Whether you have electricity or not certain tasks still must be accomplished. Some people liken a power failure to a snow day, where it’s a free day. Free from the hassles of school, chores, and responsibilities in general. It is not a free time, of course for adults, for responsible adults anyway. What makes the time different obviously is that you would have to accomplish your tasks without the benefit of electricity.
During the first few hours of a disruption, you are deciding if it will last. You expect, as proven by outages in the past that the lights will flicker back on, the refrigerator will start humming again, and the heat or AC will begin keeping you comfortable after just a few minutes or even a few hours of disruption.
You do not worry about chores during this time. The clock is ticking however, just how long will the power be disrupted, when will the faucets only deliver up air, do I need to draw off any water, do I have enough water jugs. When will it get to hot or cold in the house, and already you feel the hunger pangs, and it is hours before your normal dinner time.
Obviously you can go a few hours without preparing a meal, and you can go 24 hours without putting a meal on the table. You can eat foods out of cans or packages for a few days, but beyond that you have to establish a sense of normalcy. The family and you need the routine and everyone should be involved in preparing meals during a crisis. Therefore, it is important that you have the means to prepare meals during an extended power outage. The sense that things are normal will help keep the children and even adults calmed down, and will help you as you work through the crisis.
Some of you may have to report to work even if the power is disrupted. You have to be prepared for this by always having your vehicles topped off with fuel. Have flashlights and other portable light systems, because you may very well be required to work in the dark. Have extra clothing so you do not have to wear dirty uniforms. You know better than anyone what it takes to be ready for work, just keep in mind you may have to get ready and actually do your job using only generators or without any electricity at all.
Previous articles have talked extensively about sanitation during a crisis. Having a clean environment to eat, sleep and to do your daily chores in is important. Bacteria can spread rapidly during a crisis and often times it is the diseases brought about by a lack of sanitation procedures that kill more people than the initial crisis.
You need the means to clean your body and the home. Food preparation areas in particular must be sanitized properly. Not having hot and cold running water cannot be an excuse for not cleaning up. You have to stockpile the needed supplies before the crisis.
Unless you just have plastic knives and forks and use paper plates you will need to do dishes on a regular basis. You cannot let dirty dishes pile up in the sink. Remember, you may not be able to use your drains if you are on city sewer. The sewage plant may very well close its storm drains if there is an extended power outage, and this means you cannot run waste or water down the drains.
Human waste will be one of the bigger problems you encounter during an extended crisis. It is critical that you have the means to contain it and dispose of it when disaster strikes.
Garbage Still Has To Be Taken Out
Household garbage cannot pile up inside the home, on the deck or on the porches. If you cannot bury it properly then it should be in garbage barrels with lids. You need to keep rodents, insects, and four legged predators out of it. Garbage will breed bacteria quickly, so it has to be away from the home and away from humans.
Clean clothes are important especially for young children. Dirty clothes carry bacteria and it will spread from person to person. You need the supplies and the containers so you can wash clothing without electricity.
This means you need a sturdy and large container, water, soap and a place to hang clothes if it is raining outside. This chore has to be done regardless of the crisis. You may be able to go several days or longer depending on how many clothes you have, but remember dirty clothes lying around can breed bacteria.