Monday, January 2, 2012

Present to Myself

As most of you know I live near the Gulf Coast of Texas just north of Houston.  We get hurricanes.  We seem to have bypassed one this year but you just never know.  Katrina and Ike were near enough that I lost electricity for a week or more each time.  So I decided to buy myself a Christmas present that will come in very handy.
This radio gets AM, FM Short Wave 1 & 2 and NOAA the weather service.  It can run on batteries, by the handy hand crank on the side or the solar panel on the back.
It has a handy little light on one side and attachments to connect and charge a cell phone or ipad should I ever decide I need one of those items.
It works quite well and I got it for a good price at just under $55 with free shipping on Ebay.  And in a color that looks nice in my kitchen!  Decor is very important when you are stuck with no electricity which means no internet. LOL.
I've also been saving up my 2 liter juice bottles and now have 10 filled with water.  I decided to use the bottom cabinet of the linen closet in the hall.  It is narrow, just 14" wide with 3 sections, each 2 feet tall.  Very un-useful as there are no shelves in those sections.  The center one holds towels and extra soap for the bathroom at that end of the house, the top one is half full of toilet paper.  The bottom just held junk.  The junk is gone and I re-inforced the floor and made a second shelf half way up with 1x6 shelving.  The way they built the storage spaces in this mobile home is with fiber board covered with paper to look like wood, most of it is less than 1/4" thick.  I already had one shelf in the pantry to go south, literally.  That's the next project to take care of...I bought lots of wood shelving.
The bottom shelf is not bowing, its the angle of the camera.  On the top shelf is a box of powdered milk, 2 canisters of seasoned salt behind which are 2 canisters of dried onions, and a pint jar of dried green peppers.  I will be adding more dried items to the top shelf and fill the bottom with water bottles.
In case you would like to store water safely for emergencies, use only plastic containers made for drinks such as juice or soda bottles.  Do not use milk bottles as it is near impossible to get all the milk protein cleaned out and that type of plastic will break down quickly causing leaks in your storage area.  Clean out your bottles well.  I squirt in some dish soap and fill with hot water, swishing it around.  dump that water into the next bottle and fill the first with more hot water to rinse.  I rinse about 3 times, using the water to go from one bottle to another, rinsing in fresh hot water for the last rinse.  Then I add 1 teaspoon of bleach and more hot water and let them stand at least 30 minutes.  Rinse well with hot water again.  Scrub the lids and fill with bleach water too, rinse well. 
Some folks say to let the bottles air dry but I can't figure out why if you are going to add water anyway.  Add 1/8 teaspoon of bleach to each half gallon or 2 liter bottle then fill with cold tap water nearly to the top as you don't want much air trapped in there.  Let sit uncapped for 30 minutes.  Cap and label with the date.  You will need to redo these after 6 months to make sure the water is fresh.  If not used for drinking within the 6 months then use to water plants, flush toilets, as mop water, etc.  When you need to use them as drinking water pour the water back and forth from one container to another before use to oxygenate it as it will taste better.


Debra Spincic said...

The solar panel idea is good! I also heard that the outdoor solar yard lights are good to have on hand for indoor lights in an emergency. I was at Walgreens and got some in the clearance aisle for 50 cents. They are great and light up around the backyard. In an emergency, I would just bring them inside and we could see. The charge lasts at least 8 hrs and you can put them back outside the next day.

jenclair said...

After we had a run in with a tornado, I got one of these radios. Much more important in hurricane country since the possibility of a major storm is something you are always aware of. Looks as if you are prepared!

Mum said...

I have a wind up / solar powered radio too. Who needs batteries now? Wishing you a prosperous New Year.
Love from Mum

Lord Wellbourne said...

These are all good ideas whether you live in Hurricane Country or Blizzard Country. Except for the water aspect--we have plenty of that in a blizzard--I keep the self-sustaining radio nearby and a quarter of the basement filled with canned foods and non-perishables 'just in case'. I never thought about using solar yard lights for indoor use--what a great idea!

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