Friday, August 26, 2011

Preparation: It Doesn't Happen Overnight

For us here in Maryland, Hurricane Irene won't hit until late Saturday evening. Today I went to the store to see if I could maybe get some extra butane fuel for our camp stove and some more D flashlight batteries and some extra C batteries for our radio (even though we have a solar-powered/hand cranked radio too.) I'm sure you've all heard or experienced what happens to stores when people are forewarned about an impending disaster. That's right. All the D and almost all the C batteries were gone and the camping shelves were almost completely bare. We swung by Costco and even though they had just barely opened, the place was swamped and the gas station had a 15-20 minute wait! Wow.

So, you've probably guessed that I did not get my D batteries or extra butane fuel. And that's ok. Usually I'm pretty paranoid and anxious, but with our current preparations that we've done over time (however imperfect they are), I feel at peace that we'll be alright. (Unless our windows get busted...) We are actually on the outside edge of the hurricane's fury and are, so far, told to expect winds of 30-50 mph and 8-12" of rain. I am really feeling it for those coastal people who have it much, much worse. My biggest worry for us is the electricity going out because we have nothing to power our sump pump to keep water out of our basement if we have no electricity. It's difficult being in a rental and having a generator (expensive!) and keeping the fuel on hand somewhere to run it. Not to mention the fear of someone stealing it... Like I said, I can be a little paranoid.

Overall, though, preparing for this storm has been an interesting experience thus far. It's been an emotional test for myself, the worrier, and I really am amazed at the peace that I have while so many people have fear and are running to the stores to stock up on anything and everything - a financial burden all at once, to be sure.

To use a Biblical example: Noah did not build the ark in one day. He didn't start to build when the rains had started and the fountains of the earth had burst forth. He prepared for quite some time before hand. Emergency preparedness today is no different. It really can't happen overnight. It can't. Even if you have a chunk of disposable money, there are physical skills and tools needed to exist for a few days to even weeks on your own without water or electricity or access to grocery stores. Those are skills and supplies that need to be practiced and built up before a storm. Also, in the face of a storm, it is hard to think clearly, especially at the store when so many others around you have an energy of fear and panic. And stores only have so many resources before they run out. Building up skills and emergency kits for your home, car, or evacuation as you go along through life will bring that peace of mind for disaster - expected or not. That way you can be sitting at home sipping hot cocoa with your kids instead of frantically filling your shopping cart, hoping that you're not forgetting something, or regretting that others got there first and took it all.

A little solemn and dramatic, perhaps? Well, there is a hurricane raging on the eastern coast currently and there are people whose lives have been drastically changed already. Let's keep them in our thoughts and prayers.  And I sincerely hope that we can all be prepared the best that we are able for whatever lies ahead. (Myself included!)

1 comment:

Holly Hox said...

All your posts on preparedness have really got me thinking(okay, panicking!). My excuse was that since we were still renting, we would wait to buy emergency supplies until we owned a house. Mostly because we don't want to haul extra 'stuff' around. But I guess mother nature doesn't care if you are a renter or not! Hope you guys fare alright, scary stuff!!

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