Monday, March 25, 2019

So, You Think You're Prepared: Week 1, Day 1


Week 1, Day 1
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This class is written and taught by Patsi @ A Working Pantry on A Working Pantry blog.

Welcome to Day 1 in our ‘So, You Think You’re Prepared’ class. (Warning this is a loooonnnnng post and no they won't all be this long!)


Good Morning Everyone! Today, is the day we kick off our class ‘So, You Think You’re Prepared.’ I hope you’re ready! 

This class comes from my experience or things I witnessed others experience as a result of major hurricanes. You may not have to worry about hurricanes where you live but the end results are pretty common with other disasters. The end results are what I want you to glean from, learn from and use to get better prepared.

Are you ready, let’s do it …

The 2 hurricanes that hit our area in the fall of 2018 were not our first experience with hurricanes. In the fall of 2016 our area was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew which brought much devastation. After Hurricane Matthew we made it a priority to get better prepared as we live in hurricane country and felt pretty sure it wouldn’t be our last one.

While we did learn a lot from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael in 2018 took that education to a new level. We thought we were prepared and we were, but there was still much that was ahead of us to learn.

I could tell you about the family who, after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 swept through our area, built their new home 18 feet off the ground thinking their house would be safe during upcoming flooding but the flood waters from Hurricane Florence rose 23 feet and their house was flooded.

I could tell you about the crazed man who went on a rant at a gas station because he didn’t have any drinkable water and couldn’t find any anywhere to purchase. I could tell you about him running up to me and demanding I tell him where he could find water.

I could tell you about the mile long line of people in their cars waiting for emergency supplies being handed out.

I could tell you about the people who lost their homes for the first time and the second time in two years due to hurricane associated flooding.

I could tell you about the emotional toil the devastation took on so many.

I could tell you about the people who didn’t have food, hygiene products, water, diapers, baby formula, etc and couldn’t get them.

I could tell you about the empty store shelves of milk, meat and perishables because trucks couldn’t get in the area.

I could tell you about the people who were completely cut off from any type of access and about how food and supplies had to be air-dropped to them.

I could tell you about the people who took advantage of the situation and about the people who rose to the occasion and went out of the way to help others.

I could tell you about the people who lived in tents and campers in their yards after the flood waters went down afraid to leave their property unattended or because they couldn’t financially do anything else.

I could tell you about the many people who simply had no idea what to do or where to even begin to pick up the pieces.

I could tell you about levee’s breaking causing devastating flooding to areas that had never been flooded.

I could tell you about people who had to evacuate their homes on a moment’s notice in the midst of flood waters rolling into their area.

I could tell you about people who were holed up in church buildings because they had nowhere else to go while waiting for flood waters to recede.

I could tell you about the days and days people went without power.

I could tell you about people who had home owners insurance but flood insurance wasn't a part of their coverage, which left them having to pay for all the repairs while continuing to make mortgage payments. 

I could tell you about people standing in line at portable food wagons to get hot meals.

I could tell you about the people who had trees fall onto their homes causing great damage.

I could tell you about thousands of people doing the best they could while waiting for insurance claims to be processed.

I could tell you about the many that were denied help from FEMA.

I could tell you about the people who thought this kind of thing would never happen to them.

I could tell you about road closures and bridge damage.

I could tell you about the people who are still not back in their homes and that are still dealing with repairs.

I could tell you all this and so much more but I’ve chosen to use what we experienced or witnessed others experiencing to help you be better prepared through the means of this class.

I hope as we go through this class, you will find something that can help you prepare or be better prepared. I hope the things you learn will help you to never have to say, “I thought we were better prepared.”

Let’s begin by sharing your thoughts on some of the things I’ve shared in this post.

In tomorrow's entry, the storm of all storm hits!

Check out this related link … Preparing for a Possible Hurricane … Again!

patsi

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




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25 comments:

  1. I don't live in a likely hurricane zone (S. California) but we had wildfires this past summer come very close and of course the ever present earthquake risk. I don't think there is 1 in 1,000 who are prepared to cope with the aftermath of a disaster of the significance that you described. Recently a series of podcasts was made about surviving the "big one" meaning a major earthquake in the Los Angeles area. I've still to listen to it but will in conjunction with what you are covering. https://www.npr.org/podcasts/674580962/the-big-one-your-survival-guide

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    1. Juhli, This class is all about dealing with the daily things during a disaster that only get briefly mentioned, if that. I'm going to check out the earthquake link you shared.

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  2. Here in Kansas, we don't have hurricanes but sometimes we get rain from them after it has traveled through several states. We are in Tornado Alley and that is what we worry about. I have seen where a tornado has leveled a town and because of it, people had trouble finding the streets they lived on. You think you are prepared but in a situation like that, how can you be other than to have a go bag ready and hope you can get out in time. I'm looking forward to this class Patsy, your classes always make us think and find places where we are not prepared enough. Thank you for what you do. Paula in Kansas

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    1. Paula, Having a to-go bag ready and available to grab and go when needed is priceless and you're right, sometimes that's all we can do. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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  3. That was quite a list of "I could tell you about . . .", Patsy. Each one heartbreaking on their own. Thank you for doing this class. We live in a an area that does see tornados on occasion so I'm looking forward to all that you have to share. Thanks for all time you put into these classes.

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    1. You're welcome Sandi, it was a devastating time for a lot of people in our area, many we knew personally. I wish I could say that none of what I've written is true but I can't, all of it is true. We witnessed it or experienced it first hand. The goal in writing and teaching these classes is to help people know how to prepare and what to prepare to make the aftermath of a natural disaster easier to cope with. I hope people will listen and take the class seriously. Thank you for your encouragement Sandi!

