We experienced generator shortages instead. We could buy food, but had no refrigeration.
[They also had safe running water.]
Each of you will be surprised at your own ingenuity in survival mode.
After a couple of days, our town got a few shelters opened. People lived in those shelters for nearly two weeks. So think about that issue.
I have come across a 'heater' that could keep you warm in one room of your apartment until a proper shelter could open. I will post that here soon. Some of us are now thinking how to get some built for the future.
Many ladies in our area are familiar with these things, but just watch the men use them. Women, step up and ask to do it on your own. The man might be out of town when you most need to use one.
Two gallons of coleman stove fuel will last for about three weeks-depending on how much you cook.
Buy the lamp/lantern oil unscented. Buy the large size. And store several. It lasts a long time if you don't keep the lanterns going all the time. Stock up on wicks. This is the woven fabric that carries the oil up to the top to light. We needed new wicks and could not purchase new ones.
I think lanterns are the most practical and safe. We had three lamps in the house and one lantern. None of the above are expensive, but the most necessary items in our situation.
I had purchased votives by the caseload on Sam's auction online. This is a great place to purchase many things-cheap. (I have a flea market booth and use the Sam's auction to supplement items I get from regular auctions and garage sales.)
These white votives were the kind restaurants use to keep carafes warm on tables, I think. They burn for about 8 hours.
My neighbor Beth came begging early on. She placed six of them on a white plate and they gave off great light for their living room. They existed on heat from their fireplace for 12 days.
So I followed her discovery and used the white votives in white plates also. Sitting these near a mirror doubles the light.
[Note: You can also get candle lanterns containing a mirror.]
I could get by for a long period of time with two of these for each room of my home I would need to use.
Those oh-so-warm blankets at Wal-Mart, etc. are an insulation blessing. I placed one over the sliding door in my kitchen. You need to be able to hold as much heat in as possible.
In twelve days, we only had sunshine twice! Sunshine heats the home naturally as well as feeds the spirit.
I had sister-Judith with me--diabetic. This required more hot cooking than I would have done with just hubby and I.
We also had the two extra cats which added to my work load. Mom's old cat has feline aids and had to be kept in a separate room-isolated. Judith's cat was also isolated because she is so fearful of other animals.
We created little 'nests' for both of these cats using extra insulated blankets.
We were only in the cold for three days. As soon as the generator was set up on the back porch, and the proper lines run, we were all relatively toasty.
We were able to add celery, carrots, and potatoes to these soups. Very nutritious. I will try to keep these stocked in my kitchen as we use them often anyway. About 5 packages would be a big help.
Some people found they could place a roll of toilet paper in a metal coffee can, saturate it with alcohol, fire that up and get some warmth. (Cannot speak of the safety of such, however.)
Discovered others were filling large containers with hot water from the tap and putting in on their bodies. We used a big coffee can full of hot water for Judy's cat Victoria who was very chilly in her isolated room. The bigger the container, the more heat generated and the longer it lasts.
We would have known all the steps to take before leaving our home. However, there is always the unexpected. On the second day, I heard water running. I discovered an outdoor faucet against our foundation was running at full force. Some coupling had given way or something. Had we been in a motel, our basement would have flooded after 12 days.
There are other reasons for staying home. For us it was all of our pets.
Our homeowner's adjustor came out this morning. You must contact them to get anything from your policy. Yes, they know you suffered a disaster, but will not contact you as will utilities, etc.
We will not get our reimbursement for three weeks.
In our situation, we could make a withdrawal from our account on the first day.
Our operating funds were already low. We suffered hail damage in March. Entire roof will be replaced. Got the work done on that in November, but so far had only received a partial-payment check. That check had been in our house for weeks. It was written to both of us AND the lending institution. We could not cash it. We will get some of it finally in a couple of days.
One ceiling was damaged by rain and had been covered. I have a man who has been doing jobs on the house for more than a month. We were paying him from our operating funds and things were still ok in our account until this disaster hit.
These disasters take money! You may recover most of your expenses, but it will be after the fact. Keep that in mind.