Were They Prepared?

In the currently frozen north (Washington), in a little town about 40 minutes away from Mt. Rainier, there are 3 ladies in a nice sized home on over 5 acres. They have 3 stories, an attached garage, a creek, wooded land and a secure location just at the end of a semi-private road.

A few days ago, the ice and snow blew up a few transformers in the area, and tree branches added their weight to the problems by downing power lines up the street.

They still have no power.

What they do have is bottled water, candles, food, lots of blankets and a functioning propane system. With no power, the propane furnace won’t run and the electric well pump sits idle. The house is equipped with a propane fireplace (which creates only modest heat) and a propane oven /stove.

They are making do my keeping the frozen food outside in the snow, and by melting some snow on the propane stove to get enough water to flush the toilets. They would trek out to the creek for water if need be, but the marsh area and soggy approach make that a last choice. Melting the water on the stove has given them enough for toilet and body-wash duties, and has the side benefit of warming that floor of the house to the mid-to-high sixties.

Without the usual electronics, entertainment is at a new low. I’ve wondered how things might go without the companionship of gadgetry, and the abundance of human contact. In their case, the shock is felt, but they are getting along fine, even though they have not been able to go to work or school due to closures in the area.

The short-haired dogs are not fond of doing their business in the snow, so they make use of a spot cleared for them by mommy. The sole cat has an equal dislike for frozen facilities, but makes due with his litter box. The three of them provide some entertainment for the humans in their lives.

No phone, except for cells. They keep them charged when they are in their cars. For immediate human contact, they have some neighbors to visit. When they leave the house, they hear generators here and there… some loud and others rather quiet. They suspect that a few are propane powered.

As for buying a generator, they are now sold on the idea. A good 17K propane unit is in the running. The gate opener is running on batteries for now. It will need a solar charger, or a nice feed from that future generator.

The ladies had taken prior steps to be sure they had food and water, and firearms and training. While they are not as well prepared as their long term neighbors (they moved there within the last year), they brought a decent mindset along with them. Things are settling down in the new home, and the transition from city dwellers to country gals is well under way. The best preps they have are their heads. They have taken this “dry run” as a test case. Their plans don’t only include a generator. They are also looking forward to a wood burning insert for their fireplace, if it will handle one, or a wood stove with a professionally installed flue. A battery bank is planned for keeping minor electrical devices running in the event of a generator failure. They might even make use of a small portable gen set, fueled by gasoline.

The daughters and granddaughter said that I would be proud of my survivalist kiddos. I am. Even more so that they kept a good-natured outlook on things, and see it all realistically. Their venture into the lifestyle is a recent development, and I’m happy to see that some of the basics that I’ve pushed for have taken hold. I’m certain that now, it will be even important to them, thanks to some heavy snow and cheap transformers.

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