Last week, my neck of the woods endured the reaching tentacles of an earthquake and the threat of a hurricane. Throw in the topsy turvy curves of the financial market and it was an exhausting week. Whew.
The earthquake was something. Really. Stop laughing west coasters. Those of us not in earthquake-prone areas (used to) enjoy a smug confidence that we are “smart” enough not to live in earthquake-prone zones and we got shaken right off our pedestals.
I was sitting on my bed and the whole house just started shaking. My kids came running in to my room asking what happened. Everyone was fine. Neighbors gathered in the street and we all told our stories. Hubby was on the 9th floor of his office building. Yikes.
But we moved quickly on to Thursday and Irene.
Hindsight is proving that we over-anticipated the damage and devastation Irene would bring – thank God. But I throw no umbrellas at the weather forecasters and meteorologists. They were trying to keep us safe. I would always rather say “oh, that was silly” than “oh, we really should have”. In fact that is my parenting mantra. You cannot undo somethings – so if you can avoid them, yeah!
As the storm starting getting closer to us, I started realizing how little I had really done to get ready – even if it was “just in case”. So, in the darkening hours, I started to think about what I could still do.
And here are some of the things I learned in my emergency unpreparedness mode…..
- if your building rocks back in forth in an earthquake and everyone goes outside to wait for a decision on what to do next, simply get in your car and go home – you will avoid a ton of traffic – a ton of traffic.
- if you go to the bank and get out cash in case you lose power and the atm’s suddenly don’t work, you should really put that money back in your account a.s.a.p. because if the power does not go out and all the cash registers are working and you have a ton ‘o cash in your pocket, and well….. you get the idea.
- it’s also not smart to buy a bunch of frozen food right before an anticipated storm – even it is on a tremendous sale and you have a great coupon – because if the electricity does go out, you will have a hot mess on your hands
- a bathtub will hold about 70 gallons of water – so if you remember at the last minute to fill a tub with water just in case there is water contamination and you suddenly realize that you don’t have a stopper for the bathtub drain, a lemon works great
- if you laughed at me filling up the tub, remember you can use that water to flush the toilet 😎
- two hours before a storm is no time to buy flashlights or batteries
- you can still buy very expensive candles two hours before a storm
- when packing food and water, make sure you pack a few games like a deck of cards and yahtzee – lots of time together in a small space can get quite boring with nothing to do but look at each other
- make sure you have a can opener on hand that does not require electricity – all that non-perishable food will do you little good if you cannot get it open
- make sure you also include some sort of pain reliever in your emergency stash – lots of little people in a small space can get loud
- if you are a caffeine addict, make sure your pain reliever stash includes Excedrin
- it’s a lot of fun to have a family sleepover in the basement
- don’t give the kids the air mattress during a fun family sleepover in the basement (they are young and flexible – their backs are better suited for the stinky mattress on the pull out sofa)
- not everyone in your house will agree on just how prepared you need to be 😉
- a full tank of gas is never a bad thing
- and a full tank of gas for the grill is never a bad thing
All in all, we survived all of the chaos with barely a bruise and we are praying for those who weren’t so lucky.