Gift Guide 2012 #1 – The End Times Are Here (1 of 2)

We spent seven days in the dark this October. During that time, I spent a great deal of time evaluating our disaster supplies.

1. The biggest problem was the lack of a generator. So, that’s what I want for the holidays. Forget jewelry and perfume. Give me 10,000 watts. We’re on a budget right now, so I think that I prefer portable units.

2. Candles, candles, candles. Our living room looked like an Elton John video. It was ablaze. I even broke out the crystal wedding candleholders for the first time. Crate and Barrel’s huge fireplace candelabra was in heavy rotation. I also love the Wolfard Oil Lamp for its simplicity and modern shape.

3. The Biolite camp stove. Charging your iPhone and portable games and radio is very, very, very important. We kept returning to the gym of a local elementary school to charge our equipment. If we don’t acquire a generator this year, we’ll definitely get this.

4. We were highly dependent on our portable, battery charged radio. I’ve recommended Tivoli Audio PAL  before and I’ll do it again. It works, and it’s beautiful.

5. Coffee is a big issue. I do not function without copious amounts of coffee. We have the fancy, timer, self-grinding kind, which was entirely useless after the storm. Next time, I’ll have a bag of ground coffee waiting and a coffee press.


6 thoughts on “Gift Guide 2012 #1 – The End Times Are Here (1 of 2)

  1. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that we had a house fire, and are (still!! after a year) out of the house living in the house which had been my inlaws’. Their house had a generator, to keep the elevator running, they couldn’t climb stairs. So in the hurricane, our power went out, and a minute later the generator kicked in. We went on with dinner for the hours we were out, and had the neighbors in.
    This one runs on natural gas, which comes to the house in pipes. We are sold on this, absolutely. Nicholas Kristof may sneer at us, but so it goes. Better men than he have sneered at me, and I’m still standing.
    Another thing you might think about is a fireplace insert with outside combustion air brought in through the wall. much more efficient than a fireplace which is drawing cold outside air into the house.


  2. “I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that we had a house fire, and are (still!! after a year) out of the house living in the house which had been my inlaws’.”
    That’s terrible. What’s your timeline for getting a house of your own back?


  3. It’s the fault of some jury in Texas! In part… The story from our contractor is that a jury in Texas awarded $Seventeen Million$ to someone whose claim against her insurance company was that they had put her back into her house too quickly after a fire, walls still wet inside, MOLD which was then the fault of the insurance company. So this got the attention of insurance companies across the nation, and since our fire involved enough water into my daughter’s room to flood the basement they took off all the wallboard in the basement and much of that in first and second floors and then….
    and waited
    and waited
    and took measurements of little core samples from the remaining drywall and
    until they thought it was dry enough to rebuild.
    Specific to the contractor to whom our insurance company had steered us is that they waited until dry before they filed plans with the County, and approval for THAT then took two and a half months. So much of a year had gone by before they felt they were ready to rebuild. And in addition the County wanted all the wiring redone to meet current codes, rather than the code of 1952 plus random upgrades over the year.
    Anyway, we now have a reasonable hope of getting back in before Christmas. But it’s been a long period of limbo. Once it’s all over, I want to talk with the company about whether getting fans and guys who would specialize in drying-out might speed the process for everybody, it’s been costly and sort of wasteful for us to be out of the house so long.


  4. Another big plus to this generator is: fuel comes to the house in pipes and need not be waited for on line at one of the twelve open gas stations in the County…


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