If you can read this, you must have power…

The 4 builders on the East Coast are hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy.  We have been sharing preparation tips, many gleaned from the previous experience of our Texas builders, and more recently from our own experience with Irene.

Where I live, in Central New Jersey, the roads are closed, so we are to “shelter in place.”  We went out before the storm and bought lots of convenience foods.  We will be able to use our stove even in the power goes out, but I think that we will want to keep things pretty simple.  We also have water on hand.  My husband bought two large sports jugs so that we could store water.  The local government recommends 3 gallons of water per person as a 3 day emergency supply.  In my house, not counting the baby, that would be 24 gallons of water.

I have convinced my husband, a total news hound, to turn off the TV and use this time as a gift to be present to our children.  His office is closed.  We are doing puzzles, playing games, baking cookies (while we still have power), drawing and doing crafts.  All of the things that get put off until “another time.”

We cleaned out our basement, which is prone to flooding, but the higher energy kids are now using it as an indoor skate park.  Mary taught John to rollerblade.

I am sure that some of our friends will be impacted in more serious ways than just the inconvenience of cancelled appointments, so I am praying for your safety.  I pray particularly for the Catskill region which was devestated by Hurricane Irene a year ago.  It looks like the storm might turn in just the right way to spare them, which would be a mercy indeed.

A few practical tips you can do now even if you can’t leave the house (feel free to add your own in the comments):

–make a large pot of coffee that you can drink throughout the week if you lose power.  Don’t drink it all now and make yourself nuts 🙂

–let your children know that they are safe, and fill them in on the plan.  some of my children need to know where the flashlight is when they go to bed, just in case we lose power.  Telling them that it is always dark in their room anyway doesn’t help.  For anxiety prone children (or adults), limit news.  You know what you need to know about conditions in your area, knowing that the boardwalk has been washed away in some beach town in North Carolina is not helpful to your family.

–fill a bath tub with water that you can use to fill the toilet tank in case your area loses water.  If you have crawlers or toddlers be very careful that they cannot access this bathroom

— do your laundry, it is something to do, and if you lose power for a few days you will be glad that you were on top of the laundry when it started

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  • Juris Mater

    As a native Alabamian (we lived right on the Gulf Coast), I consider myself somewhat of a war-hardened hurricane expert : ) This is a safety tip: If winds are strong tonight when you go to bed, be mindful of falling branches which can crash through the roof and outside projectiles that can break windows. If it’s wild outside tonight for us, we will all sleep in the basement, away from windows and the roof. I’d rather fall asleep on the basement futon knowing we’re safe than be lying in my own bed waiting for branches to land next to me.

  • Juris Mater

    Just overheard from my artistic 7 year old: “Mom, I’m so glad that when the power goes out, markers and my potholder loom don’t go out.”

    All I can think about is taking care of seven people without power for several days. Thank the Lord for kids and their joy of living even in less-than-ideal situations : )

  • Emma

    Living in a frequent hurricane area, one tip I’ve never read on the preparedness lists is to get car chargers for your electronic devices — cell phone, kindle, ipad. If you get a converter box with outlets on it, you can also recharge batteries, lanterns, laptops, etc. If power is out after the storm passes, you can use your car to recharge your gadgets. It’s wonderful when kids can unplug, but sometimes mama just needs everyone to be able to watch a video for 30 minutes! Praying that all our East Coast friends stay safe!

  • Bethany “B-mama”

    Emma, I learned this the hard way after we lost power during a summer storm. My phone and internet were down and my car was in the shop! Thankfully a neighbor had a car charger that fit my phone and graciously charged my phone in her car. What a gem! GREAT tip!

  • Bethany “B-mama”

    Love this post, MA. Reading through your family happenings sounds so cozy. This morning we’ve been through watercolor painting, glittering (everything), pumpkin seed baking, chasing (always), light saber battling, lego-ing, and piano practicing. Things so far are still pretty calm and just rainy… Prayers.

  • Kathleen

    Great tips! Making coffee right now! i am a bit nervous because we don’t have a basement. I guess the bathroom is the next best thing! Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that!

  • JM, yes, this is a huge concern. We don’t have basements in Texas, so the best we could do was to stay towards the center of the house. We spent the night with neighbors who live in a two-story, and when the storm got really bad in the middle of the night we moved everyone to a room in the middle of the house on the first floor. It was crazy!
    The tip about car chargers for cell phones is great! I remember feeling so disconnected from the rest of the world, and part of that was not having any way to phone family or friends. My hubby was working in the hospital (because it was an emergency) and could only come home sporadically, so I really did feel all alone. I remember listening to our little LL Bean crank radio as much as possible!
    Prayers for all of you that the storm causes minimal damage…

  • Stay safe, everyone, and keep praying! This, too, shall pass. Love those hand-crank flashlights/chargers/radios.