It is early in the evening. The sun is shining and you are in the kitchen making dinner. Your children are doing their homework. The sky becomes dark and the wind picks up. Emergency warnings flash across your TV screen. You hear a low roaring sound. A tornado is heading directly for your neighborhood. What do you do?
Recently, our area has had more tornado warnings than most years. I don’t ever remember the weather being this threatening in this area. The last one was a little too close for comfort. As I sat nervously watching the TV broadcast of warnings flash across my screen, my mind raced as to what I should be gathering if we needed to head to the basement, or worst scenario, evacuate.
A little over a year ago, I wrote an article on Would You Be Ready? Part 1 and Would You Be Ready? Part 2. Both of these articles covered emergencies involving losing power in your home, the decline of economy, and the possible short and long-term evacuation from your home.
In listening to the news, my mind began to wonder what I would need for our daughter, and what other personal items would we need for ourselves if we had to head to the basement. I quickly realized that if we made it through the night untouched, that this was an area of concern that needed to be focused on. I realized that a list needed to be comprised, and items needed to be gathered for this particular type of emergency.
As far as food ingredients, I began to plunder. I have quite a bit of preserved foods in our basement, but not the everyday, commonly used items. This is where I need to formulate a plan. Possibly have a bin to store duplicate necessities in the basement, rotating every 6 months or so. Items to consider are items that people use everyday without second thought, such as tooth paste, deodorant, soaps, dish soap, shampoo etc. And Lord knows; let’s not forget clothes, shoes, jackets/coats, towels, etc. When it comes to kitchen items, I have to closely assess our personal situation. I already try to keep most of my food stored in the basement, only bringing up what I need to use. We have numerous freezers so that is a bonus. I have an extra set of dishes, drinking cups, utensils, and pots/pans stored and ready for use if ever need be. Where I would be lacking seems to be in items such as salt and pepper, additional spices, gluten-free flour blends, cooking oil, recipes, etc. Water is an important item that one cannot live without. Store it wherever you can fit an extra container or jug.
What about medicines? I keep all of my daughter’s medicine in a portable container, but I have never given much thought to OTC medicines or prescriptions that the rest of the family uses; Tylenol, cough syrup, Motrin, etc.
Most people keep anything of importance in our lives on the same level that we live on. Not many people store their important papers (life insurance, health insurance, etc.) and such in their basement. So, it is wise to have everything in one place, available to ‘grab and run’. In our case, I have all documents in a briefcase, at hand and readily available. Then I began to think of other things that I wouldn’t want to lose such as the jewelry I inherited from my mother, special photographs, and letters from my children. I know that sounds tedious, but these were very real thoughts to me and I shivered at the thought of losing those items. Cell phones are usually on our body so that wouldn’t be a concern, but I thought about the lap top and how much information I save on it. That would be a definite must to have.
What is your situation? Do you have a loved one that is on a diet restriction? If a tornado should pop up in your area, how have you prepared yourself and family? Do you have a basement available in your home, or would you have to go to a shelter? What items are most important to you?
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This is such a coincidence, Mary! My post today deals with Danny and me barreling for our basement just recently. Probably the same set of storms that roared through Tennessee.
You’ve brought up some very important things we don’t always think about when emergencies like tornadoes occur. When we know storms could come our way, I do grab essentials that I feel I couldn’t live without, but you’ve made me stop and take stock of what I might be leaving out.
Great food for thought. Thanks for sharing!
How funny Martha…I noticed that 🙂 I believe you are correct. It is a scary feeling when you are faced with what you should grab when you have to head for the basement, wondering if everything you left behind will be there when it is all over.
Thanks to living in Arizona, I don’t have many of the weather worries that others do. Water is the big issue here, so we keep a supply of bottled water in the freezer and in the cupboards.
Special dietary needs do add a twist to preparedness efforts. I think your idea about keeping a rotating bin of items you use to cook meals for your daughter is just the thing.
I know water is such an important aspect in life. I have about 100 gallons, which of course wouldn’t last very long, but it is better than nothing at all. I store it it any kind of closed container and anywhere I can fit it in. My husband was making fun of me always saving the water, but after watching a TV show that impressed the importance of having water, he doesn’t say anything anymore 🙂
it’s amazing to think of how often such a major disasters hit your area. we have over the last year or so had major flooding, but by comparison it’s nothing. i think i’m ready, but having never been tested i could be kidding myself. hold on tight mary !!
Tbaoo, it is a scary thing. To think that everything as you know it could be gone in an instant is an incredible feeling. I think that I would rather have the threat of a tornado than a flood. I can’t even imagine preparing for that…how would you?…a flood would just take you away. At least with a tornado, the basement would remain in tact, for the most part, and you would have a fighting chance to stay safe. The thought of living where you live and dealing with that kind of weather has given me chills. Love and hugs coming your way ♥♥♥
This is indeed scary. We don’t usually get tornadoes in our area. It’s tough knowing what to take with you & what to leave behind. We have our important documents in a waterproof container that’s easy to grab & go. All our important computer work is backed up on a thumb drive which can easily attach to belt if we can’t grab the computer. You’ve definitely given me some other things to think about…like having a bag pre-packed with essential clothes & toiletries in case of evacuation.
Thanks for sharing.
Of course, my makeup says take everything! But when reality strikes, you have very little time to take much of anything unless you have it already stashed where it needs to be. And then, preparing essentials is so different for each situation, that it is hard to decide what to put where. I guess I just have to get organized and have a list to go by. That would make it much easier, don’t you think??
Living in the midwest where tornados frequently come through ..I always cringe when the sirens go off….I live in a very small apt…there is no way to save all my cherished belongings and no basement to hide in ..so I suppose we would end up in a shelter….I suppose it wouldn’t even matter what food I had here…we would just have to flee and leave everything behind and hope by some miracle it’s all here when and if we can return….I’m glad you are safe….As always…XOXOXOXOXO
You have several things that would be worth trying to come up with a plan to take with you, even if it was just in a back pack or something. Hopefully, it would bypass you and you could return safe and sound 🙂
We have had some really strange weather in Canada this year. Haven’t had to ready ourselves for to much other than power outages and ice storms,which can be enough to make me recognize your list is really important. Weather has changed so much, who knows what we are in store for in the future. Thanks for the heads up!
It seems, Judy, that we used to be able to count on a certain type of weather..and 4 seasons a year. But, over the last couple of years, the weather patterns have definitely changed. In our area, we have begun to see tornadoes and horrible thunderstorms when it should be snowing, and 80-some degrees when it should only be 30 or 40 degrees. No one knows what our future weather will bring, but I would feel a lot better knowing that I have a little storage prepared and be safe, than to just ignore it and be left hanging. Thanks for coming by 🙂
Well, none of us can predict or do anything with nature. An of course, it’s a little bit difficult when you don’t know what to expect
Melissa, I agree with you wholeheartedly. Nature will be nature, and it is really all out of our control. But, being prepared in certain areas of our life for any type of disaster can save grief. Especially with any kind of medical condition, having certain items stored can be a life saver. I do believe that this is an individual decision as well. I know many people who do not look past today in preparation and believe that what happens, happens. The above post is just my opinion, of course, and how I look at things regarding a disaster and my family ☺ Thanks for stopping by!