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Returning to old times

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This year, 2013, has been plagued by weather mishaps and natural phenomena of epic proportions causing injuries and death. Ice storm after ice storm has left many parts of this country without electricity. American states bordering Canada and Canada itself are still waiting for services to be restored. Live Science’s Countdown to 2013s Wildest Weather shows us that despite modern man living in digital times it seems as if we are being ushered into yesteryear.

Revisiting yesteryear

The yesteryear I am referring to is that time in American history, before the invention of electricity and gas lines. People warmed their houses with firewood and coal stoves. Hurricane lamps were used for lights. Water was fetched from a well. The food was in your garden, the meat in the pig pen or the hen house. The only reason people went to the store was to get rice, meal and flour.

The weather has been so catastrophic, isolating communities in the same manner communities were isolated in the 1800s. It has forced many people to scramble for survival. Some people know what to do, do you? Do you know how to survive without modern conveniences?

How to survive

Heat--Generators are a good idea, but you must store them outdoors, far from the house, because they give off carbon monoxide. Numerous reports are often in the news because people keep them close to prevent theft. A better and safer alternative is a portable kerosene heater. They can be kept indoors and they do give off fumes, but that can be remedied by keeping a window cracked. The beauty of them is that they do not require electricity. Liquid kerosene can be purchased at gas stations that carry it. Kerosene containers, usually blue, can be purchased at local hardware stores at Home Depot or Lowe’s. As long as you keep it away from high traffic areas in the home and a watchful eye, you should be fine.

Lights—Candles are the easiest to obtain because they are already stored in the house. However, they are the deadliest because they can be knocked over or a wind can blow the flame. Flashlights are the best alternatives, they are battery operated and can be turned off when not in use. Most houses have a good supply of batteries on hand for their remote controls.

Water—Water sources can become polluted inadvertently, especially during a water main break. These days five gallon water bottles are not just for the office, they can be delivered to the home; better yet they can be purchased at stores such as Wal-Mart. Having a few of these on hand beats having nothing to drink or to bathe with.

Grills and Charcoal—Barbeque grills are not only for the summer. They come in handy during an extensive power outage. Rather than let food spoil, why not cook it on the grill? At least you’ll be able to eat meat.

Lighters—A must have, and not for cigarettes. Utility/ Candle lighters are great for lighting grills and kerosene heaters. Old-fashioned matches are still available in small books and long sticks.

Fireplace--Buyers in the market for a new house should make sure the new home has at least one working fireplace. Fireplaces are not just for romance, they were the primary source of heat in older homes. Firewood can be purchased from locals.

May 2014 be less dramatic than our past year.

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