No Power? No Hot Water? Cloth Diapers?

I'm sitting here in sunny, mild Boulder, Colorado typing this, but all over the news and my Facebook page, are reports of the havoc Hurricane Irene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption] being wreaked on the East Coast by Hurricane Sandy. I remember Hurricane Irene well because it devastated my home state of Vermont with destructive flooding the likes of which the state has never seen, though like now I was experiencing it from afar. And now, Sandy is bearing down on even more of the country, spreading out from New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and even reaching Ohio. And apparently it's much, much stronger than Irene. According to the reports I've been reading on Facebook, there are predictions that thousands of folks could be without power for a week or more. I cannot even imagine how challenging, not to mention miserable, that would be. In fact, last winter during a huge snowstorm, we lost power for a full 24 hours and it was rough. We had no heat, no lights and no connection with the world except for our cell phones. I kept going to do things like make toast--ooops, the toaster needs electricity, or vacuum the rug--oops again, or check the weather forecast on the computer---acckkk!  I felt like everything I tried to do was dependent on electricity and technology and while that makes likes extremely convenient when it's working, it makes life extra hard when it's not. When we lost power we were using cloth diapers and I had plenty clean to get us through the mere 24 hour power outage. But now I'm wondering how so many parents of little ones are going to survive being without modern conveniences for up to a whole week. Sure, Grandma used to wash cloth diapers by hand in a big old washtub full of hot water back in the old days...but can you even get hot water in a storm? I know plenty of people who stocked up on bottled water, canned foods and filled their tubs with water just in case. But were they planning on washing their diapers too? Believe me, I know that surviving a storm (and I don't mean just physically surviving, I mean surviving with your sanity intact) is MUCH more challenging for those with one or more mobile, chattering, climbing and crying little ones to care for and entertain than for say, a young and still childless couple enjoying nature's drama while sipping wine by a roaring fire and snuggling under blankets. Many of you are probably preparing cold meals for warmly bundled children who are either scared of the wind and rain, or just tired of being cooped up with no cartoons for an hour or two of entertainment.  I've been there, though thankfully, it wasn't for very long. So as I sit here thinking of all of you and all of my friends and family hunkering down and waiting out the storm, I'm hoping you'll have some survival stories to share. Did you use your cloth diapers knowing you may be stuck hand-washing in cold water? Did you buy disposables just in case? And how did you pass the time with your little ones?  I hope you are all safe and sound and staying dry. Move on Hurricane Sandy, move on already!
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36 comments

  • I’m aware that this is an old post but I felt compelled to add my two cents. I was trapped for over 4 days with my six month old son without electricity during a nasty snow storm. We were using disposables at the time but had I been cloth diapering, I would’ve thrown the diapers in the machine and heated water on top of the kerosene heater to hand wash with. We used it to cook things like soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. It smelled awful in the house, but it worked. We turned the heater down at night to conserve kerosene and managed to make it through. We had no 4 wheel drive and couldn’t leave our home. We played scrabble by candle light and listened to an old old battery powered radio for any news about road conditions. It might be tough but if water is available, it’s totally doable.

    Chessie on
  • During a power outage I would stop using pockets (which I love) and use the OS covers that we started out with when we first brought him home…along with disposable inserts.

    Nancy on
  • We thankfully didn’t lose power during Sandy, but we do keep a stash of disposables on hand, so I’d probably use those instead of my cloth if I knew we’d be out of electricity for a while.

    Allison B on
  • Thankfully we were not affected by the storm, but we had family and friends who were. Thankfully they are all ok. Having just started cloth diapering, this storm made me think of what I would do in this situation. We don’t live where we would be in danger of a hurricane, but we do get some pretty bad storms and sometimes we do loose power. To be prepared, I think I will stock up on some flats – they would dry the quickest. To wash them, we have a wood stove that I could heat water on. Sure it would be a lot of work, but we could turn it into an adventure! :) As a last resort, I would also have some disposables around, just in case.

    Carrie C on
  • Last year during Irene our power went out for days. I was so glad I had bought a pack of disposables just in case because it was out longer than expected.

    Amber Lawrence-Whitted on

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