Prepared? August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene is headed our way, and while we are inland, our area is prone to flooding. Not sure what to expect, we have moved some of the things stored in our basement onto pallets and charged our cell phones.

We are unlikely to have to evacuate, though many parts of our state have been evacuated, but I wonder whether many of our readers do keep “go” bag with 3 days worth of supplies ready to go if you need to evacuate on short notice?

My children were listening to the storm coverage on the radio and my daughter mentioned that it would be good to include something “to cheer you up” like a deck of cards or a stuffed animal.

With eight people in our house, food is always a concern for me, and especially now. We try not to eat much prepared food, but “ingredients” don’t feed you in a power outage, so we have stocked up a bit on crackers and similar items. We also have plenty of bottled water on hand.

In an emergency, children’s temperaments also make a difference. One of my children is energized and excited, one is completely oblivious, and one is scared. The scared one would like as much information as possible, but since the information can be unnecessarily scary, and doesn’t always apply to our area, it is important to find a good balance.

We have put on some PBS Kids this morning while we tidied up, and promised the kids lots of board games once the rain comes, which is helping this feel cozy, and I have told them several times that we are safe and what I have done to make sure that we stay safe.

Hopefully we will not have it as bad as our friends in Houston a few years ago, but there may be unexpected troubles — none of us will forget when Hurricane Floyd knocked out the water system in Princeton and we students had to go without showers for days!

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  • Anonymous

    Mary Alice, I would encourage you to have as many non-perishables on hand as possible, especially with your large family. Crackers, protein bars, dried fruit, and canned beans are always good. I would also make sure to have a pot of coffee pre-made, lots of gallon jugs of water, and some cans of soda if you or Mr. MA rely on caffeine – in the event of an extended power outage, you may need to go without coffee for a few days. Prayers for all of you on the east coast this weekend! I’ve heard of many cancelled travel plans on account of this hurricane…Thinking of all of you!

  • Ejhickso

    During the summer that I spent in Kenya before our senior year at Princeton, I noticed a large empty plastic drum-like container under my kitchen sink the day I moved into my apartment.u00a0u00a0 I didn’t give the container a second thought until a few weeks later, when I came home from work to find no running water.u00a0 I stepped outside and asked one of my Kenyan neighbors passing by about the water situation, and she explained to me that water cuts were common, even in Nairobi.u00a0 “But don’t worry,” she said, “the cuts only last a few days, so your emergency drum should have more than enough water in it to get you through.”u00a0 Ahhh.u00a0 Fortunately my generous neighbors helped me make it through those few days!u00a0 I always kept my drum filled after that.

  • Anonymous

    We do not keep a bag with emergency supplies in the house.u00a0 I did, however, go out and purchase a number of supplies for hurricane Irene.u00a0 We live in a very low lying area and are prone to flooding.u00a0 Here is a list of things we have done/been advised to do:nnPurchase–n–Bottled watern–Plenty of batteries for a radio and flashlightsn–Non-perishable food items (for example–granola bars, canned tuna, peanut butter, bread, juice boxes)nnTo Do–n–Make sure you do all laundry and dishes (you may not have water/electricity)n–Make sure all children and parents are clean prior to the storm, as you don’t know when you will shower again if water supply is compromisedn–Bring in all lawn furniture, outdoor toys, swings, trash cans, etc. that could blow around or be damaged by the rain/wind.n–Raise all items off of basement floorn–Fill tub with water to use for flushing toilets/dishes if water supply compromisedn–Charge all cell phonesn–Fill car with gasn–Try to eat most perishable food items in case power is lostn–gather or make au00a0 list of important papers/items in case you need to evacuate (we did not do this because I think it highly unlikely).

  • Mary Alice

    Great, that is pretty much what we have done.u00a0 So far it is just a lot of rain, I think that the shore will get the worst of it, but the Philadelphia mayor was saying if power is lost it could be up to TWO WEEKS before it is restored in some areas!u00a0 It is hard to imagine living without power for two weeks.

  • Mary Alice

    Hey, you know what I just realized we don’t have, which would help if we lose power or water, paper plates!u00a0 Add that to the list for next time, though I hope next time is not anytime soon!

  • Jurismater

    What the heck are you doing with 6 kids and no paper plates? We eat lunch off of them every day, it is such a time saver and we run our dishwasher so much less often as a result. But that’s a topic for another day… our lights are flickering already. Good luck to all! May the power stay with us.

  • Jurismater

    We’re hitting the road if the power around Philadelphia is out for more than a couple days. Want to caravan West with us?

  • Catherine

    We went through Ike three years ago and remember it well! u00a0We said some prayers for you and everyone else in the NE tonight. u00a0God bless!

  • Texas Mommy

    Come to Texas! We have our own power grid for when we secede.

  • Anonymous

    Our lights are flickering.u00a0 It’s 10:30pm.u00a0 We have a small amount of water in our basement already.u00a0 They just issued a tornado warning (tornadoes have been detected on radar) in our county.u00a0 It is going to be a long night.nnAnd yes, I should have added paper plates to my list as well!u00a0 I will do that next time.

  • Anonymous

    MA,u00a0 You might want to check the weather report because I think there is a tornado watch/warning in your county as well.

  • Jurismater

    HILARIOUS. Sounds good, I’ll take a vacation at Resort Tex any day. We still have power and water running after the night, I feel SO blessed.

  • Anonymous

    We still have power and running water too!u00a0 Although I think MA is without power.u00a0 We had some minor leaking in our basement and from our roof, but no downed trees and no power outages!

  • B-mama

    Glad to hear you all survived! u00a0MA, give us an update when you can!! u00a0GG’s parents lost power and our lights flickered a bit… u00a0We lost a piece of the siding along the roof,u00a0but we’re grateful there wasn’t any major damage.u00a0 Way to be prepared, Builders!!n

  • Mary Alice

    It is Monday afternoon and we just got our power back — we feel very lucky.u00a0 We spent part of the night in our basement due to tornado warnings, then moved back upstairs when the power went out to avoid the flooding.u00a0 Our basement had about 3 inches of water in it by Sunday morning.u00a0 Thankfully, a neighbor let us hook up to his generator, so we were able to restart our basement pump, and we also spent a good part of the day cleaning wet stuff out of our basement.u00a0 Not a bad thing, over all, you know how I feel about any excuse to declutter!u00a0 nnNew Jersey trains are still not running today, so Mr. stayed home and has been dealing with insurance and more clean up.u00a0 We do not have any exterior property damage, but we did have small leaks in several places in our home.u00a0 nnWe feel very blessed to have come out without too much damage.u00a0 We hear that our ski resort town is under 5 feet of water, our locker room there flooded last fall, so they will have to re-do everything again.u00a0 I just keep telling myself that any damage that can be repaired is minor damage.u00a0 Our prayers are with those who had catastrophic losses, especially the family whose 11 year old son was killed by a falling tree.