Sunday, September 15, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - September Week 2

A new week is upon us so it's time to work on another preparedness challenge. Since our focus this month includes emergency power, during September week 2 decide if you want to purchase a generator. Maybe it will be an early Christmas present for the safety of your family. This is definitely a study-it-out-in-your-mind kind of purchase because they cost anywhere from $400 to $6000. Also gather extra batteries this month.

1. Buy a Generator and Fuel
During a disaster, our power will most likely be shut off. Electricity powers many items including your wheat grinder, can opener, microwave oven, refrigerator, freezer, fans, furnace, air conditioning, electric stove top, washer, dryer, computers, television, medical equipment just to name a few. If you can't live without these for a week, maybe purchase a generator.
  • Here's a Consumer Reports article to study before you buy a generator.
  • Just like cases of bottled water, generators disappear from store shelves before a disaster. We don't always have warning when a disaster will strike.
  • Dual fuel portable generators run on either gas or propane. If your gas cans become empty, and gas station pumps run on electricity, where will you find more gas? Propane is an option.
  • Electricians can attach a more powerful generator to your home, but it's pricey.
  • It's a good idea to lock your generator to something if you are running it at night. Generators are loud and have been known to disappear overnight. 
  • Look up Sam's Club generators online. Different states will have different models. My local Costco has these portable generators on store shelves:

2. Buy Heavy-Duty Extension Cords
Besides having extra fuel on hand, you'll need long heavy-duty extension cords to plug your refrigerator and freezer or furnace into the generator. "Always operate a generator a minimum of 20 feet from your home, with the exhaust directed away from any windows, doors, air conditioners or other structures." Consumer Reports

  • Where is the best area to place your generator outside so you can plug items into it? Get out a measuring tape and measure the distance. It may surprise you how far it is. Our distance was 75 feet. You may end up buying two generators: one to keep your freezer foods safe in your basement and another to take care of other needs on another level of your home.

3. Buy Extra Batteries
It's always a good idea to have extra batteries on hand. Some are specialized. Consider some of the items you use batteries for in your home. Most flashlights use them as well as medical equipment and kids' Christmas toys.  Costco has Duracell AA (40 ct.) and AAA (32 ct.) on sale now until Sept. 29th. Regularly $16.99, they're $3.00 off. Sam's Club had them on sale last week.

EnJOY finding some power this week.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

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