Tuesday, March 26, 2019

So, You Think You're Prepared: Week 1, Day 2

Week 1, Day 2
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This class is written and taught by Patsi @ A Working Pantry on A Working Pantry blog.
Its coming, the storm of all storms!  The weather forecasters have been giving around the clock coverage urging everyone to prepare for the last 5 days.   The major highways are full of people evacuating.  You feel pretty confident in your preparedness but just to make sure you give everything one last check.
The wind and the rain start, it rains for 4 days during which the sun doesn’t shine.  Sometimes the rain is hard and heavy; sometimes it comes in sideway sheets.  The wind gusts are so strong that you can hear trees creaking and cracking.  The wind whistles around your house and you pray your house will stand.  
The creeks and ditches are filling up with rainwater and in some areas roads are being flooded.  Then you hear a thud, the tree closest to your house comes down … does it hit your house or another structure on your property?
If it hits your house or a building on your property, is the damage such that you have no choice but to do immediate repairs or even evacuate your home?  If not, are you going to go out in the wind and rain to assess the situation?  How dangerous is this?  If you make the decision to go out, what are you going to do if the tree has fallen on a structure?  Remember the wind and rain are still going strong and the danger of branches and more trees coming down is high.

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

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

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  1. Patsy it all gets you thinking doesn't it as you have to critically evaluate your safety in any given situation.

    There are a lot of things to way up before you would go out to assess damage -

    - Are you on high enough ground to stay before the flooding hits ?,is it wiser to evacuate if you know your house will flood inside?, and if so are you prepared with enough food, bottled or stored water and alternative sources of energy to get by for a week or more if you choose to stay ?.
    - When the tree comes down can you possibly get a torch and assess the situation from inside the house through a window rather than going outside ?.
    - Is it safe enough given the high winds and rain to go outside or better to wait until weather conditions improve ?.

    The most important thing in my mind would be my and my families safety and you have to do some critical analysing of the situation before you put yourself or others in danger. There are so many variables depending on the situation.

    I know that in a major storm with high winds and rain we had on the Gold Coast that our gutter downpipes came loose and the downpipe clamps snapped in the wind and myself and husband went out together to tie the downpipes to the house so they didn't fly into the neighbours home but the wind at that time was not at it's height but still strong. He hung on to me and I tied them in place and we went back inside and the temporary repairs were enough for them to stay there until the storm and wind had abated. We then did more permanent repairs afterwards.

    In the instance of higher winds and lots of rain I certainly wouldn't want to be doing something like tarping my roof as the wind and the danger of flying away with the high winds catching a tarp that would act like a sail or chainsawing a large tree due to the slippery conditions.

    Just how I would evaluate the situation and everyone will probably have differing ideas.

    sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Lorna, you are right, so many things have to be taken into consideration in a situation like this with the safety of everyone being the most important.

  2. Where I live, flooding is not a problem. We cut several trees down 10+ years ago that were too close to the house/leaning towards the house. More likely it would be a neighbor's tree. There are a few that could come down. None of them are directed at the house so that is good. A few could take out our shed. We would be able to see it from the kitchen if it happened. We would leave it until the storm is over. We have a gas(always have some stored but with advance notice would have gotten extra) operated chainsaw so Hubby would use that as soon as it is safe. Lots of tarps are stored so they would go on the shed to protect it, again when it is safe.

    1. Making Cents of It All, tarps were in high demand and scarce during this time in our area. There was so much damage!

    2. I meant I have a bunch of tarps stored in my house.Sorry.

  3. A few years ago a tornado went by just outside of our little town. We were in the basement and you could see the rain coming in buckets, the trash cans and tree limbs were flying by the windows. We did hear a tree snap but I wouldn't let anyone go upstairs to check until the all clear was sounded. The tree was our
    neighbors and it missed our garage but hit his house. With the rain coming down like it did, we probably wouldn't have been able to see all the things flying through the air and someone would have been hurt and although the thought of damage was scary we decided life over material things. So in this situation, I would probably do the same thing unless the basement started to flood, then it would be time to evacuate. Paula

