In the past month, two severe storms have torn through my area. Both caused major tree damage. Both set off the tornado sirens forcing me to wrangle the kids into the basement. And both knocked out our electricity.
The first time we went about 30 hours without power. It certainly wasn’t a cake walk, but it wasn’t bad. We pretty much went about our normal lives, played with toys, played outside and walked to the playground. I was able to get my garage door open manually and kept our fridge and freezer closed as much as possible (pb & j for lunch, anyone?). The best part is that I had just finished washing almost all of our diapers, so I had to change them in the dark, but I had a fresh stash and didn’t come close to running out.
The second time was a different story. The power was out for only a day, but of course, it was the day I had planned to wash our cloth diapers. I had left just enough clean ones to get through the wash routine and by 10 a.m., I was out of diapers (yes, I’ve been known to cut it a little close). Uh-oh. Short of going to a Laundromat (which could have been several towns away since most of the area was without power), there was really nothing I could do to get those diapers clean – maybe some of you would have washed by hand? Nevertheless, I did not, so every time I walked by the laundry room, I grew more and more frustrated as I caught a glimpse of the stuffed wet bag waiting patiently to be cleaned.
The power eventually came back on (though not fully, meaning we didn’t have air conditioning for another three days), but there were some positives that came from this situation:
- I learned to keep those old diapers handy. I had to dig waaaaay deep to find some old diapers that aren’t in regular rotation. Not great, but they worked in a pinch.
- It got me back into a line-drying/sunning routine. With a second floor laundry room, there was no way I was going to run my dryer without air conditioning. I had been in the habit of using the dryer, but I put those babies out in the sun as soon as I could and it makes such a difference. Now, I’m hooked on sunning my diapers again and I’m absolutely loving how white they are.
- Living in fear of a repeat, I am on a much better wash routine!
- I learned to change a diaper in the dark.
- I realized I can’t be so hard on myself…a couple of disposables once in a while are not the end of the world.
The storm season is far from over, so I am expecting at least one more outage this summer. Hopefully I won’t find myself in the same dire situation when that happens!
Feel free to share you power outage stories!
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday.