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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