Friday, October 14, 2016

Why Prepare?

Before we get started with this post I want to thank Annabel B. for her generous contribution to this site.  You can find Annabel blogging on her blog at The Bluebirds are Nesting.  Thank you Annabel … thank you, thank you, thank you!

A week ago today, on Friday, October 7th, 2016, Hurricane Matthew slammed into our area leaving massive destruction.  Many were caught unprepared because of the varying weather/hurricane predictions we were given.  Others did not even attempt to prepare because ‘they just don’t do that kind of thing.’

We were among the minority who didn’t receive any damage, that we’ve been able to find thus far, other than a yard filled with debris (our mail box was a casualty, but that really was nothing compared to others). We did lose power, phone and internet service but have all three back as of this writing.  While we did not have all of our regular comforts of home, we made it fine … because we were prepared.

Preparedness is not just for those who think there is going to be some kind of major world/national apocalyptic event.   I firmly believe, and the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has reinforced this belief, that everyone should have some level of preparedness.

This week I’ve seen and talked with …

those who lost everything due to flooding or because a dam broke/was over run (I think my heart goes out to these people the most, there just isn’t a way to prepare for sudden catastrophic flooding),

those who lost power and were existing on honey buns and snack foods,

those who lost everything in their refrigerators and freezers because of lack of power,

those who had no safe drinking water,

those whose ability to get to work became impossible or in some instances suddenly became unemployed because of the devastation of Hurricane Matthew  (The economic fallout of Hurricane Matthew is just beginning to be felt.) ,

those who were and are stranded in their homes because of flooding,

those who had no means of non-electric lighting, and

those who had no water for household purposes during the power outage.

I’ve seen and talked to people who had no food, they simply could not fathom having more than 4 or 5 days of food in the house and when you take into consideration that a good part of that food required refrigeration or a freezer; that 4 or 5 days suddenly became 2 – 3 days of food.

So, why prepare?   Do catastrophic events only happen to others?  Is there not a need for a basic level of preparedness?  I’ve always thought there was and after what I’ve seen and witnessed this week, I’m even more convinced.  So, beginning next week, I am going to start a series on how to build and maintain a very basic 1 month preparedness ‘pantry’ that will see you through your own “Hurricane Matthew’ type scenario. 

I hope you will join me in this new series beginning next Wednesday and that you’ll share with others about it too! 

Want to see how I’m doing on my April’s to-do/goals list … go HERE.
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  1. So glad you are safe . I'm looking forward to this series as I do all your posts . Thanks for doing this and take care.

    1. Your welcome Dee, and thank you for your sweet words of encouragement.

  2. Being prepared is just good common sense. While living in Mississippi, I learned how to pressure can vegetables and meat. That way we had food if the power was out from disaster ~ tornados or hurricanes ~ we could eat. We also started storing rice/beans/soups/etc. to help others with a hot meal if necessary. Having an extra propane tank for your grill is a must. You can cook the food! This will be an awesome series and we can all learn new things for our households!

    1. Donna, sounds like you have some experience in this area too!

  3. Patsi,
    I am so glad that you will be sharing this knowledge with others. It only takes one event and not having the things you need to get you through that event can render one almost helpless. Being prepared gives us the ability to as you have shown not only help ourselves, but others as well. And it can be done affordably and within a budget with a little planning. I think you have done a wonderous job there Patsi!

    1. Thank you Vicky! You are such an encouragement to me!

  4. Yes, Patsy, these posts on being prepared are always good! If we do what we can with what we have, then we can place the rest in the hands of the Eternal. He can make the little we have provide more than enough for our needs, if He chooses. Meanwhile, there is so much to do!! A question - It seems to me that your main burden is that of others in need. Obviously, to help them all would leave you with nothing. Have you built parameters for yourself?
    Rachel Holt

    1. Rachel, this is a hard question to answer and I don't know that I have a concrete answer. All I know is that for this particular scenario at this given time, I can not turn my back on the needs of those around me. In this particular scenario help is starting to come in from many different areas which frees those of us who are helping from our own personal preparedness from being overly stretched. Does this make sense? By the way, I agree completely that God is able and that He can provide more than enough for our needs, if He chooses.

  5. So glad that you were spared major damage from the storm. Preparedness is a must, no matter where you live. My husband told me he recently heard we were predicted to have a bad winter this year in Ky. I have canned, frozen, or dried everything in sight it feels like. Even though our garden did poorly this year due to the weather, we were blessed with produce from other avenues. I know you will be glad to get back to normal at home and on the blog. Looking forward to seeing more on your series of your mortgage free home when things settle down. Take care. --Vicky L.

    1. Vicky, I hope to get back to my normal blogging in the upcoming week. I sure hope those predictions about a bad winter in Kentucky are wrong!!!!

  6. We have had several cyclones (southern hemisphere name for hurricanes) forcast to cross the coast over Queensland, Australia this Wet (summer) season. Like you, we have lived through several, and like you were prepared and then helped those around us who were not. We found out who were takers and we found out those who ended up helping us when they could. I'm a great believer in paying it forward and know that those who you help now will be those that help others when they can.
    So glad that you have come through this traumatic event and that it has given you impetus to put together a series on being prepared. I have just gone through and stocked up our emergency box, so will be very interested to see what you put together.
    Stay safe and healthy.

    1. Jane, you should have lots to share during the series!

  7. I hope you will share information about your generator in your post. We have been thinking about purchasing one, but know nothing about using it or what to purchase.

  8. Patsy, this is such a worthwhile post. Like Jane, I live in Queensland, Australia, where storms and cyclones are part of life during Summer. You learn to be prepared and the state government actually advertises heavily, advising this. Surprisingly though, many remain unprepared, and only realise their folly, when faced with empty supermarket shelves, no electricity, and a family to feed. You are right in saying it's not just about food. Torches, candles, a battery powered radio, matches, a camping stove, camping lanterns, toilet paper, solar or other alternative energy-powered cooking implements...these are all vital additions to a well prepared home. Thanks for your continuing inspiration. Love, Mimi xxx

  9. Patsy, I am so pleased you are okay. I have been away visiting my grandchildren but tried to check now and again to see how you fared. I have friends in North Carolina and Florida and wasn't sure if they were in the firing line but they are okay. Like Mimi and Jane, I live in Queensland and we are always being reminded to be prepared and there were ads on TV just tonight making sure everyone has a kit ready in case of an emergency. On the Down to Earth forum too we have been talking all year about being prepared. I look forward to your upcoming posts too.

  10. I think I'm pretty well stocked for just about anything,but I am so looking forward to your ideas and such to see where I may find areas to prepare better.


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