Monday, 21 January 2013

Preparing for emergencies - Candles & phones

Hi Bloggers.Welcome to two new followers who have joined up, big hello to 'Compostwoman' and JoAnn Hewitt , thanks for joining and please drop by from time to time.

I have been reading a series of posts by A Thrifty Mrs about being organised and she has been sharing great ideas about being more organised. One post was about emergencies and it got me thinking about something that happened last year when we were in our rented house.

One winter evening around teatime all the electricity went off. Looking out the window the whole street was in darkness. It later transpired that there was some problem and half the town was without power for around an hour. Being in a temporary home I had bits and pieces everywhere but couldn't lay my hand to anything quickly, so we sat in the darkness and waited it out. It was only for an hour but we didn't know that at the time. So after that I got some candles and matches in stock and placed , safely around the house. Each room now has at least one candle ( in some form of nice decorative holder ) dotted around the place should the need arise again with a big stock of traditional candles in the kitchen.

The other thing with the electricity going down was that the modern cordless phone we had in the lounge didn't work as it was powered off the electricity. We have now reverted back to the old BT style phone, so not only does it work off the phone line but also saves us a bit of cash not using the electric. Maybe if you have a few phones in your house, consider having an old style one somewhere so at least you have a fallback phone if the power does fail.


  1. I totally agree with you - people forget about the phone issue but modern phones rely on mains, whereas old style phones can still use the power coming down the telephone cable! We just bought one to replace our very old BT phone which died after 25 years of faithful service.

    I have to admit, living where we do we make a lot of preparations here - we got caught out big time in 2002 when we had no power, after the terrible Nov storms, for more than a week.

    We lost the entire contents of 3 freezers, all the organic meat, home grown veg - all of it apart from what we could cook and eat and cook and freeze in a friend's freezer - but we still lost a lot.

    And we are on a bore hole and septic tank here, both of which need power to run - Compostgirl was in washable nappies back in 2002 and it all got a bit smelly here!

    We had lots of food, lamps and candles and could cook on the Aga and woodburner but rapidly realised we needed a higher state of preparedness

    So we invested in a generator, and over the next year or so we re arranged things so by swapping usage around we can cook, have heating in upstairs at bedtime, keep the food frozen and get water and sewerage sorted. It has taken a lot of thought and planning!

    We also now have the solar thermal to worry about and have a scheme to make sure that it will still run even if the mains power goes off.

    I would love us to have battery back up for the pv's ...maybe next year?

    We also keep a stock of 5 l water bottles just in case - if all else fails I use them in the wood as drinking water for my woodland courses. The empty bottles get re used as demijohns for winemaking and eventually recycled.

    You make a really good point and we should all, where ever we live, be a bit prepared for bad weather.

    1. Thats on my 'to do ' list is to have some bottled water in stock, you never know even in summer they can turn the water off so it pays to be prepared .