Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Without Electricity

I get frustrated living without electricity. Getting about and doing things is a bit like a choreographed dance, but it takes practice. Everything needs to be in the right place at the right time or you end up working very inefficiently backtracking to get a flashlight, for example.

We have several flashlights and lanterns. Each needs to be staged at a certain place in the house so we can always find it. And, if you want to go to a dark part of the house, like to the basement, or into a closet, you need to remember to grab the right light. Of course, this would work if we always remembered to pick up the light when venturing into a dark place. And, if we always put lights back in their known staging location—which I, at least, don’t.

And, making sure the right kinds of light are available for cooking or cleaning can be a challenge. I know it sounds silly, but having to backtrack from the closet where I went to get some shoes all the way downstairs to get light, then back up to rummage in the closet can get frustrating and tiring.

To this, add the fact that without electricity we have no running water. In preparation for Sandy, we filled both upstairs bathtubs with water. This is for two purposes. One is to refill the toilet tank after flushing (which we do only when necessary), the other reason is for emergency water in case we go through the 15 gallons or so in plastic water “cans” also filled in prep for the storm.

The issue here is making sure you have a small bucket of water with you when you go to the toilet. With three bathrooms and two bathtubs and only two buckets, it becomes a complex asset management problem to take a crap.

Now, try making sure you have a water bucket plus some form of light each time you go to the toilet in the dark of night. They are never in the same place. And, you may need to go upstairs to fill the bucket from the bathtub prior to doing duty. Sometimes I go to look for the bucket forgetting to take a light.

The dogs seem to have it easy. They can pretty much see in the dark and don’t feel a compelling need to flush.

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Posted under: New JerseyStuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 10/31/2012 at 10:59 AM
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  1. Don’t forget your water heater. It should have several gallons of good water.

    Turn off the in-take valve. (to prevent any water from contaminating the water tank). The City water may need to be flushed once it is running again.

    Take care!


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/31/2012  at  01:45 PM
  2. We don’t have city water, we are on a well. And, the generator is not hooked up to run the pump. I actually think we are good with water, my problem is gasoline to run the generator so I can keep the food in the fridge and freezer good (and charge all the iAppliances). And, food is key since one of two grocery stores in town is shut down and the other is out of food since no trucks can get here to deliver stuff—including gasoline. There is/was one gas station open with gas earlier today and three sheriff deputies were diligently directing traffic there. (That’s how we spend our tax dollars in NJ.)

    Right now, we run the generator about 4 hours twice a day. It uses about 3/4 gallon of gas per hour. We have maybe 15 gallons left now. I thought I was being smart by filling each car with gas. That is about 50 gallons sitting in the cars. When I was a kid, we’d put a rubber hose in the gas filler and suck gas into our lungs until we had a good siphon going. I thought I could do that now, but bought a hand pump siphon to keep me from dying. Turns out, modern vehicles have a valve in the filler tube to both prevent spillage in a flip over accident and keep people from siphoning gas. No way to get to that stuff it turns out.

    Maybe a screwdriver into the bottom of the gas tank?

    Posted by Rick  on  10/31/2012  at  02:04 PM
  3. Good thing no human in this house is sick with diarrhea then. We really need to make sure we don’t get food poisoning from food that has not been kept at the right temperature.  Otherwise we might have a water shortage and then I might have to go down to the creek with two buckets on a pole over my shoulders to bring home some water like some old time woman-part-ox.

    Can anyone tell we are getting kind of punchy?

    Posted by Lynne  on  10/31/2012  at  02:26 PM

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