Being prepared had certainly not been on my mind most of the time of the last 10 years living on my own. Even when I got married it still has not on my mind. Meaning I was not prepared for a natural disaster or any other emergency like a simple power outage if and when it would hit. This included after I got married. I guess I figured I would deal if and when this would happen. I had stockpiled items of food. Items of food that were not perishable, but except for canned food instant potatoes and such would do better when we had electric. I had been prepared with my stockpile when I changed jobs, quit my new job and tried to go back to my old job, who said my position was unavailable. I was unemployed over Christmas of 2008 and was applying for anything and everything including Wal-Mart. During that time I bought only perishables. I used food from our stockpile and that is how we survived until I got a job at Wal-Mart starting my first night overnight stocker December 31, 2008. I will never forget being in Wal-Mart at midnight New Year’s Eve thinking of my husband alone and home by himself while I was trying to bring home any pay I could.
While I learned from that financial setback, I was still not prepared in 2010 for Snowmageddon. I remember it like yesterday even though it has been over 2 years. I went to the store that Friday. I got a few things and the stores were crazy as usual when calling for a snowstorm. I had a knot in my stomach like something bad was going to happen. I got all the food for the Superbowl that weekend we were going to watch on our new flatscreen TV with my parents. I went home and waited to see what would happen.
The snow started to happen. System 1 of 2 anyway. Our electric went out on Saturday because of the weight of the snow on the trees and I was waiting for it to come back on before the Superbowl Sunday. I mean really who would have thought that it would be off for an extended period of time. It snowed and snowed and no electric. I thought oh fun, no electric. It will be on soon. Our parents had kerosene heaters. We had electric heat. We waited. We waited and no electric. We had as an alternative a woodburning stove, but it had an electric blower. It would take a bit to warm the house, but we had heat. Hours passed and I started putting the frozen stuff I could in coolers and packing snow in there and then I buried the coolers in the snow on our porch. the snow was getting so high that I couldn’t even open the door to get out . We ended up getting a couple feet from one storm. My husband and I had to shovel our long driveway just to get the snowblower out. It was too deep for it. We had candles. We had some food. But we need to go out and get stuff for my parents with my truck. We spent hours shoveling. The roads sucked. Bottom line by the end of the week of dealing with no power, losing frozen meat, no hot water, only cooking soup on a wood burning stove I was ready to lose my sanity. I was irritable. I was beyond irritable. I couldn’t take it. I was unprepared. I had to walk through 2 feet of snow to get wood for our wood burning stove. I was ready to go to the nuthouse. My husband still talks about how he thought I was going to lose it. I will never forget trying to shovel snow outsight at night to get out.
When they were talking about Sandy I got the same knot. I am not sure why. Maybe I was just worked up about the idea of dealing with the 2010 time again. This time we were prepared with lamps, oil, candles, wood, batteries, sandwich stuff, water, etc. My mom-in-law had kerosene. we could get my parents kerosene. But thank God that we didn’t get that bad of a storm with Sandy. It could have been a lot worse. We got two days of rain that turned to sleet and snow and right now it is still snaining.
Here are a couple ways you can be prepared:
-Stockpile of batteries for flashlights, radios, etc.
-Stockpile of soups or easy made foods that can be cooked on alternative ways of heat.
-Car charger for cell phone. We had a landline during 2010, but it got knocked out also with the storm. I had to charge my cell phone with my car. That is all we had for an emergency.
-Have a storm radio handy. Preferably with a hand crank also. We invested in one after the storm.
-Candles. Have a ton of them in case the electric goes out. Had to have them everywhere. At least you can play boardgames, cards or pool with them to keep your sanity.
-Have a way to fix your frozen food or keep it safe. With the snow we lost some frozen food. I was mad about the waste. This time if we would have lost power we have a charcoal grill handy that we would have been able to cook on unlike 2010 when we didn’t have a grill at all. This time we had charcoal and was prepared. We would have been able to provide hot meals to us, my parents and my mom-in-law
-Invest in a grill. Seriously. You can cook anything on them. It would be your best friend in this case. WIsh I would have had it in 2010.
-Have bottled water on hand. We had bottled water to drink.
-Alternative heat. Have a source. We have a wood burning stove and a lot of wood. We are always looking for more wood. all year round.
– Oil lamps. We have modern and older with a few things of lamp oil. Trust me if an emergency comes it will be hard as heck to get this stuff. I know after getting out to get some things at the store after Snowmageddon. The shelves were bare and I couldnt believe it.
-Flashlights of course. We have a bunch of these and batteries on hand to use them.
-Boardgames or activites. I say this cause i was ready to lose my mind with nothing to do but sit in candle light. THis will keep everyone’s mind on something different.
What can you do to be prepared?