Monday, October 29, 2012

Prepping and Procrastination

Hurricane Sandy is getting a lot of attention right now.  I have two sisters that live on the east coast so I'm paying more attention to what is expected for them than what is forecast for us.  I am paying enough attention to our own situation to know that my tendency toward procrastination (I prefer to call it positive thinking) is catching up to me.

In June, we had a wind storm and power outage.  Afterward we talked about preparing for future events and then forgot.  To be truthful, we didn't exactly forget, we just kept moving that item down on our list of priorities.  We figured we'd get to it after chicken harvest and fall sports were over.  That would be NOW.  Fall sports ended yesterday.

Our farm is within the projected snow band.  With the leaves, branches and general fall mess, heavy, wet snow could bring problems.  The main concern, of course, is power outage.  We do have plenty of candles, flashlights, and batteries.  We have extra propane for our gas grill on the deck.  Thanks to a well that is easy to access and a cistern by the barn we have access to plenty of water.  We have a fireplace and a pellet stove but without electricity the blowers won't work.  We have a generator but it will only provide a limited amount of power and with 80 freshly frozen chickens and at least a 1/4 of a cow in our freezer, that's a priority. 

The farmers in us are actually pretty prepared.  We have plenty of food and water for all the animals, except the dogs.  Dog food is on my grocery list.  We use an electric fence for the cattle so we will either have to close them in the barn or pray they don't realize their potential for freedom.

Here are the FEMA recommendations for emergency preparedness. 
Family Supply List
Emergency Supplies:
Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.
Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Clothing and Bedding:
If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes. One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
- A jacket or coat
- Long pants
- A long sleeve shirt
- Sturdy shoes
- A hat and gloves
- A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
Family Supply List (continued)
Below are some other items for your family to consider adding to its supply kit. Some of these items, especially those marked with a * can be dangerous, so please have an adult collect these supplies.
- Emergency reference materials such as a first aid book or a print out of the information on
- Rain gear
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
- Cash or traveler's checks, change
- Paper towels
- Fire Extinguisher
- Tent
- Compass
- Matches in a waterproof container*
- Signal flare*
- Paper, pencil
- Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
- Disinfectant*
- Household chlorine bleach* - You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Medicine dropper
- Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
Since we'll be sheltering in place if the electricity goes out, I think we are pretty well prepared.  If we had to get out quickly we'd be screwed so I'm thankful there is no expectation of evacuation for us.

I will go grocery shopping today so that I don't have to go again until the end of the week.  We will also be making a stop at the library so there is plenty of reading material to keep us all busy.  At home I'll be running the vacuum cleaner and washing all the clothes and dishes so if we lose power I don't have to concern myself with those issues.  I'll also be spending time today praying for all those who are more directly in the storm's path.

What are your plans for preparing for Hurricane Sandy?

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