We city-dwellers are a dependent group. Several days ago, a large water main burst in our section of town, spewing liquid like a geyser and filling the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. I watched the chaotic scene unfold on a local TV news program—probably thanks to someone’s iPhone—and wondered if our water supply at home would be shut off. [See KOMO News]

Thankfully, it wasn’t. But within hours our water turned a most unattractive, murky brown. A neighbor, a retired plumbing engineer, assured me the discoloration was due to metal in the pipes, not sewage. But still, no way would I drink it. Yuck! I figured I wouldn’t launder a white load in the near future and was going to have to scrub the toilets as the discolored water left a residue. And I worried the sludge would accumulate in our hot water tank.

We relied on bottled water for drinking that evening, but our supply was dwindling. The water quality improved the next day, but my husband dashed out in the morning and purchased more bottles for coffee. With the copious amounts of rainfall we get in the Northwest, it seemed almost humorous to buy bottled water! But we weren’t laughing.

This scenario got me thinking: What should we have in the house to last us a few days, if not longer? I wish we had an Amish cellar teaming with canned goodies and a pump house out back that didn’t rely on electricity. My husband and I don’t eat much processed food, but I guess I should buy canned vegetables and fruit to keep on hand.  Not to mention more water!

Do you have any nuggets of advice for me in case we find ourselves without water or electricity? Someone who leaves a comment will win this cute Amish-made coffee/tea towel, plus a copy of either Pennsylvania Patchwork or Leaving Lancaster! USA only. Winner has one week to respond.

Congratulations to last week’s winner Mary E. who may choose a copy of 
Pennsylvania Patchwork or Leaving Lancaster!