This past week has been quite an experience as we went through actual temps of -20 and wind chills of -45 locally. Add to that blizzard conditions which left us with too much snow to handle easily and the learning curve went far beyond what was expected, much less desired.
It was the polar vortex making its' way through the Midwest that caused us the most problems. Our area of the country gets very cold in winter but not Siberia cold. Did you know one day this week it was colder in Chicago than it was in Siberia?
Just when we thought we were okay and after I had poured out all the water I had collected... we awoke Thursday morning to the sound of raging water coming from the general area of our garage. A pipe had broken there, completely taking us by surprise (because we had assumed those pipes were warm enough being in the garage) and we were now in the single digit temperatures at night.
We were wrong.
Another "side affect" of the storm is that the transmission burned out on the van. It was a combination of old van, extreme cold weather, and heavy snow. Sigh... it seems so much takes us to the need for prayer!
If there is one good thing that comes from going through such a crisis, it is that we always learn something. The most important thing I have learned? Face the truth even if I don't like it. Weather patterns have become more unpredictable and extreme. It doesn't matter if it is global warming, sun activity, or whatever... the weather is wacky.
So we really need to be prepared. I plan to write more about preps in the next few week. And I must admit, I'm probably more prepared than the average person and I was still totally not ready for this one-two punch from nature.
This weather crisis certainly showed me again the importance of having as deep a pantry as one can afford and keep organized. See the photo above? I would give credit if I could find it but it was on a few different sites with no photo credits added. That is a shelf at one of the big grocery stores the day BEFORE the snowstorm was to hit.
We were at the grocery store two days before the storm, it was busy and some shelves were picked over (like the bread area) but there was plenty of everything. By the next day the same Kroger store was out of a lot of basics. I read that locally Aldi's sold more in twenty-four hours than they usually do in a week.
The evening newscast showed a woman crying when she went out in the storm because there was not even cereal or milk to feed her kids.
Which is why it is vitally important for each family to have a reserve of food, water, and emergency items before any watch or warning is broadcast. Not to mention the many emergencies which come with no warning.
We would have been fine with a couple exceptions. One was that the storm hit when I only had a week of long term insulin left. But at the moment there is not a lot I can do about stocking up on it. And we were fortunate that our Social Security check came in on a day when we could "top off" our groceries and such two days before the storm was to hit.
While we would have been okay without the extra groceries, it would have been a more challenging experience. The purchases we made certainly added to our comfort level during the storm.
You know what I did forget? That I had a "topping off" grocery list!
You may remember that I talked about the importance of a list to have on hand should one need to make a quick trip to the grocery store in an emergency situation? Well, I have one in my files but I don't keep it in a pocket in my purse like I once did. So when we were at the grocery store, I kept wondering what it was I forgot.
Fortunately we were at the check out line when my husband remembered something important and purchased it separately. So a priority this week is to write a list of "topping off the groceries" essentials and tucking it in my purse instead of leaving it neatly filed away.
Some other truths learned this week that I will write about post-crisis?
- Do not assume anything (like your pipes in a cold garage cannot freeze).
- It is not over until it is all over (as in do not throw out your reserve water too quickly).
- You probably will need a lot more water than you think you will.
- Skills can be just as important as items stored, sometimes even more so.
- You need to know where your emergency items are stored and how to use them already.
- You may not have enough paper plates, cups, etc. put back should there be a prolonged lack of water available.
- Do not think it cannot happen to you!
Last year we had record heat and drought. This year we have had record rains, cold, and a record setting autumn tornado outbreak.
It is time to look Reality in the face. Whatever you do to prepare for emergencies... given budget, time, etc. will make your life more comfortable if it happens and just may save a life.
Where are we now? Hubby finished fixing the broken pipe late this morning (written Friday) so... let there be water! The van is not worth what it would take to repair (as the transmission is completely shot) so Mr. and Mrs. Christopher are loaning us their second car for the next two weeks while we consider where to go from here.
We now have heavy rain predicted tonight with major flooding possible. How does one go from -20 (wind chill of -45) one day and within the same week the temperatures turn above normal? I don't know but it is happening.
Join me here on Saturdays as my ponderings about preparing for and living through emergency situations make it from my brain to my fingers to the keyboard. No matter how slow the process. :)