Preparing for the Possible Disaster

I grew up in Los Angeles, so we always had an earthquake kit. It had can food, bottles of water, flashlights, and a battery operated radio. The basics that you needed in the event of an earthquake. I also had a pair of shoes tied to my bed. My mother thought I was crazy, but in in 1994, when the San Fernando Valley was hit with a big earthquake early in the morning, I could easily find my shoes in the middle of the mess that my room had become.

When we moved to Baltimore, I quickly learned that before snow you needed Toilet Paper, Water, Milk, Batteries, and probably a couple of other items I never got. I didn’t know why at the slight chance of snow the supermarket lines were long and the shelves were emptied of these necessities, but that was how Baltimore prepared for snow. When it snowed, good portions of my neighborhood were out of power for a little bit.

Last Fall and this Summer, we experienced a different type of natural disaster. Last Fall, we were out of power for 4 days. Postponing the opening of school for many schools in the area. We were lucky to rely on friends freezers to not loose too much food. We also went out to eat a lot. We didn’t really need much of the items that I needed in my earthquake kit growing up. And the Milk that everyone gets before a snow storm wouldn’t have done us very good. This summer, we had the entirely opposite side of things. We had freak storm that took lines down on our home in Baltimore and we were without power for 6 days. We were lucky enough to get out of town for the week, but we lost lots of food.

Now it’s time to prepare again for Hurricane Sandy. What I’m told is LIPA households loose power all the time. I wonder if that will be true if we do get 100MPH winds. Will we loose the freezer full of food, my husband has spent hours cooking and baking. How long will we be without power? What are the grocery stores like after a storm.

What kinds of things should we have around?

Here are a few things we have purchased to equip us for storms:

Stanley J309 300 Amp Jump Starter

Duracell Powerhouse USB Charger with Lithium ion battery / includes universal cable with USB and mini USB,

Rayovac 813-12PP Alkaline D Batteries (12-pack)
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Trademark Emergency Lanterns (Set of 3)

Bread machine

We have a 1.5lb Bread Machine by Toastmaster that we have used and abused. It’s been great and we have made tons of challot in it. It is one of those essential kitchen gadgets in our home.

If you don’t have a bread machine here are some deals:

Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker, White for $65.08

Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker, White for $59.99

Breadman TR520 Programmable Bread Maker for 1-, 1-1/2-, and 2-Pound Loavesfor $58.99

West Bend 2 Lb. Breadmaker for $59.88

No Phones at Meals

I have become more and more attached to my phone, it’s how I read, it’s how I stay in touch, it’s how I communicate. About a year ago, I instituted in the house that during meals the phones needed to be put away for all adults. Meals are our chance to really communicate with one another and talk. So I felt very strongly that this unnecessary distraction needed to go. For me it has been mostly easy. There is an occasion where I feel the need to look something up, but this hasn’t been as easy for others family members.

I have other friends who have a no phone rule from the time that they get home until first thing the next morning. I’m impressed that they can do it each day.

Do you have a time each day that cell phones are turned off or put away?

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