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This is Why! part 6

Previous entries can be found HERE . Thus far we’ve talked about how I use leftovers to help stock my pantry, how I shop to fill my...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Disaster Preparedness Class #5

(This picture is just one of many scenes of Huricane Matthew's devestation to our area that I'll be sharing throughout this class.  I do not remember where I got this picture so I can't give credit.  I took many photos myself and others were shared with me so please understand if I can't give the proper credit for each photo I'll be sharing.)

It’s been over a week since the disaster started and you’re trying to hold it all together. Everyone is tired of not having electricity and their tempers are on a short fuse. No one is used to being together this much and tensions are building. It’s time to call a family meeting and discuss some ways to cope? How is your family coping? What are your family’s biggest complaints? What are yours? What is your plan for keeping peace in the family?

In addition, what are you doing or have done with your refrigerated or frozen foods? How are you flushing the potty? Do you have clean drinking water? How is everyone getting bathed and staying clean? How are you keeping everyone busy or entertained?

Reminder:  nothing is coming in ... what you have on hand is what you have to work with!

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

26 comments:

  1. Patsy, that photo of the flooded house is what we see most years after cyclones or heavy rain in our state in Australia. We even had it happen in our city a few years ago when an 'inland tsunami' hit. At the beginning of summer the ads start on TV about being prepared for a disaster. I am not sure if that happens in other states but I doubt it.

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    1. Nanna Chel, we knew that a hurricane was coming to our area, but the weather forecast was telling us that the worst would bypass us. It did not, in fact we got a direct hit. You just never know with these type storms, it always pays to be prepared.

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  2. I am still sitting pretty dry, though I do know there are some low areas surrounding me that would likely prevent me from leaving the immediate area (or getting very far). It's just me and my pup, so we should be holding out, though fresh water would be getting limited -- I'd be drinking other beverages on hand, and saving the bottled water for pup and cooking purposes. To stave off frustrations, I'd walk to visit close friends, to bounce off ideas and frustrations -- we have good bond and help each other when needed, emotionally and physically. Items in the refrigerator would have been cooked or moved to an ice chest, with any available ice packs / remaining ice, and that would continue to be a staple for meals cooked on the grill -- for both me and the pup, as his kibble is likely getting slim (he'll get chopped up chicken or perhaps some ground beef mixed in to stretch his bagged food). As I'm still a relative newcomer to this community, I'm unsure how neighborly everyone will be -- perhaps it's time for a community dinner -- bring something to throw into a big pot on the grill, with some pasta!

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  3. Frankly, I am having trouble imagining this 'what if' situation as it will never flood where I live--never. I can imagine fire/tornado (the house and all my preps are gone)or chemical spill where I have to evacuate (or stay inside for a period of time). If a fire destroys my house, most or all preps will be lost. If a tornado destroys my house, most preps other than what I have prepared (bug out bag, some valuables) also will be gone. Therefore, I know I need to get more files in one place to be ready to grab. A somewhat likely scenario would be a winter blizzard resulting in a loss of electricity. We can place frozen items outside and also keep cold items cold. We can cook and heat on the wood stove, or outside on the propane grill or fire pit. I think with careful watch, we could eat and have water for a month (for two people). What I'd be more concerned about is our neighbors... no, I'm not talking about checking on how they are doing. I am talking about if they are going to come banging on my door for food or breaking in. A few days without electricity might not get too serious, but a week or more? Our neighbors won't even grow a garden to supplement their food needs--they depend on Walmart. So taking a blizzard into consideration, I'd be okay. If electricity were off in the summer, using the wood stove would not really be an option--cooking outside would draw the neighbors in droves. (I have purchased some canned meat (beef, chicken, ham, tuna)but we might turn vegetarian... ha. Even though a flooding would not be my own 'personal disaster', there are still many general and wise plans we should make.

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    1. Joy, though your 'potential disaster' might be different, I hope there is something you can glean from this class. You do seem to be thinking things through and that is always good!

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    2. Joy, if a tornado hit in your area, but your home was not destroyed, you would still be in similar circumstances. Hydro could be out for extended periods, stores may have been destroyed and/or roads are blocked with a lot of debris and trees down, so no supplies getting in to the area.

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    3. Thanks Rhonda, I was thinking of the worst case scenario. I am glad to know that if I did have minimal damage, I could manage at home for awhile. I would hate to go to a shelter!!

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  4. oh, and perhaps the most likely 'disaster' we will all experience... loss of job, loss of income, illness of family members. Extra everything will come in handy then.

