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Are you Prepared?

My last post was about being prepared for power outages, severe storms and earthquakes, etc.  Living in the South, we are bombarded with tornadoes, severe thunderstorms with straight-line winds along with hurricanes!  We even have ice storms and snow storms some winters, so even then we are not safe from interruptions in our daily routines.

Being ready for such an event physically as well as emotionally takes preparation.  In the calm of a pretty day, you have to think about what you will need when the power goes out for a length of time.  When hurricanes and tornadoes knock out power, the need for normalcy becomes acute.  It is then we realize how much we rely on flipping that switch for everything we do.  Our cell phones, iPads, tablets, microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners/heaters are all powered by electricity.  Unless you are lucky enough to have a gas stove and a gas fire starter in your fireplace, you will have a hard time cooking and staying warm.

All of our communication tools need cell towers to work, and these have been known to have issues when there are storms.  Wind, hail, ice and lightening can damage or destroy cell towers and power lines.  Some events even take out gas lines!  Oh my.  So how are you going to feed your family, keep them warm or cool,  keep them hydrated,  calm their fears?

Now is the time to get ready.  To power your cell phones, iPads, tablets and such, there are portable solar chargers on the market that allow you to use the power of the sun to charge your laptops, cell phones, tablets and more.  Since the power grid may be down for days or even weeks, the ability to keep these items charged and useful is important.  The internet connection may be down, but the information you have downloaded can be accessed.  There are many solar chargers on the market and TreeHugger.com has an informative article on several options.  Use this link for more information.

After the event, trips to the local grocery store may not be possible.  Stock up your special cupboard with boxes of toilet tissue, paper towels and napkins in water proof bins.  Remove the toilet tissue rolls from the outside plastic and  press them flat, making the center roll as flat as possible.  This way you can fit more rolls into the bin, and when you need to add one to the spindle in the bathroom, the center roll will pop back in to shape.  Same with paper towels.  Just make certain your bin is water proof since you might have to contend with rain and high moisture for a while.

Space Bags work well for keeping paper, clothing, blankets, pillows and such dry and clean. I use them for travel as well as in my home for  linen storage.  Putting down comforters, blankets and extra pillows in a Space Bag makes more room in the linen closet, keeps bugs and dirt out as well as moisture.  So make a small investment in some Space Bags  for emergency storage options.  You will need to make the most of the storage area you choose.  Now with new technology, you can use a vacuum or roll the Space Bags to eliminate the air!   Use this link to find out more.

Don’t forget the pets in your family.  Put away some bedding for them to use when the event happens.  They will need to be warm, safe and dry too.  Rotate their food supply since dry food can get rancid if kept too long so keep fresh food in the bins for them. Don’t forget cat litter.  My kitties are spoiled, liking wet food for dinner and dry food during the day, so my closet is full of their stuff!

Now that I have given you a few ideas, sit and make your own personalized list of things to put into your safe place.  Being ready for the possibility of a catastrophic event makes the reality of the event less horrible.  Having medicines, foods, water and shelter options makes all the difference!  Tents, tarps, tools, camp stoves, candles, wind-up lights and radios, solar powered options and so much more.  The list is yours to make and even more important, yours to fulfill!  Stay well and be safe.



Surviving a Winter Storm

Surviving a Winter Storm for the past few days has been a testament to all that I have been posting about for several years.  I followed my plan and it has worked.  Just wish all the snow and ice would melt now so driving would be easier!

Mountain Snow

Planning for any severe storm takes a few minutes of thought and action as well.  This time I had to make certain that the kitties were taken care of since I am looking after a few extra kitties and need more food and water.  The little ones come first as do children.  Thinking ahead of time as to what response would be to a power outage helped me see what needed to be done before the storm so that during the storm I would be ready to respsond.

I like hot tea and the occasional cup of coffee.  Warm water is often in my cup in the winter since I find cold water in winter makes me well, cold!  Remember that hydration is important in winter.  So in anticipation of the power being out for an extended period, I took steps to make certain I had warm water for tea.

I boiled my filtered water from my Get Clean Water Pitcher, then poured it into several insulated travel mugs.  I put these insulated mugs into an insulated lunch bag.  Then that bag fit down into an insulated cooler.  The water remained hot for about 18 hours and then as still pleasantly warm after that.  Warm enough to make a cup of green tea!

