Oh Sandy

I bet you guys are so sick of hearing about Hurricane Sandy.  Now that I’m back on the inter-webs I can give you my boring story!

Matt was on call that fateful Monday night…  How is that for a beginning?  So Matt was on call and the kids and I were watching a movie.  The wind was howling and the rain was a comin’ down.  It was getting close to bed time when the power went out.  I grabbed my head lamp and headed up to bed.  It wasn’t long before I gathered them into my room.

The next morning we woke up to this

I can’t tell you how grateful and blessed we were during that storm.  Three houses down from us had their roof split in half by a tree.  We had no damage to our home at all.  We only lost one tree.

One of our neighbors had the guys who were cutting the fallen trees in their lawn cut up the tree blocking our driveway.

Matt was stuck at the hospital because the person who was supposed to take over for him couldn’t get through.  One of his chief’s actually had to swim to her car to get to work the next day!  It was a VERY long day.

We are very blessed in that we have a gas stove and heat.  We also still had water.  We could still shower with hot water and we could still cook.

Later that evening a wonderful member of our ward who didn’t loose power brought over their generator so that we could keep our food from spoiling.  Over the next two weeks we would turn on the generator for a few hours in the morning and a few hours at night.  The generator was big enough that we were able to plug in our fridge, freezer and watch a movie at the same time.

Most of our street got power back after a week.  As it turns out, the four or five houses at the end of the street were on a different grid than the rest of it.  After two full weeks our lights turned on and it was marvelous to behold!  More than the light, however we were so glad for the warmth, it had gotten awfully cold in this house.

Here are a few things that I learned from Sandy

  • No matter how prepared you think you are, you are not prepared enough
  • We live in an amazing neighborhood and have fabulous neighbors
  • We have an amazing ward
  • Siphoning gas out of our jeep to fill the generator because of a gas shortage is no fun for the loving husband and father who has to suck the gas out of the tank
  • My hunk of a husband can split a piece of wood two feet in diameter using just his splitting maul
  • at 5 cents a piece of wood, Lucy is capable of stacking enough wood to hurt our wallet (this is JUST the beginning)
  • We need to buy a generator
  • Downed power lines are a magnet for five year old boys (don’t worry, they were not live)
  • Having a fireplace is wonderful
  • A man who can use a chainsaw is worth his weight in gold because cutting up a downed tree by hand would take for-e-ver!
  • Having a husband who can fix his broken chainsaw is just as valuable as the chainsaw itself
  • You can burn green wood
  • Keeping a fire going all day takes more wood than you think
  • The morning after you have let your fire die you will find live coals under all of that ash.
  • Going to bed when the sun goes down lets you catch up all of the lost sleep that you need.
  • Being a homeschooler and moving to the northeast after living in the southwest for three years means that your children do not have enough warm clothes to keep them warm while we don’t have heat
  • A woman who is nine months pregnant is not good company during a power outage
  • Wet clothes in a cold house do not dry
  • Clothes dried in the same room as a roaring fire will smell like you’ve been camping
  • I actually really like New Jersey

There are a lot of other things that I learned but above all I learned first hand the difference between what happens when you are dependent on the government and when you are self-sufficient.

I also have yet another example of the Tender Mercies of the Lord.  My pregnancies, while without “complications” are not easy.  The last several weeks are especially painful for me.  For weeks my back, legs and skin ached, throbbed and stung.  Miraculously during the two weeks that we were without power my pain was all but gone.  I felt the Lord lift me up and make me stronger.  I won’t say I didn’t cry a time or two, but the majority of the time I felt a sense of peace and was able to cope with it.  Our Heavenly Father looks after His children.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Courtney says:

    I have been waiting for this post for weeks and am so glad it’s up. I was dying to hear what it was like to not have power (and be 9 months pregnant), and wanted to hear what you learned. I have a few questions; (mostly so I can evaluate my own emergency preparedness)… did you have running water? How much fuel did you use for your generator? What might you have done had you not had a fireplace? Thanks, I know you are a busy new momma.


    1. Courtney says:

      We DID have running water and because of our natural gas we still had HOT water. We also could still use our stove no problems and our oven if we plugged it into the generator. We ran the generator for two or three hours every morning and the same in the evening to keep the fridge and freezer cold and cook meals (the kids would often watch a movie too). I think it was a 6000 watt generator, which is pretty big. We plugged in our fridge, freezer, TV, computer, several lights and had PLENTY of wattage left over. We found out the day we got power back that we could have hooked it up to our furnace to heat the house as well. Next time. I think it took bit less than five or six gallons of gas a day with TOPS 8 hours of usage.

      When we buy our own generator I think we are going to get a diesel. It is about twice as expensive, but they last longer, diesel fuel stores longer and it’s less likely there will be a diesel shortage in an event like this. BUT we have diesel van, so it makes sense for us to keep a bit of diesel fuel stored for emergencies because we can still use it in our van before it goes bad if we don’t use it for the generator. It’s also less flammable, so not as likely to make your house explode :)


  2. Stacie says:

    Wow you guys were really lucky in that storm. So glad you guys are alright and you had no damage. The damage from Sandy looks horrible!


    1. Courtney says:

      Thank you! We had it so good compared to a LOT of people.


  3. Maine Mom says:

    I am so glad for all the blessings your family received after Sandy hit!


    1. Courtney says:

      It was pretty amazing!


  4. Heather B says:

    What an incredible thing you all went through! And what amazing blessings you received! Glad you’re through it :)


  5. Donna says:

    What? Bored? This is the post I’ve been waiting for! Sounds like it was about as good as you could hope for (minus the 2 weeks without power), considering how huge of a storm it was and how much damage New Jersey sustained. Crazy! Glad you guys made it through.


  6. Cari says:

    So not a fun thing to experience let alone in the winter! Glad you were all safe though and finally back with power!


  7. Megan B says:

    Wow, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind about your Sandy reality. I don’t even know what to say because I know that even still things in your neck of the woods are not quite back to “normal”, whatever that is!


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