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    1. Joy, absolutely, the most likely disaster we would all experience is just what you've said, loss of job, loss of income or illness of family members, however, natural disasters are happening more and more ... or maybe it's that we have more coverage of them now ... and after what we've experienced and seen I want to be prepared for a natural disaster type scenario as well. (We live in hurricane country.) At any rate, preparing for the things you've mentioned would serve one well in a natural disaster situation too. I can see you are a deep thinker, great thoughts you've shared!

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    2. oh, and I just bought another case of drinking water today!!

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  5. Well, our biggest issue would be our autistic daughter. I'm pretty sure the loss of her precious electronics would result in constant and unrelenting whining. By now we are fully understanding why some animals eat their young! There's not much we can do to change this, so for now we do our best to put up with it (and yes, our tempers are absolutely firing on all cylinders). A family meeting is useless.

    Our refrigerated perishables and frozen meats would have been used daily until they were no longer safe to eat. We would be more than happy to share with neighbours if they needed it. I would assume most of them have food in their freezers to use up too, though. By now, I would expect most of the food to be inedible. We do have things, like extra bread, that are still available for consumption, which helps extend our pantry items. I'm pretty sure food could last for a couple weeks or more. If my neighbours asked, I'd share our food. I'm hoping they have drinkable water they can share with us!

    Drinkable water is our biggest problem. It's hard to ration it, if you have no idea how long you need to ration for. I would hope that the radio would give us some idea of what is happening and when help may arrive. Otherwise our water stores are pretty much used up and we're looking for a water source. With any luck, our neighbours my still have a working generator to hook up their well pump for a short time each day. Knowing our area, I wouldn't be surprised that there is water being offered somewhere to those who need it. After all, they already went through a massive flood in this area a few years ago, with much of the city affected. The local government have since made huge efforts to create emergency protocols for our area.

    Water for other needs is much easier for us to source. There is a waterway/canal within walking distance. If we can't take a vehicle, our garden wagon can be used. However, this water is most likely contaminated with sewage from run-off. We have bleach and can treat it to use for bathing. We are just doing sponge baths and washing hair by scooping water and it pouring over our soaped up head. Same water can be used to wash clothing by hand as needed (underwear mainly and maybe shirts/pants if needed, then hug to dry. We have lots of clothes and can wear more than once. But without showers, our bodies would make them smelly much faster. Toilets are flushed with untreated buckets of water as needed a few times a day.

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    1. Rhonda, it would most definitely be a very trying time. Are you making a list of things to do to prepare in the event of a real life disaster situation?

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    2. Depending on what electronics your daughter has you maybe able to get a cell phone charger to use in your car for emergencies. My cell phone charger for the SUV also works for my Kindle and tablet, the drain on the battery is very low and would not hurt the battery. There are also 12 volt battery packs for electronics that could be kept charged and used in an emergency, with an inverter it could also be charged in the car. It might be worth it to have something on hand to keep the stress down.

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    3. We do have a car cell phone charger and a portable cell phone charger that holds a lot of juice (enough to charge a phone 3-4 times). We keep the portable charger charged all the time. We would probably get a bit leery of constantly charging cell phones with the car battery after this much time and would decide it was not worth doing constantly for my daughter's sake. We need the vehicles working in case we need to go places with them...like picking up water! This is an emergency, so my daughter need to adapt like everyone else, regardless of her disability.

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  6. Because we're all starting to get cranky, we sit down to discuss what's REALLY frustrating each of us. We are trying to really listen to each other's complaints and concerns and work together to find a solution or compromise. For example, Mom is frustrated by the dirt! She can't vacuum and the dirt/mud/dog hair is getting on her nerves. We start brushing the dog in the garage more often, wiping paws and shoes more thoroughly before entering, and taking off shoes before walking on the carpets. Solutions like this cause us to work together and think of others' needs seriously.
    We've pressure-canned what we could of our perishable food (our propane is holding out great--no trouble there); eaten it; shared with neighbors; fed it to the dog, cat, and chickens; and composted whatever didn't make it. (We also have plenty of regular dog, cat, and chicken food to last for quite a while, yet.) We are also getting 4 - 5 eggs per day, so we know we'll always have a protein source.
    Buckets of water are being taken from our storage tank and stored in the bathrooms for flushing purposes. We're also purifying water from the tank with bleach or by boiling for drinking and cooking. Tank water is heated on the stove for sponge-bathing and washing hands and faces. We don't bathe daily, but more on an as-needed basis. I had to do this for 6 months last year for medical reasons; it's not fun, but I did become very efficient at it. Washing hair without running water is harder, so we put that off as long as possible. The tank holds about 3500 gallons of water and is attached to the fire hydrant for our property, but it has a valve at the bottom of the tank that we can use to access the well water that is stored in it.
    We all have our own ways of coping with the boredom: I work on crafts like crochet and card-making. Mom enjoys her adult coloring books. My sister spends extra time caring for the animals and getting lessons ready for going back to work at the preschool when the roads are clear. Dad is working on the car (a project he started before the storm) and doing maintenance jobs like cutting damaged limbs from trees. Together we are playing games, planning out the coming days, helping our neighbors, and maintaining the garden and orchard (picked cherries yesterday; that will give us some lovely fresh food!). All these things are being done during daylight hours. When it gets dark(around 8:30 this time of year) we go to bed.

