carry propane/butane gas canisters  ;)

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