    1. Paula, we chose safety over material things too!

  4. I probably wouldn't go out to check the damage, but I would try to assess the damage from inside. If it looks like the tree hit my house, I would move the things that I could to a dry area. If the damage isn't too bad, I would put buckets to catch the water. If a window has busted out, we could put plywood or a tarp up from the inside to help temporarily. I would turn off the main electrical breaker, and cut off the propane tanks

  5. Before Kansas, I lived in Southern Cal. We dealt with so many things there.
    Fires, then mudslides. Earthquakes- 3 big ones in my lifetime. And even riots with curfews. We made it through all of them well. Others we know had a much rougher time and so much of it is truly out of our control. A Go-bag and a closet full of canned food and water isn't any good when your apartment goes from 3 levels to one and you're lucky to get out alive(Northridge EQ 1994). 3 of my friends experienced that and didn't even have shoes on.

    However, I also saw lots of what Patsy saw. Lines and lines of cars waiting for things like water, food, etc. If your house is still habitable, you are truly blessed. That was us. I'm glad that in the days that followed, we were able to stay home, care for ourselves, our pets, etc. without having to add to the lines of people waiting.

    Now we're in tornado alley and in the 15 yrs. we've been here, we've only hit the hidey hole twice. But, we're prepared as well as we can be.

    I'm looking forward to your lessons, Patsy. Might I add an item that few people think of in their emergency kits? A whistle for each family member to hang around their neck. That shrill squeal can carry much farther and louder than a voice, especially if someone has little energy or is injured and trapped in their home or basement.

    1. Debby, a whistle is an excellent idea for the very reason you mentioned! Thank you for the tip!

  6. Yikes! We never think things like this will happen to us.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  7. We have had a tree come down on our house in a big storm. There was no way we could go out in that storm and do anything about it. At the time we had no ceilings so we just put out every bucket and container we could find. Our bed was right under where the tree hit. Our young son was in the room next door. He got moved onto his mattress in our daughters room and we moved our now wet mattress into the lounge. Not a lot of sleep happened after the tree hit the roof. The next day we had a paddle pool in our bedroom. Once daylight arrived we had the tools required, and the health to be able to remove the tree from the roof. We had plenty of tarps to cover up the hole until we could get the materials to fix the roof.

    1. Jane, in a crisis we have to do the urgent until we can do better don't we? I know that was a scary incident!!!

  8. I'm going to give you my honest answer. First of all, I would have evacualted. If they are telling you to get out, then you should get out! This request is not made lightly by the athorities. There is no point in risking our families lives by staying. EVERY TIME we watch these stories on the news, we always shake our heads at the ones who insist on staying behind. Sorry, but you were warned, people!!!

    If this was a sudden onset of a storm, and we heard a tree come down, in my opinion, there is nothing we can do to change the situation until the storm settles down. If it damaged the building we were in, and it needed to be dealt with immediately, then we do what we can with what we have. Otherwise, sit tight and wait it out. There will be plenty of time to deal with the damage, once the storm clears.

    1. Rhonda, mandatory evacuation was done on the coastline. Those further inland were not required to evacuate. We are 60 miles inland and were not required to evacuate. If there had been a mandatory evacuation order issued we would have boarded up and left. I used to think the same thing that you are saying, 'why don't they leave, you were warned.' Now I know. I've talked to many, I've seen lots and the reason some don't leave is that they have no where to go, they don't have the funds (evacuation is costly), they don't want to leave their animals/pets, they don't have a way to evacuate and fear of having everything they own stolen while they are away. It can be many days or even weeks before evacuated area residents are allowed back in and criminals take advantages of situations like this. I used to not understand it, now I do. Is it always the right choice, no, but I understand the reasoning and the thought process behind such choices. For us, if we were under mandatory evacuation we would leave and take our chances on what we found when we returned. We have a plan for just such a situation and a place we can go to. This is one thing I'm trying to do with these disaster preparedness classes, teach others to be prepared for the worst case scenario and to have a plan ready to implement if needed.


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