To maintain heat, I had positioned fire wood near the door in case it was needed.  The open doorways would have been covered with sheets to help retain the heat in the great room.  Yeah, the bathroom would have been a bit cooler, but the pipes are in the wall that back up to the great room so the pipes would have been warm.

Fortunately, I did not loose power!  However, the road were all closed around the city, so the food in the house and the medical supplies were in place to keep us healthy.  At least when it is very cold outside, the warmth of good food tastes even better.

So make a plan for your family in anticipation of your next severe weather event.  Know what you are going to do it the roads are closed, power is out and you need to keep warm, feed your family and pet and keep the house safe.  Trim those over-hanging limbs to keep ice laden branches off roofs and power lines(professionals needed here for the trimming!).  Cover outside spigots so they don’t freeze and break the pipes.  Have emergency light sources such as hand-cranked lights and radios.  Candles can be dangerous and are limited to a few hours of light.  If you use a gas grill for cooking, keep it outside!

Food and Snacks, extra clothing and blankets, water in reusable containers, vitamins and first aid kits are needed too.  Use your common sense, think and stay safe!

Being Prepared for Fall & Winter Severe Storms

Severe Storms! We have talked about this subject before and will continue to remind ourselves that we need to be ready for the storms and earthquakes that strike each year.  I live in the south, so we have Hurricanes, Tornadoes and the occasional ice storm or snow storm.  Hurricanes start usually in June and continue to be a threat until early December, so it is a long wait for those storms.  Tornadoes are usually associated with Spring, but can happen anytime there is warm moist air hitting cold air.



Winter storms can be severe for those of us in the south who are not normally confronted with ice and snow.  For us, these two can come together or separately. Ice is the worst since we have so many trees that loose limbs on power lines, or worse, the whole tree falls over or breaks from the weight of the ice.  Even emergency vehicles here have problems with ice.  Southern cities on the whole do not have stockpiles of salt to combat the ice buildup on bridges.  Nor do these cities have snow plows!  Power outages are a challenge.

Being prepared for these weather events and earthquakes are necessary for a smooth transnoaaition to living a few days(hopefully a short time) without power and maybe water and natural gas.  Your emergency kit needs to be refreshed now to include:  warm clothing for the cold weather storms;  fresh water supplies;  fresh prescription medications;  update your first aid kit with new ointments and creams for minor injuries;  replace batteries in flashlights and emergency radios;  add any new paper work to your water-tight safe and throw in some extra books for reading during the long days.  Cheek the NOAA site for more information.

One good thing that is currently being tested is from Victor Petrenko of Dartmouth

Mountain Snow

Mountain Snow By Elise Hearn 2009

College.  He has discovered a way to use the electricity flowing in the power lines to generate enough heat to de-ice the power lines!  So if his idea catches on, then your local power company will be able to avoid damage from ice!  Check out this article on the  Popular Science website!

Now that fall is really here, get ready for those storms that are coming.  They are like the holidays, they come faster than you can imagine and preparation is the key to making the key to making it through the storm.  Stay Well!

More Travel–2010 Winter Olympics are close!

As you have quessed my now I love to travel and experience new locations with my camera!  One of the most beautiful places I visit is Vancouver BC.  In February 2010, the Winter Olympics will be held in the area around Vancouver.  So make your plans now to do some wonderful traveling using the British Columbia Website.

Here is a shot video on Vancouver so you will understand why I love the city and the surrounding mountains and ocean.

So pack your sunscreen, skis, passport and plenty of anticipation for a great couple of weeks in a beautiful venue. Remember all our previous travel tips.  In Vancouver you will find:  Great food, great scenery, great hotels, and most of all great people. Snow! Everywhere.  Have fun and take great photos for lasting memories!  See you there…

Snow in the Deep South!

Mountain Snow

Mountain Snow

Wow, we had snow here yesterday and it was wonderful!  Have not had that much snow in years.  The picture is of the mountain across the road from our home.  Big pretty flakes coming down.  Really cold today so am staying healthy by taking my vitamins.   Be well!

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