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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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  • You definitely pose an interesting question that I’m not positive how I’d react to. I suppose I probably would pull out some disposables to use or maybe, as another commenter mentioned, get some disposable insert style diapers. So that solves that issue, but what about the dirty CD that haven’t been cleaned yet? You can’t just leave it for a week or longer. I’m sure there are going to be some people with ruined dipes!

    Jessica Stevens on
  • I don’t live in hurricane country, but I do live in earthquake country. If we had one big enough to cut our power for an extended period, I’d switch to disposables. Natural disasters are enough to deal with without laundry!

    Aryn Kennedy on
  • When Sandy was heading our way I made sure to wash everything that was dirty so we’d have cloth for as long as possible. If we’d lost 48*power for more than 5 days, I would have had to get disposables at that point.

    Melanie on
  • The hurricane has caused me to think a bit about things I should store in case of emergencies like these. If we lost power for more than a couple of days, we would lose a huge chunk of our food because I store a lot of things in our chest freezer. Fortunately we do have some charcoal so that I could cook some meat on the community grill if needed. However, I don’t currently have a lot of disposable diapers on hand since we only use disposables at night. I should probably keep at least one extra package per child just in case.

    Marcelaine on
  • I was without power for 2 1/2 days after an ice storm last winter, and I switched from cloth diapers to disposables after about 1 1/2 days not because I was out of clean cloth diapers but because it was in the low 50s in the house (probably colder on his changing table) and I could leave my then 6-month-old in a disposable for a longer period and avoid exposing his naked butt to the 50 degree temps.

    A few years before that, I was out of power for 5 1/2 days after a big wind storm. No baby then, but still a miserable experience when the outside temps are well below freezing so it’s a lot of work just to keep the inside temp next to the fire in the 50s.

    SarahD on

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