Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday Message

"Home storage should consist of a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. After this goal is reached, emergency and expanded storage is desirable." (Barbara B. Smith)

Getting this post ready, I had to smile as I remembered a food storage fair that was at church. The fair started like a crisis had just happened and we were to go to the shelter. It really was a very large room that they taped off for every family to have a section.

The fair started with a mock breaking news disaster and there were two families that heard this bulletin, one family grabbed their 72-hour kit and left. The other family were to grab things around the house and got things like a hairdryer and other items that would not be able to work with the electricity down but they were frazzled and couldn't find batteries in the dark for the flashlight and so it went they were unprepared.

Then we moved to the above mentioned shelter.

Each section had a family and they were all stages of preparedness. Some were wet with no towel so they would ask us if we had a towel - nope, we didn't, so they were cold and wet. This went through every family but the funniest of all was this family, they had a very old emergency kit the wife had on a pair of jeans that were clearly ten sizes too big for her and she told everyone she'd lost a little weight lately but the clothes did not fit. The kids had on t-shirts way too small and long pants that were almost down to their knees, it was cute. And they opened a very, very old can of dehydrated fruit of some unknown kind, it was very nasty looking. They kept trying to share it with way.  

Then we came to a family all comfy with their camp stove set up. They were fixing a meal they had and cots set up and clothes on that fit, they had toothbrushes and toothpaste. They were very well prepared.  It was to make us all think and get our 72-hour kits up to date.  But I will never forget that lady holding up those pants with one hand and offering us the nasty stuff in the can.

We have had many many disasters since then, even a pandemic, and for us here in the Midwest a Derecho which we had never heard of before, though we learned quite fast that you really need to be prepared to be on your own for a spell. Our town did not have ice in till the day before we got the power back on so for anyone to benefit from using it in their refrigerator or freezers was too late as it was day eight into having no electricity during the hottest time of the year. 

I learned to take a shower by using a flashlight which I sat in the center of a roll of toilet paper to keep it setting so the light pointed up, this not at all a fun thing but better than when the water main broke and no way was I going to shower in what came out of that tap.

So every emergency has its own challenges. No, we cannot be prepared for everything but being prepared for some things is better than not being prepared at all. And having a huge widespread disaster is way harder than having just a crisis more localized like our town water main issue, but each has challenges. With the town water issue, surrounding towns did not have the issue so we could go purchase water or get water from friends. 

The Derecho was widespread, it cut a 70-mile swath through the center of our state, most of the way horizontally through the state so no electricity during the hottest time of the year and with the damage of a devastating tornado that large it meant everyone was in it. People who were helping also needed help. 

We will not stop having disasters, they will keep coming. The only thing we can do is prepare and be ready to help others when we can.

While we had water, I could fix meals on the stovetop only and could wash the dishes. I was extremely exhausted from the damage clean-up in that terrible heat. We were thankful for every bit of help we got. It was like a hurricane that was 70 miles wide that sustained the strength most of the way across the state. There was no government help and because it was so vast there was no state help as well. People came in from other states and other countries to help string wires for electricity.

So do the best you can to prepare when you aren't under duress. Learn what you can from people who went through their disasters. For example, I learned from those who had a very bad ice storm and were out of power for weeks. One lady said her floors drove her nuts because she couldn't vacuum them. I kept this in my mind and when I saw a carpet sweeper at a yard sale I bought it for 75 cents and yes, it has earned its keep.

So learn from these things and prepare what you can while you can, it helps it not be as bad as it could otherwise be.

Gus and Missy say to please also remember your pets in your preparations.


  1. At least the pants were too big. If she had gained weight then she wouldn't of had any.


    1. Our anniversary is today 47 years. You both look happy for sure.


  3. When you share your stories of the derecho my heart just breaks. I am still mad you received no help from the Federal government. Not trying to be political at all, promise. I was a storm chaser for several years & worked closely with FEMA. When I heard you had no help it just feels like such a failure for those of us who work so hard and risk our lives to protect others from these things.
    I loved the ice storm story. I also was in a devastating ice storm. I am a prepper but I am telling you not being able to vacuum every day really brought my mood down. When we got the power back on it was one of the first things I did, lol. I am still looking for a manual vacuum.

    1. I was so surprised the winds were that of a hurricane only on land and thru most of the center of the state seventy miles we were in the center this seventy miles went three qtrs of the state horizontally that was massive we are still cleaning up. Our neighbors hired a cherry picker to cut on trees damaged a few weeks ago and asked if we needed any branches tended yes the cedar tree had huge branches broke and about ready to fall the garden was under those which means I would be as well. So thankful for neighbors who help us.

  4. Your clothes story reminded me of my friend in the big Northridge earthquake. She was sound asleep when it hit, and had no light and just jammies on. She had to climb out her apartment window and use a fire hose to go down. She hot to the outside and some people were driving around to see who needed help. Some guy gave her a spare pair of much too big jeans but she was so grateful. Another guy gave her a bungee cord to use as a belt! We got to see her outfit weeks later when she was shown in a clip as part of a news special. We found that even the best laid plans can be tricky!! We were always trained to keep sneakers just under our beds and a flashlight in our nightstand. Check. Nobody told us that a really big earthquake would flip a nightstand upside down, throwing the drawers across the room!!! Or that it would literally empty/throw an entire closet out 6 feet so the stuff is about a foot higher than the bed lol!!! It took me quite awhile to find my emergency shoes and flashlight in the pitch dark!!! But we managed to find them!! Until we left California, my shoes, flashlight, etc. were in a backpack hanging on my bedpost and tied on tight!! Crazy.

    I enjoyed reading about your drill. I think those are great to get people to pay a bit more attention. I think that many people expect instant help and that just doesn't happen in a major disaster. Now that crazy hackers are getting into computers running major utilities and such, I expect it's just a matter of time until something is shut down. Awful to think about and no point in worrying. Best to get ready and carry on. However, I pray it's not in summer. I'm a heat wimp!!

    1. It is too hot already

      If one thinks about it when there is a crisis it is large amounts of people so hard to help so many at once. Yes we cannot be prepared for everything unfortunately there is just so many things going on and things happen so fast like the derecho the sirens went off the sun was shining I looked out was it a test? I saw a black sky in the southwest said to my husband you should come in from garage we turned on TV to get weather report the lady said if you have cell phones charge them now very scary statement I stood to do that and we got hit that was fast. You are brave first to live in California and now Kansas I know if we have bad weather coming I keep my shoes on and just stay dressed.....if I lived in California I would sleep in my clothes and shoes with a flashlight in my pocket how uncomfortable would that be I say. A bad tornado hit Ankeny and everytime we went there I was so nervous esp during stormy days as time went on I felt better ...and we were going to a graduation party and the weather was tornado feeling I am sure where you live you know the heavy creepy weather. I was talking to my husband about it and he said you don't need to worry unless there is a rotating cloud I said what exactly is that anyway everyone talks about it but never says I said, and he described it to me and I looked up and said like that a d he said yes and we were right under it yikes we got to where we were going went in to tell them and sirens went off I still say unless you are under it how would you know as it looks like a toilet flushing. We just have to prepare basics and hope for the best. Thanks for sharing and I am like you a hot weather nonfan


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