Hi

After this last bout of weather, these to letters were forwarded to me from the Historic Birchrunville Group. These are the people that fought to save the Schoolhouse property from development. Also some of the last people to get power! I know it is long but the information in it is good and perhaps a checklist should be made the next time bad weather is predicted for the area. It may make your time with no electricity a little easier and safer.



LETTER ONE

As I type this, the customers in West Vincent that don't have power
has been zero (0) YAY!, but is now showing thirteen (13) Boo... :(:(

For those affected it sucks.  Hopefully it is due to making some more
permanent repairs in some area(s).  (Caln jumped up to 1364 which
means something big happened, or something big is being made more
permanent.)

However, many had a "practice run" last week.  It is time to run
through your "preparation" list again.

What worked well or OK last time?  Can you do that again this time if
we get hammered?

What did not work well?  How can you "fix" or improve that if we get
hammered again?

Many in West Vincent are on well water.  Have some water stored in the
house.  (And don't forget a 5 gallon bucket of water for the toilet.
"Yellow is mellow. Brown goes down"  Use the bucket first and save the
"clean" water in the tank, if you can, for desperation drinking.)

Got critters?  Are you prepared to keep them in good or decent
condition too?  Food and water for them?

Heat to stop pipes from freezing.

Wood in a dry place if you have a wood stove.  Propane tank filled if
propane heated.

How about your neighbors?  Are there some you maybe or should check
on?  Do you have somewhere you can go to, if you have to?

Your cell phone, have it FULLY charged.  The cell service seemed to
stand up pretty well, so having a fully charged phone so you can call
if things turn ugly is GOOD.  (I just plugged mine in.)  Some towers
may loose power too, and so the phone will be working harder, taking
more power, to reach those that are working.

If you don't know how to, figure out how to Txt on your Cell Phone.
Txting works when you can't speak, but you can get a message out.  It
may cost more, but it WILL get the message out when there is not
enough signal for speech.

You have a portable generator?  Got fuel?  Also make sure that it does
not "poison you" while keeping the lights on, if you have cords from
it snaking into the house for the critical loads.  Double doors say
from the house to garage and then the garage door with the generator
OUTSIDE is good.  You want to keep it out of the weather?  Got an old
card table?  Put a shower curtain over it for more protection but
being able to get to it.

If you got one after last week saying "NEVER AGAIN!!" set it up, run
it, make sure you know how to use it.  Make sure you have ENOUGH or
long enough extension cords of the right size.

Chain saw?  (Assuming you know how to use one w/o HURTING yourself and
causing an emergency.)  Fuel for the chain saw?

Hand saw for desperate times?  (Generally safer than a Chain saw.)

Oh, and garage doors.  You DO know how to disconnect it from the
mechanism so you can open if it you have to w/o power correct?  Go out
and look at it  now while you can turn on the lights and see just how
you disconnect it and practice opening it AFTER it is disconnected.
See if it wants to stay up or down.  If it wants to stay down, how
will you prop it open?  (And then there is reconnecting it when the
power comes back.)

If you don't have one get an LED light.  LED lights are GREAT,
providing a LOT of light for a long time w/o eating batteries.
Headband LED lights are popular now and useful.  Something for area
lighting.  (They REALLY are a lot better than the old standby of the
gas or propane fired lantern.)

Again the most important thing is to REVIEW last week.  What went
well?  What went not so well?  How can you IMPROVE.

Those getting this can minimize what the TWP has to do, and let the
TWP help out those that did not prepare or something untoward or
unexpected happened.

I hope these thoughts help others.

Lastly "THINK SPRING"!!!

LETTER TWO

After I sent out the first note on preparations, I thought of some
more, AND I got some info back from one of the other folks on the
Birchrun Posse list.

Here is what I thought of.

MEDICATIONS.  You have something that you need to take regularly?  Yer
a Type 2 or 1 Diabetic you need to keep taking your meds.  There are
other types too that you need to take REGULARLY.
Make sure they are all in ONE place, so you can "grab, pack and go" if
necessary.
Same thing if you have critters on meds too.

