03 September 2013

so it's that time of year again...being prepared for big storms

Whether you are expecting a baby or not, take a little time now to think about storm preparations.  Do you have enough water for your family (including pets) for a few days?  Some non-perishable food? Flashlights and batteries? Baby & pet items? I have a pretty *extensive emergency kit and I'm always adding to it and fine tuning.  I've just replaced my hand-crank/solar/battery-powered weather radio (with light and now a charging port - it can actually charge my iPhone!) and am pretty psyched about it (which is perhaps a bit sad!)

*Ready for my I-Know-This-Makes-Me-Seem-Crazy kit list?  

I gathered this stuff over time - I know it's a lot and maybe more than necessary.  But it makes me feel better.  And I've been able to keep us going without power for a few days and be of help to friends and neighbors when they were harder hit.  Most items are easy-to-find at a large camping or hardware stores, and many of them -- bug repellent, baby wipes etc. --  may already be around your home.

In a grab n' go open tool kit:

Headlamps for each family member, 2 of which have lantern attachments

A (floating) big lantern/light

A Mag light flashlight

An emergency whistle that floats (actually have a couple on lanyards...good for hiking with kids)

Lots of glow sticks + glow necklaces, to hopefully make it festive + to use for pets, if need be

Batteries + extra cell phone battery

Lighter (to be able to use gas stove, BBQ or camp stove if power out)

Duct + electrical tape

Rope, bungees

First aid kit, with medicines for anyone in the family who needs them

Swiss army knife with compass etc/Leatherman tool

Camera (in case have to take pics of damage for insurance purposes etc), cash, copies of ID in dry pouch

Sharpie marker

Fully charged walkie talkies, set to same channel

A big zip lock bag (to throw documents, portable drive with photos, important papers etc or leave a dry note if need be)

Contractor trash bag

Space blanket

Pocket-sized rain poncho

Potable water treatment pills

A small, collapsible water container

Antibacterial gel


Then I have a big Rubbermaid container with a bigger companion kit:

Sealed bin that can be temporary toilet, which holds:


3gal collapsible water container

MRE-type food bars

A couple of mess kits/cutlery in case no paper products

More water and non-perishable food

Pry bar, folding shovel and a couple of other tools

Tarps, plastic sheeting, more tape, heavy "slap" stapler to help hang a tarp

Fire extinguisher

Gas can

Bug repel. wipes + mosquito "dunks" for standing water

More batteries

More cash

More potable water treatment pills

First aid book

Printed instructions on what to do in various emergencies

Tampons, (diapers if you need 'em), other personal supplies as needed


Ziplocks, trash bags

Deck of cards, a couple Hot Wheels, a story collection

Pet food

Phone charger

corded land line
I try to keep the gas tank full when big storms are predicted.

After the hurricane, we bought some big gas cans for future reference and some plywood and wood screws to be able to do window repair if needed.

In the event of emergency, we have a family plan to grab shoes and change of clothes, sleeping bags for each family member, if needed - I had them gathered for past hurricanes.
I have recommended water and food supply (including instant coffee!), paper plates etc., corded phone, Solar/crank radio with spot light, charcoal for grill

It's valuable, free and easy to choose a non-local person to be clearing-house contact, as well as selecting meeting place for the family. Also,  have a copy of the key to your safe bank deposit box on hand.

I'm reviewing supplies and using what's due to expire and replacing what was pilfered by my family over the year.  I'm also using stuff from the freezer to make room for some jugs of water, which can be popped in the fridge to keep it cold longer in case of power outage (I then put a wooded spoon through handles to remind family not to open unless really necessary.  These frozen jugs are great for coolers too - the chunks stay frozen way longer than cubes.

Crazy, right?  But I thought I'd share anyway.  Apparently I was a Boy Scout in another life. ;-)

full hands

This morning I read a wonderful piece on Huffington Post talking about how we are all supermoms, regardless of how many children we have or the challenges we face, but also that none of us is since "supermom" is a myth.  The point was that we are all generally working at capacity, since capacity is relative.  We all have full hands most days.

Then I went to the supermarket and saw a mom with a very pregnant belly and many children...four or five?  I thought, "man - she's busy - she must be going nuts"...but I was humbled by her mothering.  She was patient and seemed unfazed as her children (very politely) whirled around her.  She didn't micromanage (as I might have) and simply shopped while they all took turns weighing the produce and giggling.  She let them choose some items and sweetly said no to others.  She was about a zillion times calmer than I would have been, I'm sure of it.  My initial reaction to her and her large family said more about me than about her, that's for sure.  Her hands are full and so are mine and so are moms with one child...we all do what we can.  Next time I'm shopping with my kids, I'm going to try and remember this family and see if I can't channel a little of her zen-momma mojo.  And acknowledge that if I don't quite manage, I will at least do the best I can...which is all I ask of myself.