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  4. I always thought we were well prepared but a recent evacuation because of a forest fire showed me alot . We had our bug out bag and our house is landscaped to avoid fires we also used our heavy equipment to make fire lines but many neighbors lost their homes anyway . Sure opened my eyes up .

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    1. Dee, it totally changes your perspective when your preparedness is tested doesn't it?

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  5. We have hurricanes in our area. I am looking forward to your tips to help me be better prepared.

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    1. Christine, I hope you find this class helpful.

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  6. WOW! So much to deal with and to think about. We haven't had a hurricane here since the 1950's - but we had a severe ice storm a couple of years ago which really impacted the city and we can get some vicious summer storms (tornados do occasionally hit around us but it is unusual) and they can also knock out power for days at a time so I am always surprised at how little prep friends and family do. They laugh at me because I have a "Go bag" and keep a stocked pantry - but when power did go out I had water, food, candles, a battery powered radio and a landline that worked - so while it was uncomfortable because of the temperatures (heat one time and the cold another) - I could at least manage and not go hungry. Really looking forward to this as I'm about ready to do a major restock of items and want to think it through carefully. Any tips from readers living in a large city would also be appreciated.

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    1. Margie, I have talked to people who had no choice but to live off of cheese nips or whatever they could find because they didn't heed the warnings and prepare. You just keep doing what you're doing, you'll be so glad you did when the next set back comes along.

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  7. Thank you so much for this Patsy. We don't get hurricanes here (very strong winds though) but we do live with bush and the possibility of flooding. As a result of country living for a long time, we always keep all our vehicles at least half-full of fuel, and have spare fuel on hand - enough to fill at least one twice and we have "go boxes" with enough basics to last a couple of weeks - longer if we stretch them, and "go bags" for quick evacuations. I also have a stockpile of everything we need for 12 months. A few years ago we bought a generator to keep our freezers going during extended blackouts, and we have spare fuel to run it. But in saying that, I've been pressed the last couple of years to move away from freezing as my method of preserving to dehydrating and bottling. I'm saving up for a pressure canner, and then we won't be so reliant on the freezers. We are campers, and are set up to be self-sufficient for at least a month without having to restock if needed (we often travel to remote areas of our country). The only thing we don't have at the moment is a sat phone, but it is on our list. They're expensive to buy and to use so we're saving up. I'm looking forward to learning how we can be better prepared for any eventuality :)

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    1. Cath, it sounds like you are already in a good position. I too like the idea of being less dependent on our freezer. I look forward to learning from you through your comments and I hope you will find something that will help toward your preparedness in this class.

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  8. Thank you Patsy for taking the time to do this class and no doubt we will all find something of value in your experiences and a good way to prepare and maybe look at our own preparedness and how we can do better.

    We also get mini tornadoes here in Australia as well as cyclones and we personally experienced one about 3 years ago. Our house stood but the vegetable gardens/fences/trees were decimated. I had a bad feeling days before and we harvested everything and blanched and froze it. That kept us going for some months until we could get produce again from the gardens.

    I did go through a major flood event as a child in the 1974 floods and my grandmother who was born in the great depression looked after us as we were cut off by flood waters both sides of us with no transport. We survived well and my grandmother could cook and make things from what I remember from almost nothing (staples) as a child.

    It is amazing what you can do in a crisis if you are well prepared beforehand.

    sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

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    1. Lorna, you said it so well, it is amazing what one can do in a crisis if you are well prepared beforehand!

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  9. Dear Patsi,
    There is so much to learn here. We have hurricanes, and fires are also a threat as we often go through serious droughts. Going through Hurricane Harvey with a 4 month old baby was scary. I prepared as best as I could, and believe I was in a much better position than most, but even then I still had the feeling I should have prepared more. Thank you so much for having the class here on the blog!
    Love, Kelsey

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    1. You are welcome Kelsey, I hope you learn something that is beneficial to you.

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  10. Patsy your list brought back memories of cyclones that we have lived through and the aftermath of those. I thought I was well prepared for anything at anytime. I was wrong. When Bluey got so sick and was in hospital for 10 weeks, I found I didnt know how to do a lot of the things he does all the time. I suddenly had a lot to learn and no one to teach me. I have since learnt how to use the tools and what they are for. This post has made me realise that our bug out bag, the caravan, is currently empty. I used to keep the caravan cupboards with a store of non perishables, so that in the event of a cyclone or flood we could have the car hooked up to the van and be away within half an hour. I must address this.

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    1. Jane, knowing how to do the things our husbands normally take of is so important, you are a wise woman to do that. Keeping your caravan in a state of readiness is such a good idea, sounds like you are doing some wise thinking.

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  11. Hi Patsy,
    was unable to join in yesterday as I was working. What Cath said about not being so reliant on the freezers struck a chord with me ans I find myself being drawn to storing more dried and canned stuff and also water. We had an article in out news last week saying that the water companies reckon that by 2025 we could all be on rationed water in the UK because supply will outstrip demand. Frightening!!!

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    1. Kim, that is very frightening about the possibility of water rationing. I believe I would be researching all possible sources and ways to be able to meet my needs.

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  12. I have a good stockpile of food, and my financial papers are all organized in a fire and flood proof box. I ordered some dehydrated emergency food that I keep in the car, along with dog food. I think I will update my backpack and water. It's so important to be prepared. Thanks for this post.

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    1. The Awakened Soul, it is so important to be prepared and to remember to update those things that need updating on a regular basis!

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