There have been so many of us who have weathered hurricanes lately, I thought I would start a thread where we could share tips on making life more bearable without power, 7 days in my case. This might be of interest to those of you in Ivan's path, and give anyone who might face outages a few ideas they hadn't thought about. THIS IS NOT REALLY ABOUT ALL OF THOSE THINGS THAT ANY PREPAREDNESS MANUAL LISTS!!! These are insider secrets, so to speak, based on actual experience. :animwink: 1. Bug Spray of all types! I picked this up from a forum member who survived Charley! (I can't remember who it was right now, but bless you. :kiss: ) I had ants everywhere! The tree that fell was full of Carpenter Ants and earwigs, and they were climbing in on my extension cords. I used repellent to keep bugs off us, the indoor sprays to kill all of the ants and other critters that came in out of the storm, and the yard guard to spray around the steps and garbage cans. 2.Ever wonder about all that bleach you're old to have on hand? The "plain" stuff can be used to purify water enough for personal hygiene (but I wouldn't trust it for drinking) The "scented" stuff is for pouring down drains to keep the smell down. 3. Smell!!! After a few days without power, your house will start to stink! I went through tons of scented candles and room spray! 4. Damp Rid Theyre's a hanging closet type and also the standard type. Better to have several small containers rather than one big one. 5.Small sterno camp stove and extra fuel This, along with a camp coffee pot and small, heavy clad sauce pan and frying pan, was invaluable!!! It rained for days, so an outside grill was impossible, and running back and forth to my neighbor's was pretty tiring. I was able to make coffee (make sure you have lots of ground on hand) heat soup, etc., and boil water to wash dishes. 6. Coffee mate liquid in individual servings, and sugar PACKETS I hate the powdered stuff. It was damp and sticky...not great for sugar, unless you have an airtight container! 7. Personal mister fans like the ones you see at WDW. What might be a pain in a park is heaven at home. I only had one; I wish I had a dozen! The one I have was great for sitting in front of and reading. 8. A Chillow It helped at night. 9.Battery operated high intensity lanterns We had one large Coleman; again, I wish I had at least two more. The one I have has high, low, and night light features. I used them all; it's really dark!!! I found some mini ones at Target (only one light level, however). I labelled them with each family member's name (except my Hello Kitty one) so we could keep track of them. 10. ALL types of flashlights!!! Large ones for checking "noises" outside. Tiny ones that you can clip on your waistband to keep it close. The flashlight/lantern combos are useful. Also, a couple of headlight types were useful for when you needed your hands free (refueling the generator, for instance :lol: ) Also, individual reading lights are good...I have one that I can hang around my neck. 11. Lots and lots of assorted batteries See #10 I gave my son a supply daily. If he used them up playing Game Boy, watching the battery powered TV, listening to the radio, or just forgetting to turn his lantern off, he had to go to bed early because he didn't have any light. Power is PRECIOUS, and not to be wasted. He was very conservative by the end of the week. 12. I had 2 small Battery powered TVs I wish my husband had purchased the somewhat larger color one he had seen the weekend before the storm!!! It was hard to track thunderstorms and tornados in blak and white. 13. Hurricane Lamps You know, the glass ones with the chimney and wick that you fill with oil. Make sure you have extra oil; it's hard to find. However, it saves on batteries, and is cheaper to use. I only have one; I'm getting more when they become available. 14. Freeze pint sized water bottles As the storm nears, start feezing as much water as you can fit in your freezer. Not only did I freeze small bottles, but I ran the ice maker constantly and filled gallon zip lock freezer bags with cubes. I also froze water filled storage containers. Not only would these work as ice packs for your cooler, but then you had drinking water after they melted. We never lost water, but it was good to know we had plenty. 15. Not all of your 3 gallons/person water is for drinking! I filled any container I could find; save and rinse out empty milk containers, fill the tub and washing machine, collect rainwater in buckets for washing and flushing. I also have two of the collapsible 5 gallon containers. I prefer the smaller bottles for drinking, and the larger ones for cooking, etc. When it comes to food, small is better; you can't store leftovers. 16. Sun Shower I had a neighbor with gas hot water, so I could take a hot shower...by candlelight. However, I have one that I'm prepared to use to wash with. (wearing a bathing suit, of course; my yard is pretty private, but still...) 17. Canned flavored water We like the LaCroix brand. It comes in cases, so is easy to stack. This is true of ALL drinking water; if you can find it in cases, it's much easier to store. 18. GENERATOR Even if you can't store it yourself, you could possibly go in with a nearby neighbor, as we did. However, he's buying a bigger one ASAP, and we're getting the smaller one, with his larger reservoir modification. Otherwise, you have to refuel every 2-3 hours!!! We also purchased more gasoline cans (plastic, really) so we didn't have to run to the gas staion as often. All of the cars, including my daughter's, were filled and could be used as fuel. Fortunately, we didn't need it. 19. DO AS MUCH AS YOU CAN "NORMALLY" WHENEVER YOU CAN For instance, I had access to hot water, so we used "real" dishes instead of paper and plastic. Just a small thing, I know, but it made things feel better. I also ran my car's DVD player for the neighborhood kids one night. We sat with the A/C on, munching on snacks, with the rain on the roof. Again, just a small thing, but the sort of thing they'll remember. We also celebrated both my husband's and neighbor's birthday this past week. I had an ice cream cake stored in my neighbor's freezer (generator) but we all had to finish it in one sitting. The sacrifices we made! :lol: WOW! I can't believe how much I wrote!