Sunday, September 21, 2008

72 hour kits, dependencies, and other musings.

It was great to come home from church and see green blinking lights that indicated our internet and cable were back on.

I find my dependency on the internet a little disturbing. We don't get the newpaper because I'm allergic to newspapers and get really bad breakouts from touching them. Therefore, I read all my news online. I also rely on the internet for all bill-paying and banking. As well as phone numbers, maps and other information and a great deal of shopping and researching. Don't forget communicating. So when our link was out all week, I would call my parents in Utah and ask for them to go online and inform me of whatever pressing need I had. Like the football game scores and the school website to see if I need to be at work on Monday. Do I have enough money in my account to buy gas, and oh, yeah, I can't find the phone number for my VTeachee - could you go online and find it? Dad would offer to e-mail me whatever I needed and then just madly chuckle when I would explode "but I don't have e-mail right now!" I'm sure they were tired of hearing from me. I thank them for their time and assistance!

Our civic, church and government leaders have been counseling us for years to put together 72 hour kits to be prepared to support ourselves in time of emergency like Ike. We even received a hurricane preparedness pamphlet from the city government about 10 days before Ike hit. Don't people listen? don't they read? Don't they watch the news? I was understandably quite irate at all the people I heard complaining on tv and radio about not having water or food for the first few days while FEMA was getting situated. Perhaps we had better create a cartoon on Cartoon Network about prepping for hurricane season! We went to Lowe's to pick up some stakes to try to save some of my plants, and people would run in, scan the battery display, and run out saying..."no batteries...what are we going to do?" I felt sorrow for the suffering of these people that was avoidable - IF they had followed the direction of their leaders.

With all my judgements in mind, Nate and I sat down and evaluated our 72 hour kits to see what changes need to be made. We had good water supplies, adequate food supplies, and ready cash reserves. I discovered that although we did not suffer any tragedy, just going through the hurricane experience was trying and I mentally had a hard time planning a simple meal. So MREs might be a nice thing to have. We definitely need to add cranked radios and flashlights to our kits. We had radios, flashlights, and batteries, but we hadn't updated them since we arrived in Houston 10 years ago and the batteries had leaked and ruined several things. We should also add some bungee cords and parachute cord. A generator would be nice to keep the freezer cold and be able to charge our electronic communication equipment (phones, laptops, etc.). We also should add some rain gear in case of having to leave our house for some reason. Oh, and a couple of big rakes and a supply of yard bags for cleanup.

If I were grading our preparedness I would give us an A-. We had the basic things needed to get by, and the things we didn't have no one person could provide. As we get slowly back to normal, I hope people everywhere learned a lesson in self-reliance and being prepared.

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