oh man! the shaking, rattling and rolling...and raining began again about a half hour after i posted my last message. by 11:30pm - the power was out again! dang nabbit! but as the power had been on for several hours and the fridge, freezer, sump-pump, etc. were all fine - we weren't too worried. however, when we called NS Power and they told us that the power wouldn't be back on until 2pm today (it is 12pm right now) - jambaloney went out and got the generator set up, brought up our kerosene heater and lamps, i quickly grabbed some food out of the fridge and we set up the hotplate. we were going to wait and see how long the power would really be out before worrying about the fridge/freezer.
so there we were huddled together on the couch with blankets wearing 3 layers of clothes, talking and laughing together in the middle of the night. he had a rhum and coke, i had a glass of red wine. and then we started talking about all of our preparations for the storm and how we could handle them better next time.
jambaloney has several different sized Ryobi battery-powered flashlights and several batteries which we always keep charged. we keep a drawer filled with emergency candles, lighters and matches. we have a triple-tap RV generator extension cord that we can plug any 120v appliance into, if need be. we have our hotplate for cooking, as well as our propane bbq - the bbq also has a single burner that can be used for cooking. we always have 4 18l jugs of water on hand...and with 2 Berkey Filtration Systems and two rainbarrels - water is never an issue. we have a 2300btu kerosene heater and two oil lamps - although i don't like the kerosene heater nor the oil lamps - both put out an amazing amount of heat very quickly. last but not least - we have about 15 different places that we can go to between our two villages in the event of the power outage lasting longer than just a few days. Fourchu is on a different grid line than our town so if it came down to it we could go there, or people there could come here. and if it ever got really bad - we have friends in several other places on the island - some about an hour away - some almost 2 hours away.
some things that we thought of and talked about to better prepare us were mostly related to food. as we knew about the weather bomb ahead of time, and when a storm hits its hard not to notice - one of the things that we will do in the future is take 2-3 days worth of food out of the refrigerator and put that food in a cooler down in the basement. as well, we will be sure to put frozen freezer packs in the fridge and freezer before a storm for just in case measures. yesterday and last night all i wanted was fresh veggies because we could not open the fridge/freezer - isn't that always the way? we always keep a bowl of fruit on top of the fridge so we had fruit but of course - i wanted what i couldn't have! we have tons of canned food and whatnot but it just wasn't what i wanted.
another thing that we thought of was when we think we can potentially lose power, jack the heat up in every room so that the ambient heat lasts longer. we certainly didn't freeze or anything but we were chilled and that is not fun. the ambient heat of the house lasted for several hours last night but started to cool quickly by early morning. that's when we got our blankets out and cuddled - cuddling helps!
we always have seasonal BOBs in the house and a large bin in the back of the truck that stores additional stuff like extra coats and mitts, socks, blankets, first aid kit, food, candles, etc - the usual stuff. if it came right down to it - we could have gone out in the truck and started it and gotten warm. and there is always the Vandura (we really need to stop using it as a shed!). when not full of crap - the Vandura has it's own propane furnace and stove, as well as a sink, a fridge and a composting toilet. it is currently filled with crap but also contains blankets, food, first aid kit, etc.
all in all - the storm wasn't too bad. Craig and Stephen joked about the winds not being as bad as in hurricane country, but they were the worst winds we have experienced so far! add to that that we are right on top of a hill, with a 1000ft road for the wind to come barreling up and belt this little cottage and we sure are glad that we don't live in hurricane country!
anyway - we stayed up all night because neither of us could sleep, talked, laughed, joked, had some serious discussions, checked back with NS Power several times and did the dance of the sugar plum faeries when the power came back on at 7:42am. the crying started at 7:44am when the power went back out again! i called NS Power and the automated message said that power had been restored to our area. i transferred to a live person and as they called up our address, they could see that our power had not been restored. they said that in their best estimate we would get our power back at 2pm today. again, true to form, our power was back on at 9:45am.
back in the city, we had solar-powered hot water and rarely pulled from the city's water. we have planned since we got here to get a full solar/wind-powered set up here. we have planned to implement the first stage of that set-up this spring. there is a company here in cape breton that does free estimates and has several different payment options. being that we are on a cleared hill, we get beautiful sun most days but always have wind. we are looking very much forward to getting a full solar/wind set-up and will provide all of the details as it happens.
then we won't have to worry about power outages ever again!