Saturday, February 9, 2013
Snowmaggeddon, Snowpocalypse, Blizzard Nemo
Don't get me wrong, I'm a New Englander, born and bred, and I absolutely love snow, snowstorms, and blizzards. I even loved blackouts before having kids. The idea of not being able to do anything without light or power just seemed like a forced break from it all. But now, with a 6 month infant and an antsy 3 year old, neither of whom does well with co-bedding, losing power was a total nightmare. Not to mention the fact that I'm an exclusive pumper, so I need a power source to be able to pump breastmilk at least 4 times a day. Then there's the question of milk storage-- obviously the fridge is not an option, so leaving the milk outside in the snow-- would it freeze? Would it stay cold like in a fridge? How long would it be good for?
We've lived in this house for 4 years now and we've never lost power for more than 30 minutes or so, even during Hurricane Sandy when pretty much everyone we knew around us lost power for days. This time around, we lost power at the beginning of the storm and almost no one else we know lost power, even friends in our same town.
Our power went out at 8pm last night (Friday) and stayed off all night. The temperature in our house was originally at 68 degrees and went down, down, down. Thankfully both kids slept through the night (despite their white noise turning off). Both their nightlights can run on an internal battery as well, but we had to sneak into their rooms to unplug them from the wall so the battery would kick in. In the middle of the night I went in to each of their rooms to make sure it wasn't totally frigid. Jodie stayed asleep but RJ woke up and freaked out. He kept asking me to turn on his humidifier and his other nightlight and he couldn't understand why they wouldn't work. I had to sit in his room for a while before he was ready to let me leave again, but eventually he did and he fell back asleep for the rest of the night.
I slept pretty much from 1am-5am. On Friday night and again on Saturday morning, Rob had to go out and shovel a path to the car so I could sit in the running car to pump and charge our cell phones. When we woke up in the morning we all stayed in our bed for a little while but it was really cold in our room. (The kids' rooms were still pretty warm!) We moved downstairs, and the temp was at 55 when we decided that we needed to leave. There was a travel ban in place for the state, which meant no one was supposed to be on the roads from Friday 4pm and on. But after speaking with a police officer friend of mine who confirmed that they weren't stopping or ticketing anyone, we decided to leave. All six of us-- me, Rob, RJ, Jodie, Dory, and Remy!
We frantically ran around, throwing things into bags and putting food out onto the porch to try and save some stuff. The fridge was already getting warm. We left the freezer (and the upstairs chest freezer) closed, hoping that the power would come back on within 72 hours so we wouldn't lose anything. (ESPECIALLY my 650+ oz of frozen breastmilk!)
It took Rob and our neighbor over an hour to shovel a slice of driveway wide enough for the car to get through. Since we live on a main road, we kept getting plowed in. We finally got the car out and left around 11am. Originally we were headed to a hotel one town away, but once we got on the road we realized we could probably get to our friends' house about 25 mins away just fine because the roads were totally clear and the snow had stopped. Both kids fell asleep and both dogs were freaking out but we stopped for gas and food and made it to our friends' house by lunchtime. Then we just ate and hung out. I was able to pump and shower, and Jodie took another nap.
We were preparing to stay the night at their house, but around 4pm our neighbor called to let us know that our power was back! As much fun as we were having with our friends, we were so relieved to be able to go home and get the kids to bed in their own rooms. We ate a lovely dinner with our friends and headed home. After putting the kids to bed (they were both exhausted!) we threw out most of the stuff in our fridge and cleaned it out. And I mean CLEANED it out. We took out all the drawers and shelves and washed them and wiped down all the surfaces. Then we re-loaded the fridge with everything that we were able to save. We also checked the freezer items quickly and everything was still frozen, thank God! A carton of ice cream in the kitchen freezer had not melted and re-frozen at all, so I'm confident my breastmilk freezer stash is ok in the chest freezer.
So there you have it. We lost power during a blizzard on one of the coldest, harshest days ever, and we survived! We're lucky that the power went out after both kids were sound asleep (8pm) and came back on before it was time to put them to bed the next day (4pm). Less than 24 hours so everything in the freezers is fine. Our fridge is sparkling clean and the dogs are fast asleep on our laps. This has been the longest day of my life, for sure!!
Posted by tina at 10:33 PM