Hurricane Hermine came from the Gulf, across Florida, then up the eastern seaboard. It is now bearing down on New England, where I currently make my abode. The storm has weakened now, to become a Post-Tropical Cyclone, whatever that means. In any case, the storm is still capable of doing some damage, especially along the coastline. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of wind and not too much rain. But we are just on the edges of the storm. It should hit us Tuesday and
Wednesday, and be on its way out by Thursday.
The biggest risk, where I am situated, is power loss due to high winds. I’ve got flashlights, a lantern, batteries, and snap lights, so lighting is covered. Fortunately, the temperature this time of year is mild — not too hot and not too cold, whether day or night. In winter, a power loss puts you in real danger of freezing to death.
When there is no power, food preparation becomes, shall we say, interesting. Use up the perishable foods in the frig before they spoil. Freezer foods will keep somewhat longer. I’ve also cooked up some chicken and pasta in advance, for just such an eventuality. But if the power outage lasts, food choices quickly narrow.
We have a small alcohol stove that can be used to fry some foods or boil a little water. That’s very handy. Eggs are a good food to cook on an alcohol stove, as they don’t require a lot of heat or time for cooking. And eggs do not go bad quickly, even at room temperature. Everyone refrigerates their eggs, but if you lose power, keep the eggs. Just cook them well before consuming.
You can make your own alcohol stove. YouTube has more than a few videos on the topic. But I won’t opine about which design is best, there are so many. You can also buy one on the cheap at various websites.
Here’s an interesting option for cooking post SHTF. It’s the well-known Solo Stove, which burns kindling for cooking. And they have an alcohol stove option as an add-in product. Dual fuel stove. Very useful.
If you’d rather make your own, check out Zen and the Art of the Alcohol Stove. They have several good designs that are easy to make.
Some dry foods can be prepared without cooking. I particularly like couscous for that purpose. Add clean bottled water at room temperature. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, and voila, you have pasta. Steal one of those dry cheese packets from a box of mac and cheese, stir into the couscous, and you have a cheesy pasta without cooking. A similar operation can be performed on a packet of Ramen, but the texture is not quite as good.
One thing we did to prepare for storms is take down the tree in front of our house. Just next to the driveway, where a limb could fall and wreck a car, was a tree with several dead branches. The more dead branches on a tree, the more likely the whole tree is to come down in a storm. So the whole thing had to go.
Lastly I should mention clean water. A “boil water alert” is likely in a storm. The tap water will not be safe to drink. But with the power out, you can’t really boil the water. So having plenty of bottled water, and a water purification device, is a must for thorough storm prepping.
That’s all for now. I hope everyone survives this and other storms safely.