Sandy Mannix sent this:
===
Dear Folks,
You probably know this - but just in case:
Fill your bathtubs with water.  Easier than buckets and hold a lot
more water.  Fill all available pots and pans for drinking water.
DO NOT use your gas stove or oven for heating.
Don't forget the birds if you have been feeding them.  Remember - they
need water, too.
Dollar Store has some great little LED lights.  We left them all over
the place.  For a buck, they last an amazingly long time.
Let's hope we are preparing for something that won't happen.
Be careful out there!
Sandy Mannix
===

THANK YOU Sandy!

Some adders to that.  Having a bathtub full of water but no bucket is
not good.  Trying to flush the toilet using a LOT of glasses of water
is no fun...  If you don't have a "contractor's 5 gallon bucket" or
know someone to get one from, Home Despot sells them and they are
ORANGE so they are easy to find in the corner of the garage where it
cavorts with the spiders...

Also throw a plastic bag over the tub drain after filling the tub to
seal it better.  Tub drains are not liquid tight, and will leak
slowly.  Slow it more by a plastic bag, sheet of plastic wrap, etc and
then a small bowl over it to keep it there.  The water pressure will
seal it.

I like the Dollar Store as an LED light source source.  They are good
for the "value driven" folks like me.  (Alkaline batteries in the
freezer store a long time.  A REAL long time.  If you have time, get
them out before "we might/will have a storm."  Store them in the
freezer door, so  you can quickly open, grab and reclose if
necessary.)

Yet some more thoughts.  Storms don't just come in the winter
(THANKFULLY!!) but can come any time of the year.  We have lost power
when high wind storms have come through.   Why not write up "your
list" of things to do, and how you are prepared to keep going for a
bit.  Write it using your computer, and save it there, so you can
update it the after the next storm..., BUT do not have it just on the
computer.  Print it out on processed dead trees so that you can read
it with no electricity.  Put it, or multiple copies, where you can
find them when "needed."  You can likely stuff a copy onto your phone
too.  Most phones will take a simple Text file no problem and smarter
ones can do more with fancier files.

Keeping your cell phone/iPad/tablet charged.  One way is have a "car
charger."  Then you can charge your phone as you drive, or by running
the car for a short period.  (You did fill the tank when a big storm
is announced right?)  (Get one of the newer higher powered 1A or 2A
units so that they will charge phones like iPhones faster.)  Also you
can purchase "external power packs"  Units that have a USB port that
you can plug the cable from your phone or other device into. 

You can see that I keep remembering or thinking of stuff as I write
this.  You will too.

Everyone getting this is unique.  I am throwing out ideas.  I am sure
there is something that YOU consider "must do" or "must have".  You
might have a permanently installed generator.  Others may have
portable units and a BUNCH of extension cords.  (Keep them with the
generator or know where they are to be grabbed when needed.)  Make
sure to put them on your list.

This is a PROCESS.  The more you can think of "What would I do..." in
advance, the less panic when something happens.  You can be the calm
one while the other neighbors are running around with Kermit arms.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlJM4UhbQ7A   (Not with "yay" though.)

If you have some other thoughts/suggestions, drop them to me and I
will share them back out to the rest of the folks.

As I write this PECO shows no one w/o power, and even Caln township
shows everyone w/ power, so there were or are temporary power
shutdowns as the system is returned "more to normal."

If you got this from someone else, I can put you on the "Birchrunville
Posse" list, if you drop me a note.  No charge to be put on or get the
info.  (Most of the time it is NOT emergency/storm related.  The
topics are normally Birchrunville area related.)

We WILL get through this, and SPRING WILL COME and it will be WARM. :):)


Best wishes

Chickenman


To see my previous mailings please click on http://tinyurl.com/westvincentinfos  As usual, if you want to be on or off my list, or have some comments or suggestions, or know someone who would like to be on the list, please let me know.  Just  write to chestercountynews@gmail.com  Feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might be interested.