I recently heard this quote from Benjamin Franklin, “When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” and it got me to thinking about how so many people I know have little to no way to survive a natural disaster or worse. I wish I could get through to those people but sadly I think I would have more luck talking to the walls.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am usually “over prepared”, if there is such a thing. But I think I’ve done pretty well making sure that my wife and I can endure pretty much anything. Usually the “anything” comes from Mother Nature, but sometimes it does come from other sources.
In just my lifetime I have been in numerous tornadoes. One in particular (the Jarrell tornado in 1997) picked up my truck and tossed it, along with me in it, about 300 yards down the road. I injured my shoulder and the truck had a broken axle but all in all, I was really lucky. I vowed right then and there to be better prepared.
The Jarrell tornado wasn’t my first time dealing with the awesome destructive power of Mother Nature. I used to work for a national insurance company and was a member of the response team that went in to to help after Hurricane Andew wreaked havoc on southern Florida.
I will never forget going into a damaged house with a property owner right after Hurricane Andrew hit. We opened up her kitchen cabinets and there we found wine glasses filled with sea water. The force of the hurricane had caused the water to penetrate her ceiling and drip into the cabinets, filling the glasses. It was surreal that the force could be so big and yet not have ripped the cabinets right from the wall.
Mother Nature isn’t always as devastating, but it can still make living more difficult. The Easter Flood of 2011 left Ranae and I stranded at our ranch in Missouri for nine days. There are three roads leading from our ranch into town. Each had a low water crossing and all three were completely flooded up to the doors of my truck.
I am happy to report however, we had everything we needed and never really felt the inconvenience that so many others were experiencing. Here is a playlist with some videos I took of the flooding.
As this year’s storm season approaches, I encourage everyone to take steps now to get prepared. Think about what you will need if you are unable to leave your house for several days.
Here are some steps I think everyone should take (at a minimum!):
- Get a weather radio and know how to use it. If you can afford it, I would recommend getting a wind-up hand crank type so you never have to depend on batteries. If you can’t, then be sure to have plenty of spares.
- Prepare a “go bag” for each member of your family. Here is a list of things I think you should include:
- change of clothes
- couple days worth of required medicines
- printed copy of your medical history and information about any medicines you take and any allergies you may have
- deck of cards to help pass the time if you have to be without power for extended period of time
- hand crank flashlight
- blanket and inflatable pillow
- couple days worth of non-perishable no-cooking-required food
- anything else that may be important to you.
- Every time you go to the grocery store, spend a little extra and get extra items to store for a rainy way. Decide on an amount you can afford and just spend that much on each visit. You will never miss the money and the added convenience of having extra when the stuff hits the fan will be invaluable to you.
In future posts I will post some other ideas on “prepping” but for now… get started!