Power’s back in most parts of town (sorry about those who are still freezing in the dark), and the recriminations and blame which started almost the night of the storm, have been growing ever louder. That energy is misdirected.
We live in a society entirely dependent on electricity, far more so, even, than a few decades ago. When the power goes, our modern world goes with it and it’s awful. But after tree massive, prolonged power outages in just two years we should, I think, acknowledge that it can and will happen again, and probably again and again, and prepare better for long periods of disruption. Blame global warming, blame CL&P or the refusal of homeowners to have their front yards denuded for the protection of power lines, heck – blame Bush – the result will be the same.
You can buy a generator and assuming that doesn’t float away in the next flood, you can maintain heat and water, but I’d go farther (and I’d skip the generator myself, but then I enjoy a bit of camping out). Prepare your household for survival mode.
Stock up on freeze dried food – here’s just one brand, but one that I like. It’ll last for years and if disaster never comes you can use it for backpacking trips – tasty stuff.
Stock up on bottled water. Wells can fail, municipal water supplies can get contaminated when their own pumps lose power.You may very well want a water filter too. Here’s one, from Katadyn, a brand I’ve found to be extremely reliable and fool-proof in the woods, so there’s no reason to think it won’t work in Khakum Woods too.
Water and food are good things to have, as are sleeping bags for the family, cases of batteries and lights to use them in. You might consider a chainsaw, but if you do, the time to learn how to use it is before, not after a storm.
You get the general picture, but don’t forget a solar phone recharger. And if you have kids, buy a case of them – they power iPods, too. Bottom line: prepare now, be (more) comfortable later. “Bugout kits”, which enable you to quickly flee a calamity and shelter in your Adirondack baronial palace, involve far more than most suburbanites can handle: guns, real SUVs, a pre-stocked shelter awaiting you, etc. If it comes to all that, we’re so friggin’ doomed that we probably shouldn’t bother.