Hunkering Down

“Now, Laura, you gotta hunker down.”
-my former boss

At one of my previous jobs, my boss would sometimes feel frustrated at my enthusiasm.  He was from central Pennsylvania.  I never heard the term “hunker down” until I met him, so I don’t know if it was his expression or a central Pennsylvania thing.  He’d tell me to “hunker down” often.  We had different points of view on a lot of workplace issues, but we got along well.

Now I hear his words echoing in my head at times like this- times when we’re preparing for severe snow storms.  We really hunker down, but I think my boss and I have different definitions.

In this blogpost I will give you a quick summary of what we do here at Kevin’s and Laura’s Little House on the Prairie to hunker down when we’re expecting bad weather…

1.  We already have flashlights and candles in the house.  We don’t use a whole lot of battery-operated things, so we don’t have too many batteries. I have tons on candles.

2. We kind of count on loosing power, and that’s OK.  We live a pretty simple lifestyle, so it’s be OK if we lost power for a while.  We’ll loose the computer, the oven, the lights, the appliances and the water.  That’s OK.  We’ll be fine.

3. We prepare for not having water. We shower so we’re good to go there, at least for a little bit.  We have some outdoor plastic containers with water that can be used for flushing.  We keep bottled water in the house.

4. We put away our vehicles.  We have a garage for them all but rarely use them.  We put away our vehicles when we’re hunkering down.

I took this picture of my kids a few weeks ago, just being silly.  You can see our wood box in the background.  When we're hunkering down, I overfill it, as high as I can.

I took this picture of some of my kids a few weeks ago, just being silly. You can see our wood box in the background. When we’re hunkering down, I overfill it, as high as I can.

5. We feed the critters extra.  We give extra food to the goats, pigs and cows.  It’s a lot easier to do a quick checkup on them in a blizzard and not have to feed them, too.  We give them enough food to last a few days.  We make sure they’re all snug.  We make a backup plan if we loose power and have baby chicks (which we don’t have right now).

6. We make sure we have plenty of wood.  We heat with wood, so loosing power won’t affect us.  Our backup heat is a floor furnace, which also doesn’t need electric.  We make sure we have a lot of wood next to the front door and in the indoor wood box.  We overfill the indoor wood box with enough wood to last as maybe 36 hours, even if the temperatures are cold and we need to constantly feed the wood burning stove.  (I have a huge deck box that I keep in my living room for wood.  It holds enough wood to get us through blizzards, is durable and not too tacky and keeps all the wood debris and dirt contained.I seriously recommend a deck box like this to anyone else who heats with wood everyday. This deck box is the best I’ve found and I’ve tried a few different indoor wood holding systems.)

7. We have a propane stove.  We can use the stovetop to cook without power.  We can also cook on top of the wood burning stove.  I’ve done this in the past when we used to have an electric stove.

8. We catch up on everything beforehand.  I try to be caught up on laundry.  I’m never really caught-up-caught-up, but I make sure mostly everything is done and dried before we’re expecting bad weather.  Even if we don’t loose power, we don’t use the dryer and we can’t dry clothes on the line outside in a blizzard. We’re a family of seven and laundry is critical. We burn the trash, take out the compost and what-not, too.

9.  If Kevin has to work, he prepares to be stuck there. He takes the pickup which has four wheel drive.  He packs extra food.  We hate for him to be stuck there, but it’s happened before.

10. We’re always really supplied.  Living out here, it’s a road trip and an all day adventure to go to real stores.  We always have stuff in the house.

What do you do to hunker down?  How do you prepare for blizzards?


Posted in A Day In the Life, Also Known As Logistics and Management in a Large Family, Heating the House, Knowing What to Do to Feel a Little Bit Less Like the Woman in the Shoe, Laundry, Laura's Little House on the Prairie and tagged , by with no comments yet.