Monday, May 2, 2011

How to Be Prepared for Anything

For those that noticed I had a blog post on Friday, I had already written it and had it scheduled. How ironic that the title was "New Beginnings." Little did I know that is exactly how it would be.

Again, things could have been worse for us. We were very fortunate to have our house still standing and functioning comfortably. My heart goes out to those that lost everything - their home, their family, their jobs. Most people have not lost hope, though. Hope keeps you going. Hope makes you want to see what is around the corner.

I have seen neighbors helping neighbors that previously they did not know or did not like. It has been amazing to see communities coming together, rallying around each other, and encouraging rebuilding.

There have been stories of destruction and loss as well as love and blessings.

You learn to be thankful for what you have and to make do with what you have as well.

It was my goal this month to try to just live off what I had in the freezer and pantry. Little did I know that we would truly be challenged with this. I am grateful for this challenge, because there are some not as fortunate.

Here are some things that I have learned in order to try to be prepared for anything whether it is tornadoes, ice storms, or a crisis.
1. Have a weather radio
If your power goes out and you are not able to watch the news, this will allow you to know what it coming. In fact the weather people listen to this along with all their technology to give you the latest reporting of the storm watchers.

2. Buy a generator!
This is a must. We did not loose any food like most people did. Ken installed it in the shop to already run the things that we needed. We did not have extension cords running every where. All we did was connect it to the breaker, and turn it on as well as put gas in it several times. You may also need several gas tanks, depending on the generator that you have, in order to power your generator. We used 5 gallons of gas a day.

3. Keep cash on hand just in case.
With no power there is no ATMs open. Some stores where open but just selling things off the aisle. Cash was necessary for this.

4. Keep extra meat in the freezer or things that you could eat in cases of emergency.
We have been eating well, thankfully, and learning that if you get creative, you can cook anything on the grill. My friend, Lea Ann even made brownies on her grill!

5. Get a grill whether gas or charcoal.
We have a gas grill, and food never tasted so good!

7. If you have solar lights, you can bring them in at night, and they will last until morning.
We have been sharing ours with our neighbor. They last all night until morning.

8. If you need supplies, get up early, and don't head to the bigger cities or biggest places, but go to the smaller towns or smaller places.
When I headed into TN, the lines for gas for 20-40 cars deep. I just keep going toward downtown, waited behind one car, and was able to get all the gas I needed. Same with groceries, I got what I needed at the Dollar General Market, waited in line for 30 minutes, and was able to leave before it got CRAZY!!! I also stopped at a farmers market and got vegetables to grill.  

9. Have coolers on hand if necessary
Just in case your food does start to spoil. After 4 hours, the food in your fridge is considered spoiled. I am sure there are some things that would last a little longer. With a cooler, you will have to have ice or at least pull things out of your freezer to cool your food until you can get some ice. This also helps if you are going to get supplies. I wish I had a small cooler or cooler bag to bring my cold things back in because I did not know how long it would take me to get back home.

10. Get a storm shelter or at least have access to one
Although we have one, we did not use it. It just goes straight down and freaks me out. I thought we would chance it in the hall, but after I saw all the devastation, I think I will now try to get in the shelter if necessary.

11. Help your neighbor
Tootsie has to be walked, (one day she even brought me her leash), so we would go and check on our friends through out the neighborhood. People have come down to our house to power up their cell phones. Ken has provided small batteries so that our neighbors could at least listen to the radio. We have lent out our solar lights so that others can have light. We have enjoyed the conversations and getting to know our neighbors even better. I have seen our neighbors help each other clean up yards, provide food, and just be supportive.  

It never hurts to be a little prepared.

Next time, and I never hope that it will never be as bad as this, I will be better prepared by making sure we have all the gas we need before the storm hits. I will also make sure I have the laundry done. I had most of it done except for Ken's work clothes which has been hanging outside to dry. Nothing a little frebreeze and good sunlight couldn't fix. They were just a little stiff.

Another thing that we have been talking about for months is having an emergency kit together. If you can create a three day emergency kit, you are more prepared than most. I will be researching this more!

We were beyond blessed. Ken has been prepared since last July for something like this. He got a generator, and it has truly saved us. He also works for TVA and has been working extra shifts to try to aid in getting the power back on. I am so proud of him and all that he has done for us!

There are so many areas in Alabama and Mississippi hurting right now because of this storm. I am sure that there are so many ways to help and volunteer. Here is one way to donate and find out more.

Hope your Monday is going great!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

In case your wondering, I did schedule this post as well! You never know when you will or will not have Internet access!


  1. I am so thankful you are safe. :) I love you!

  2. I think after Hurricane Katrina everyone learned what to have and not have for an emergency. We always make sure there are candles, gas for both generators, batteries are charged, extra propane for the grill, etc. However, I have never thought of having extra cash on hand. Mainly because I never carry cash — always the debt card. But you make a great point and from now on we are going to keep some handy. So thankful that you, Ken and Toots are safe and unharmed. And, I love the new layout!

  3. Very good. I would add to put on socks and shoes if you don't already have them on. Read my post on the UA student's account of the storm and you will want to add that to your list fo sho. haha


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