    -Susan O

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    1. Susan, we do what we have to do don't we? Having access to a 3500 gallon tank is awesome!!!

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  7. Well we're still pretty dry here on the hill. My teenage son is going crazy though. He's trapped here- with us... I'm worried about the drinking water. We're almost out. I should have had more instant foods in the pantry. Normally I enjoy cooking from scratch, but a few instant things would be really helpful. I still have some fresh fruit and veg. but when it's gone I have very little in cans. I don't like the bpa in cans, but I don't think I can live without fruit and veg. very long. I might have to reconsider my grocery shopping items,perhaps can more of my own fruit this summer, and buy alot more water.

    Marney

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    1. Marney, this is most definitely a time for quick and easy meals. Instant foods are so convienent in a disaster situation as are paper plates, disposable silverware and disposable cups.

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  8. We are still dry where we are. Water is beginning to be a concern if we have been unable to find a supply to replenish ours. Today is the start of hurricane season in my area, something we need to be concerned about even if we live about 4 hours inland. We still have issues depending on the track of the storm. Told my hubby this morning that we need to add to our stock of bottled water ASAP so that is on my stock up list.

    As far as the stress among the family, we are doing OK. Hubby and I are used to being together the better part of each day as we are retired and a home bodies. Our youngest son is an adult (23) who attends college full time. Having him home for the summer is really a big help for us and we would already have a list of projects that need working on in and around the house. So he and hubby would spend part of each day doing what needs to be done. We have a decent sized garden so that needs tending everyday as well. I have a good supply of craft items for my hobbies. I could crochet, make cards, paint or make some jewelry items for gifts I'll need later in the year. There is always decluttering and organizing going on so that is something else I could be doing and I would certainly appreciate any help hubby and our son would give me.

    As for the food in our fridge and freezer, we would have started using that up right away. We would have used it until is was no longer safe to do so. We have a nice sized pantry and we would have then started on using is once all the fresh items were done. I have plenty of disposable paper products to use as well.

    Shelliajean

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    1. Shelliajean, today starts hurricane season for us too and we are about hour inland. We are working on making sure our hurricane preps are in top form too and water is at the top of the list! Sounds like you are weathering our imaginary scenerio better than most.

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  9. I was thinking the other day about hot water--if a person had one of those solar shower bags, they could fill that with water and have it out in the sun to heat up and use for bathing. I just read yesterday in a magazine about a woman who filled her garden hose, turned off the end spigot, and then let it sit in the sun---hot water by the end of the day!

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  10. All this togetherness (if the grands are here) will be wearing on me, but living in the country, I can escape by taking a walk or hiding out in the barn. We will be missing bread so I may experiment with baking it on the grill. Or making tortillas on it. We will have use of the generator yet. However if it goes out we will be in trouble for water and the freezers. We do have neighbors with generators so we could get to one of them for water. Freezer food we will do our best to consume or give away. Also if the generator goes out; we will have to utilize the old outhouse or fill buckets from the pond for flushing. Getting warmer and that makes me very cranky.

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  11. My OH gets very cranky in hot weather, so he gets snappy easily. we sat down and made a todo list. I have asked for more help in the garden whist he's home and asked him to take a look in the panty & make up a menu from whats there, because he says he's gotten fed up of eating same old, same old every day. This way he see's I'm not holding out on him, food wise. I have also asked him to make list off what he thinks we made need, if this happens again. We have also agreed to walk away & count to 10 whenever we feel like biting each others heads off. Managed to ring our parents to let then know we ok. His live in Scotland and my mum is the other side of the city. She's staying with my Sister until this is sorted. Cell towers seem to be working intermittently at the moment.Going to go for a walk tomorrow to see what's happenng. Will Take Dogs with us

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