Friday, May 28, 2010

Emergency Preparedness Soapbox

"Emergency preparedness is a team sport." - Eric Whitaker

In An Old-Fashioned Girl, our plucky heroine plus her boss and his housekeeper are snowed in for several days. They quickly run out of flour and Patience is reduced to making a bread-like creations out of potatoes. First of all, bread from potatoes? Cool. Second, it's January out in the boonies of Norfolk and the locals warn the housekeeper that a blizzard is coming. Who wouldn't do a little judicious stocking up of the larder at this point?

Being snowed-in is the most common natural disaster in Neeldom (I can think of several books that use this particular trope). Heavy rains/flooding would come in second, and there are at least two books that have earthquakes. Man made/caused disasters mentioned include fire and bombs.

While we here in the Northwest enjoyed a mild winter this year, many of the Betty's on the East Coast were subjected to snow storm after snow storm. Many in the East also had devastating floods. More recently there have been tornadoes in the Plains States. My question is, if any of these affected you, were you prepared for it, or did you have to sacrifice a house pet to survive?

FEMA and the American Red Cross have an Emergency Preparedness Checklist (linked to here). Swing by and give it a look-see.

Climbing down from my soapbox....


  1. I will have to fatten up Bella. She wouldn't give us much nourishment.

  2. Betty Barbara here--
    I live in the greater Baltimore-Washington metro area. And we sure did see the snow this year! And I participated in the great grocery-store rush in anticipation of the snow--so I (and my husband and son) were well stocked. And since we did NOT lose our electricity, we did just fine.
    And we could easily do an 'eat out of the pantry/freezer' for a week-no problemo(except for the fresh milk and fruit!). We flunk the potable water back-up, though. We don't stockpile bottled water.
    We are lucky that we live on the fringe of hurricane country, rarely have tornadoes, no earthquakes in recent history. We do get seasonal floods, but not as bad as along the great rivers. We get heavy snows, but not every year.
    So that's a report from the mid-Atlantic.

  3. The year my latest was born there was a snowstorm that hit the area that prohibited much getting about for nearly three weeks. (This was right before Christmas and my husband got T-shirts that year because they were the only thing I'd gotten around to purchasing what with the baby and all...) By the end of the time we were on thin rations indeed.

    I did have plenty of brown sugar but, technically, that wasn't food storage so much as poor pantry management.

    Betty Debbie is my hero.

  4. I was never so heartily sick of snow as I was that winter. We had ordered several Christmas presents...that weren't delivered until after the New Year.

    While we were never in any danger of running out of food I did decide that I really wanted a freezer - not a big one, but big enough to hold a larger variety of frozen fruits, veggies and meat. It only took me a few months to convince Dr. van der Stevejinck that I meant it when I said "small". As you can tell by the picture, I got my way. Natch.

  5. I'm not sure how I would do on food (rice -- lots of rice for sure) but I wouldn't suffer from dehydration. We have well water (it's very yummy, truly) and because the well requires electricity, we have a propane-fueled back-up generator for when the rural electricity conks out.

    It works as a prophylactic, too -- we haven't lost power for more than a few hours since it was installed!