|NASA satellite photo of the huge February 2011 snow storm|
The only thing that gave me pause was the thought of what I would do if we lost power. Sure, I had plenty of food I could cook on my gas stove and non-electric playthings to keep the kids busy, but how would I keep them warm? The only source of heat in our house is the furnace. It burns propane but it also requires electricity to function. I wouldn't even be able to drive somewhere that still had power or a generator since my mini-van would be no match for the large drifts of snow in our driveway.
That sick feeling you get when you realize you've forgotten something important lodged in my stomach. Oops. That's a rather large hole in my preps. Thankfully, the layer of ice we received wasn't enough to bring down the power lines and a potential crisis was averted.
I hadn't totally forgotten about the issue of keeping warm during the winter. I just blithely decided that food storage was more
WRONG! I failed to remember the Rule of Redundancy: you need to have back-ups for all vital preps! Even something as old-fashioned and simple as a wood stove could fail. What if you run out of wood? Maybe you get sick and become physically unable to cut wood and haul it inside. Having a back-up plan for heating your home in such a situation could make all the difference.
One of my prepping goals for 2011 is to start saving up for a small house renovation that would include one of these fabulous soapstone wood stoves. We'll do this, but we also need to get something like one of these Mr Heater "Big Buddy" Propane Heaters. It's safe to use indoors, shuts off if it tips over (important with my crazy rugrats), and can be hooked up to the kind of propane tank you'd use with a gas grill.
How would you keep your family warm if the power went out? If you haven't thought about it (or if you've ignored it because it's not one of the "fun" preps ), it's time to think it through. Especially if you read one meteorologist's predictions for the next five winters.