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Survival toys

It pays to know the safety issues with generators.
 (File Photo / The Spokesman-Review)
It pays to know the safety issues with generators. (File Photo / The Spokesman-Review)

I do not have survivalist tendencies for stormy weather. No barrels of drinking water stored under the house, no food rations for 21 days. I have adamantly refused to invest in a generator, citing the great $$$ for a few hours of power. “Silly,” I said.

In the recent storm, we had no power for two days = no lights, no heat and limited flushing since the septic can only take so much without the pump to pump. And the snow was two feet deep in every direction, no escaping for us. We were stuck. The house was 50 degrees on day two. Cold.

We did have:

  1. A weather radio. A monster radio that takes 9 C batteries and in return gives two different lighting options and radio! We listened to Steve Pool, weather man and Andy Wappler from Puget Sound Energy, report the latest weather news and power repair plans. Communication was everything,
  2. Hotties™ - little packets of heat, activated when you remove their plastic packaging and shake the contents. One in each sock toasted my tootsies for a few hours.
  3. I don’t care what the latest bedding trend is, our ancient wool blankets kept us warm at night. Oh, and the 95-pound German Shepherd who has her own warm coat, was coveted by each of us for warmth.
  4. Speaking of the dog: we had bottled water for all of us and dog food apportioned out for her, three little sandwich bags full, eliminating the need to grope in the dark garage where the food is stored.
  5. Cell phones and chargers. When the batteries were low, we went to the truck in the driveway and charged them up. Communication was still everything.

When the power returned, the house needed only three hours of that furnace before it was warm again. Hot showers, lighted rooms and the buzz of the refrigerator brought us back to normal. All that is left is the cleanup of the downed trees and branches in our yard. And watching for the UPS guy to deliver that thing we ordered the night the power returned: a generator.

(S-R archives photo)

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.