You read that title right, if you live in the city you probably were not aware that a bad ice storm rolled in Thursday, March 24th. We lost power that night around 7pm. In all honesty, living in the country, I am usually very prepared for a storm. I keep my eye on the weather often and when I see bad weather will be rolling in, I try to stock up on our food and water in case we can't get out on the roads for a day or two. We have a wood fireplace that keeps the house warm, but when the power goes out, the fan which circulates the heat doesn't work since it is hard-wired to our panel box. Our heat is cut by 80% once that goes out.
WELL - I underestimated this storm. I did do some grocery shopping on Tuesday, but I forgot to stock up on water. Not only that, but we are under renovation and currently in the drywall stage. Lots of mud is going up on the walls and this is a messy job. Your tools get very dirty and it is important to keep them clean.
Branko stepped outside to start the BBQ for dinner and all he could hear was BAM BAM BAM. Trees crashing down one after another. Each time we heard the noise we would run to a window to see where the tree fell. We knew we were in for a long night but we didn't realize that we were in for 3 days of no power.
On Friday morning we connected the generator. got our fridge up and running, and charged our phones. We checked the Hydro One map for outages and it stated estimated power to be back on for Saturday, March 26th at 6pm.
Branko wanted to continue working. No way was he going to waste his day sitting around. So, we continued putting mud up on the drywall.
All day Thursday, Friday & Saturday we worked on the house. Most of that time was without power. Imagine that! I didn't have much faith in the idea at first but because our house has so many windows we had tons of daylight that we could utilize.
Now that I told you my big long story, here are some important tips that I can share on how to survive an ice storm in a house under renovation with a 10-month-old baby.
1. If you can purchase a generator, do it. We found ours on Kijiji for a great price, so search around for some deals.
2. Keep water stocked in your house at all times. We mainly use well water for everything. Normally I keep about a case or half a case of water in the house. If you see bad weather coming, go out and purchase a 5 gallon water container. I am not a fan of using bottled water, but in these circumstances, it is necessary.
3. Keep clean buckets in the house. We used 3 clean Home Depot buckets to catch run off water from the house for the toilet.
4. Keep a small portable butane stove in your house. My mom gave one to us a long time ago and this really helped us out. We were able to boil water, make eggs for dinner, and boil potatoes. You can really do a lot with one little burner.
5. If you have a baby, I advise keeping ready-to-go packages of food in your house. I had a few extra squeeze packs of Love Child foods for Dominik.
6. Keep your eye on the news and if you are in a Hydro One area you can actually refer to their website for outages and time frames. They have a very interactive outage map that gives you an idea of when your Hydro may be coming back on. Information is updated every 15 minutes on the map.
7. Keep battery powered lights in your house! I really dislike candles so we have a few battery powered flash lights. We really love our Milwaukee flash light and use it for everything. Also, if you have a generator you can keep one lamp plugged in since they use very little power.
8. Consider moving yourself to your heat source. We moved our mattress in front of our fireplace. No point of sleeping in a cold room! It was super cozy and almost felt like we were camping.
There you have it! I have added links on some of the products I listed above. Our power ended up coming back on Sunday night at around 7pm even though the expected time frame was Monday night at 11pm.
Feel free to share any tips you have below in the comments!