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December 13, 2007

Being Prepared

There's nothing like an ice storm to remind you that being prepared starts before the storm ever hits. By the time you need something, it's too late if you don't have it waiting just in case.

Fortunately, we weren't hit hard, and we only lost power for a few minutes. Our house stayed warm. We had plenty of food and animal feed, and didn't have to venture out for anything. The temperature hovered around the freezing point, so the water barrels did not freeze up. Dh stayed home from work one day. Since nearly 2/3 of Oklahoma was without power, and many people had to relocate to shelters in order to keep warm, we feel blessed. (Not that we would go to a shelter; we are prepared to stay in place. Besides, who would feed the animals?)

However, it did get us thinking about our preparations, and showed us a few places where we've gotten lazy. We need to test our propane heater to make sure that it works correctly. We should have a carbon monoxide alarm; we have one ...somewhere... but that doesn't help much. Where is the campstove? The weather radio needs batteries. We did go through all the flashlights and notice how many batteries we should have on hand. Candles and matches are in good shape, but I do need to corral all the extra matchbooks that have "escaped". And some lean times lately have caused us to let the emergency food supplies get low, so we need to address that.

The biggest problem we would have is entertainment, or the lack of. I have card games and board games at hand, but members of this family have become dependent on the television and computer (yes, that one's my failing, but I also love a good book and think that I would do ok without a connection to the 'net, although I'd certainly miss it).

The time to prepare is before it's needed - in other words, now - before the next ice storm or snow storm. Unfortunately there is a snow storm predicted for this coming weekend, and E is on his way home and expected to arrive on Saturday in the middle of it. I am fervently praying that the storm will go north - sorry, Kansas! I miss my son!

Till next time...

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