Do Household Appliances Die in Threes Like Celebrities?

2 Nov

My handheld blender and my heating pad both died this week – on the same day! I hope I’m not on track for a third dead appliance this week.

Hey! What’s new? Other than the whole hurricane hitting the East Coast thing and all. Because, yeah, I still can’t believe that happened. We made it through relatively unscathed, though the crazy winds were pretty scary and the power flickered a lot. I know plenty of others who were not so lucky, though, so trust me, we are very thankful for the way our house held up.

Also, ha, my father in law is currently visiting. You know, during the hurricane. Fun times for him! I bet he wishes he were at work instead of holed up inside our house for two days watching nothing but the weather channel. Guess you can’t prepare for everything your guests might need – like fresh air and hot water and cooked food!

Although it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Since I am a food hoarder of sorts, we were never in any danger of starving. But my fear was that we’d have to eat cold sandwiches for every meal for a week! So, yeah, I did some prep work and research (research – I hate research! but I did it anyway.). And since I love it when others do research for me, I’ll share my findings with you. Hopefully you won’t ever have to use it, but maybe you will.

FYI: I’m no doomsday prepper, but all the news stations were saying we could be without food or water for a week (which some places are), hence the heavy preparations.

How to prepare for a hurricane (and probably blizzard as well):

- Gather all camping materials – you’ll probably need most of them if you get caught without power. I mean, minus the tent.
– Flashlights – charge if rechargeable batteries
– Candles – strategically place one in every room (including bathrooms) and on landings. Also make sure you have one at arm’s length so you don’t have to stumble for it should the lights go out!
– Matches! I take matches from everywhere we go, so I put a match book next to each candle in the house.
– Ice and ice packs – I turned on our “ice plus” function on our refrigerator and also filled several ice cube trays. I also bought a bag of ice and put all the ice packs (from our coolers) in the freezer. That way if the power went out we’d be able to keep food from perishing for at least a few days (and if you know about my FULL basement freezer, you know this is a major concern of mine!).
– Coolers – we brought 3 coolers in from the garage so we wouldn’t have to run out and try to find them if the power went out and we needed to fill them with food.
– Water, water, everywhere! There were pictures on my facebook of local grocery stores being completely sold out of bottled water. I mean, I guess it’s a good idea, but I refused to do that. I just filled every available reusable water bottle and pitcher we had.
– More water – fill your bathtub (and make sure you take one last shower before you do). You can use the water in it for flushing toilets or cleaning things (including spot cleaning yourself I suppose). Can’t hurt and everywhere recommends this!
– Close all blinds and curtains. Ok so my husband was probably cursing me when I told him about this because I’ve been on a slow mission to rid our house of blinds because the previous owners literally had them in every.single.window. I’d much rather have curtains than blinds. Also, by blinds I mean the white plastic ones, not roman shades or whatever. Anyway, the logic behind this I guess is that if something flies through the window there will at least be some kind of extra barrier between it and you (and probably contains broken glass better).
– Clean up the yard! I wasn’t there when my husband and FIL did this, but I know it was a lot of work. Put away anything that could be picked up by high winds and cause damage or injury. Basically, everything.
– Hang out in a room with no, or minimal, windows. We didn’t exactly do this… but if the power had gone out I totally would have insisted on it (because that’s when it gets real! in my mind…). I didn’t really want the three of us (plus Stevie) hanging out in the dining room all day. It wouldn’t have been very comfortable!
– Put the e-brake on in your car. They were calling for 60+mph winds in our area – which may have been enough to push my car down the driveway! PS – My car is old, which to me means there’s more of a chance of this happening.
– Cook up a storm! (ha, get it, storm) Ok so you don’t have to do this, but I did. I woke up early and decided I was going to cook breakfast (this NEVER happens), since it could be our last hot meal for a while, and then I proceeded to cook cheddar broccoli soup for lunch. As in, enough for an army. I kind of forgot how much the recipe made, so I doubled it to make sure we’d have enough for a few days. However, this used up a few ingredients I had in the freezer, which would have been a score if the power went out! I also busted out my breadmaker and whipped together a loaf of bread. AND THEN I cooked dinner. As in, all before 11am on Monday. Basically, I was so worried the power would go out and I wouldn’t have anything to cook on that I tried to get it all done ahead of time and worry abut reheating and refrigerating later.
– Consider your alternate cooking options – if the power were to go out, I would have reheated all of this in my fondue pot. Yes, fondue pot! No one really thinks of it, but it is another heat source. Also, a grill (but make sure you have propane or charcoal ahead of the storm).
– We are always stocked food and otherwise for about a month ahead of time. My husband complains about this, but hey, we weren’t running out to the store for ANY last minute provisions. The only thing we went out for was propane for the grill. However, if you’re not always stocked, think of the things other than food and water that you’d need if you were stuck in your house for a week: toilet paper, paper towels, medicines, first-aid items, pet food, etc.
– Charge all of your chargeable electronics! They may be your life line. There are people in NYC fighting for power outlets to charge their phones right now in order to get in touch with the outside world.
– Get an old school phone. Remember when I was talking about my old school phone? And how in an emergency it would be key? Yeah, foreshadowing much? If our power went out, our land line would also not have worked because we don’t have a cool see-through neon flashing phone. Or just because our phones are totally electronic and wouldn’t function without electric. Either way.
– Oh yeah, and booze! Booze helps pass the time. And if I hadn’t been with my husband, the worst game player ever (terrible loser AND winner), and FIL whom I believe may have the same traits, board/card games would have been involved.

We did a lot of preparation, but were lucky enough to not have any problems. But I’d still do all of it over again. What’s the harm? We lost like one bathtub full of water. I’m using all the extra ice and pitchers of water, the food got eaten, and nobody got impaled by one of our garden ornaments —> win.

Also, I’m not saying we were spared entirely. If the power went out, there was really not a whole lot we could do to prevent our basement from flooding aside from pray. My firm closed down all of our northeast offices for 2 whole days. I’ve been with the firm for 5 years and we’ve never even had a snow day. Not even during snowmaggeddon. The train lines in and around Philadelphia were shut down entirely for two days. I’m used to a delay or cancellation on individual lines, but in 7 years of living in this area have never seen the whole transit system shut down. There were trees ripped out of the ground, 60+mph winds whipping all around, and for god’s sake the dog had to pee in the middle of it all. The Jersey Shore is no more. At least, not the way it used to be. I have no idea what the future holds for it. Does Long Island still exist? I don’t even know.

Prepper for life (even when there’s not a hurricane)

-C

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One Response to “Do Household Appliances Die in Threes Like Celebrities?”

  1. cheri cord November 4, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    you did everything right! we in MD were spared what your mom is going thru (this time) — but i have been thru the ice storm of 1994, snowmagedden, isabel and irene — and going without power, gas, water, etc — for 3 – 5 days each time. its no joke after that first “isn’t camping out and cooking on the grill fun” day. Love you all!! poor Peter — he’ll never want to visit the USA again!!

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