Just in Case You Thought it Was “Silly” to Prepare – Storm Preparedness Review
So you thought I was silly to prepare? There is another big natural disaster in the news today. So big that the 7.7 magnitude earthquake in the Haida Gwaii region of Canada on Sunday barely received any coverage. Now, I am safe and sound in my house in the Pacific Northwest, where we don’t usually have hurricanes, but there are other equally dangerous emergencies that may affect me here (including earthquakes). My goal all along, has been to be prepared so that I will NOT be caught scrambling like these people in Philadelphia –
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Good luck buying lanterns, generators, propane, or – if you are really unprepared – rain boots and batteries in areas in the path of Hurricane Sandy as it bears down on the U.S. East Coast.
The approach of the gigantic storm, which is expected to come ashore on Monday night set off a weekend scramble for supplies from Virginia to New England, causing long lines at gas stations, bare shelves at hardware and home-supply shops, and a run on bread, bottled water and canned foods.
“It’s been crazy. We’re the only one open who still has gas,” said Karen Tripodi, a customer service representative at Cumberland Farms, a gas station and market in Newington, Connecticut. “They’re coming in for propane, ice, water, milk and cigarettes.”
I just do not want to be one of those people scrambling through the store trying to get enough water, or food, or batteries, or whatever – so that my family is safe. Just in case you thought “I” was silly to prepare- here is my reply.
The people in the path of Hurricane Sandy, those who are allowed to stay in their homes, are being told to prepare for 10-14 days without power after the storm. My prayers go out to them and I wish them no harm, but I also have to wonder what they are thinking? Why would anyone who knows they may have to eventually face a disaster, not prepare in advance for it? This isn’t the first time that people in the Northeast have had to face challenging circumstances. We all know that our grocery store supplies are stocked “just in time” and that when these emergencies arise, the cupboards become bare. This is why I have emergency supplies of food, water and fuel at my home. I just think it’s the responsible thing to do.
Widespread power outages are possible where I live – we have at lease a day without power each year. Hurricane Sandy has also given me an excuse to think about my own storm preparedness and whether we could REALLY survive for 14 days in our home without power. Could I safely, comfortably and sanely, shelter in place for an extended period of time, like the people in the Northeast are being asked to do? Even with all my preparations – I’m not so sure – 14 days is a long time.
So I am taking the time today to assess and review – what are the things my family will need to be self sufficient for two weeks in the dark? I encourage you to do the same, because it’s not silly to prepare and this can happen to you.
Storm Preparedness – Review your Plan – Food, Water, Heat, Light
- Do you have enough no-cook food, or easy to cook food, and fuel for 14 days?
- Do you have a safe way to heat or cook it?
- Do you have flashlights and extra batteries?
- It’s going to get old carrying your flashlight around, do you have battery operated lamps, candles or oil lamps for light? How about enough fuel and batteries to keep them going?
- Do you have water storage (1 gallon per person, per day MINIMUM) and/or containers to store water in when the notice is given? Your goal: not to have to go water shopping.
- Do you have a way to keep warm if it’s winter or cool if it’s summer? Check out this post from Outdoor Life – Survival Skills: How To Stay Warm During a Power Outage. for excellent ideas on staying warm while sheltering in place.
- What will you do if water and sanitation service is disrupted. Where will you “go”?
- Do you have a way to contact your family and let them know you are safe?
- Do you have a battery operated or solar/crank radio so you can keep up to date on information?
- How about a way to keep your cell phone charged? I’m going to look into a solar charger today.
- Do you have a way to entertain yourself and the kids?
Review some of our previous posts for more information: