Thursday, June 29, 2017

Disaster Preparedness Class Q & A ... part 2

As promised, here’s part 2 of the Q & A from our disaster preparedness class.  Part 1 can be found HERE.

Let’s get started …

Neighbors …

Were your closest neighbors as prepared as you?

Some were and some weren’t!

Were you aware of any neighbors who did not prepare for the disaster and then imposed on others?

Sad to say, yes!

Misc Questions …

Did you or husband have any medical issues while this was going on?

No we did not, other than minor scraps, bumps and bruises.  We were again blessed!

The thing I've been thinking about is trash. How long was it before trash service was restored in your area? How badly did it pile up? We have paper- and plastic-ware set aside for emergencies so that we won't waste precious water stores, but that generates a lot of trash. Food scraps can be composted or fed to the dog, cat, or chickens. Uncoated paper plates and bowls, paper towels, paper napkins, and tissues can be burned, but what to do with plastic or Styrofoam cups, plastic cutlery, and coated plates? We don't want to attract ants, raccoons, etc.

Trash pick-up was determined by ‘if the trucks could get to you or not.’  I think we missed one week of trash pick-up.   It really was not an issue for us because we have a burn barrel that we can burn trash in if we need to.

Oh, and what about the toilet? did you have water to flush or did you do something else? I've always thought an outhouse could come in handy during an emergency.

Our water to flush the toilets came from rain water we caught and from water we had stored in empty soda bottles and empty milk jugs.  We adopted the rule … ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down.’

From the most recent posts, I'd be interested to learn what to REALLY do once the power comes back on.

We immediately started flushing toilets and cleaning.  We cooked inside on our electric stove and did lots of laundry.  We took showers!!!! It was so nice when it came back on!  We were also very watchful of brownouts, which we had.  At the first sign of lights going dim or appliances slowing down we immediately turned them off.  A few times we lost power again, but it was only out for a couple of hours at a time.

Looking back and forward …

What did you learn?

I learned that there are some amazing people in this world. I learned that there are some incredibly greedy people in this world.  I learned that there is no such thing as storing too much water (it takes a lot more than one thinks when it’s not a simple fact of turning on the facet) and I had re-enforced the value of a well-stocked pantry!

In what way were you inadequately prepared for this disaster?

We did not have enough water stored!

What are you doing now to prepare for another disaster?

Keeping all areas of my pantry stocked and storing more water!

What are the top 3 (or most important) things you would have done differently considering the disaster?

Stored more water.
Stored more water.
Stored more water.

I realize that this is not the answer the reader was looking for but in our situation, that is the only thing I would have done differently.

There are a couple more suggestions I’d like to make.  One is that you need to remember when there is no electricity, ATM’s do not work.   Neither do cash registers, gas pumps and other things that we take for granted on a daily basis.  Take this into consideration when you are preparing.

The other suggestion I would make is to start preparing at the first sign of a pending disaster.  We weren’t supposed to get a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew, but we did.  It’s better to be prepared and not need your preparations, then not prepare and wish you had.

This concludes my series on disaster preparedness.  I hope it has been helpful to you!

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  1. Thank you for doing this series. Water is our main concern also.

    1. You're welcome! Clean water is so very important in a disaster situation.

  2. This was a fantastic series! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge. God Bless!

  3. thank you for sharing how important water is! If that is the 'top three/most important', then that is very informative. Thanks for taking the time to present this class. It has encouraged me to continue to prepare and in ways I didn't think of before.

    1. You're welcome Joy! My purpose in sharing our experience and in teaching these classes was to help people be aware and prepare. If I have done that than I have succeeded. Thank you for your encouragement!

  4. Thank you so much for answering all the questions. I need to find containers to save more water. Several years ago we were without power for 7 days due to an ice storm, but we still had water. Pipes in my kitchen froze but it was still thawed in the bathroom. It was a little unhandy to have to carry buckets from the bathtub to the kitchen to wash dishes but I WAS very thankful we still had it. We were able to take showers etc. My parents and another family of 4, (some of our close friends) stayed with us. We had gas logs so had some heat, and cooked on a little 2 burner Coleman camp stove. The men would go out with their saws and tractors and help clear the roads and cut tree limbs all day (the weight of the ice would break the trees and limbs and block the roads). We ladies stayed in and cooked creative meals. While the kids played. We still have some good memories but it was nice to have power back fully and not have to wait for the generator to be hooked up to wash a load of clothes. Lol. Thank you for this series, it was so helpful and such a good reminder for everyone to prepare cause you never know.

    1. Vicky, our area gets some really bad ice storms too so I completely understand what you are talking about. I am glad this series was helpful to you. Thank you for your encouragement!

  5. Hi Patsy,
    I was hoping to do this class as you went along but I've had limited internet access since we moved house a few weeks ago. I have been going though each one now as well as reading the comments and have quite a few things to add to my preparedness notes and to think about. Especially water!
    A big thankyou for your time in putting these together, it really is so helpful.
    All the best,

    1. Thank you Peach! I hope it is helpful to you!

  6. Patsy water is my main concern in being prepared too. The recommendation here in Australia is 5 litres per person per day; with 5 of us in the house that's 25 litres a day or 175 litres a week. When we go camping that's what I allow, but it certainly doesn't give enough for more than a small basin for personal hygiene. It is almost enough for drinking and cooking. We are smack bang in the middle of suburbia for the moment and I always keep a couple of slabs of drinking water on hand, but nowhere near enough to survive a disruption to supply for any length of time. Space and rotating it are the biggest problems we face with water storage but I'm working on it :)


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