You set this up before I got the chance to! We just got our power back on yesterday evening at 5pm (Wednesday 9/13).
We are located in what is deemed “middle Georgia” on the eastern side of the state for reference. We are on our homestead as well.
Last week was spent getting ready for the hurricane a bit at a time so by Sunday we were ready to hunker down.
We awoke at 7am Monday morning to wind and rain. I took the dogs out to do their business with a heavy duty golf umbrella. They weren’t too freaked out and neither was I. We still had power and were thinking, hmm, this might not be too bad after all.
We were able to watch some news and weather, have breakfast and keep things washed up. The wind continued to pick up and rain got heavier. By 1020am, the electricity cried “uncle” and gave out. We would later learn our circuit was heavily damaged and not seen from any of the main roads the crews were monitoring during the storm. We actually gave it an hour just to see if it was out for good. At the one hour point we got our butts in gear and cranked up the generator. We had not fueled it because we just weren’t sure we would lose power – so fueling the the thing in the blowing wind and rain on the back porch. We hooked up the freezer, the fridge and a fan. Having some air circulation in the house was nice. The temps had been cool all week so it wasn’t hot but we only had one window cracked open a bit because we were getting rain and wind from all sides. We could hear on our two way radios another couple down the street struggling with their generator as the husband was calling the wife to see what was working in the house – they never got their generator up to speed for their whole house so they will be investigating why that was a problem with a 10,000 Watt generator. Point here – even proven preps sometimes fail, even if not completely.
We had (2) 7 gallon Aqua-tainers pre-filled to use at the sink. These worked perfectly. Highly recommend – purchased from Walmart I think. They’re blue square containers with a spigot. The first day, I went through one container to which hubs said “find a better way to conserve the water”. OK, do dishes only once a day instead of twice I say to myself. Point here is – water goes faster than you think. We take for granted how many times a day we just wash off our hands real quick or wash up as we go -which I do often. A canister of wet-ones was placed at the bathroom sink as well as a pump of hand sanitizer at the kitchen sink. We found the wet-ones wipes to be especially useful as they helped if you splashed any gas on you when filling the generator. We didn’t use the faucets from the point the electricity went off to save whatever was in the well bladder for flushing. It lasted 4 flushes before we needed to fill the tank manually and that wasn’t until the next day. Point here – if its yellow, let it mellow…and you know the rest.
The worst of the storm was from around 1pm to 330pm. It wailed on us pretty good and I was nervous watching the pine trees. Luckily we didn’t lose any trees, just a whole bunch of debris. Funny observation, chickens didn’t seem to be bothered by the high winds and neither were the hummingbirds. All of them looking for their food! I attempted to take the dogs out again around 230pm, this time wearing a rain coat as the wind was too strong for the umbrella – the big one wouldn’t come off the porch but the little one made a bee line for the tree line to pee. I was ankle deep in water and looking out for trees. I could not see them but fire ants were floating and several found me! We would experience their wrath every day as they were everywhere and you couldn’t always see them until they stung you. Damn ants.
The winds were still with us through the night, dying down then gusting some, and a few light showers as well. Some folks got their power that very night. We grilled a pork chop and heated a can of green beans on our propane grill and stove for supper. We washed our hair in the kitchen sink using warmed water. I set up a simple sponge bath system in our walk in shower. We opted to have a shower curtain instead of a door and this helps a lot. Water for flushing was stored in the shower too, out of the way. As the day began winding down, the lights blinked back to life at 910pm for a whole 4 minutes. Oh the celebrating and quick shuffle to unplug items and call our friends with the whole house generator and just like that…it went off and stayed off. We gave it an hour or so and plugged the freezer back into the generator and went to bed.
We used battery operated Coleman lanterns for light. Hear me tell you, it is DARK at night with no power and heavy clouds. Like wake in the night, can’t see nothing, need a flashlight to go to the bathroom! DARK. We had brought the fan into the bedroom for air circulation and white noise.
Thought for sure we would get power back on Tuesday. Had to provide a neighbor some water from our rain barrel so he could flush their toilet. Drove into nearest town to assess damage in the area and allow hubs to check email and VM for his work. We get zero cell service at our home without a booster – we also found out later that all service went down that afternoon around 1pm in town. The couple of fast-food places were slammed as our town had 3 full motels of FL and GA evacuees (we didn’t partake, just observed). We drove back home observing lots of trees down, debris, metal roof damage on old buildings, trees on power lines, downed power lines and no power crews in site. When we returned home we hooked up the TV and cable box (Direct TV) – this was nice to keep an eye on weather and news, not to mention watching a movie to pass the time in the dark. Found out from a friend that it could be a couple more days before our power came back on. We were offered a shower at a friends but we decided we could handle this – we thought it was a great exercise for us. Sandwiches for lunch and grilled sausages and macaroni & cheese for dinner. Thank goodness for propane grill and stove! Just miss that running water! Another sponge bath before bed. Point here – in a SHTF, people will stink, no doubt about it.
Wednesday we went back into town, CVS hubs had meds to pick up and we needed more wet-ones wipes but they didn’t have any. Stopped at Harvery’s Supermarket – they hadn’t had any deliveries since before the storm except for a meat truck that had arrived that morning. Shelves were light but not awful. Onto Wal-mart – Their shelves were a little more lightly stocked than Harvey’s. Very little bread, the snack cake aisle looked like wolves had gone through it, PB & J stock was very low. But I did find Wet-ones wipes and picked up a few things – hubs wanted a couple of cords/plugs for the generator as we were anticipating higher temps and needed/wanted the AC. Got some lunch in town and delivered some food to our neighbors – gas station fried chicken…please don’t judge me, lol, it is so good!
At this point you find yourself in a routine. It really doesn’t take long. Yes, we still flipped a light switch here and there! If you flushed, you went out to the rain barrel to refill. You made sure you cleaned your shoes/feet as to not drag in too much dirt or sand. I had already planned our dinner, invited friends over and was settled into our routine and accepted the fact that we may have to continue for a few more days and…it came back on. Just like that. And it stayed on!
I threw in a load of wash, washed the dishes in the sink, quickly vacuumed the floor and made dinner. We celebrated with our prepper friends that we now had running water! Indoor plumbing, what an amazing blessing.
Statistics: Posted by ForwardPreppers — Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:03 pm