Saturday, December 16

Be Prepared

I'm a pseudo-programmer, so prior to Y2K, reading about the possibilities, I wondered if I should worry. I was just about to decide not to when the government and media both bizarrely clammed up to the degree that THAT was abnormal, which scared me worse than anything I could have read. (Government: "Don't ask, don't tell" apparently applies to several things that could use leadership as an alternative...)

Anyway, for about 18 months prior to the date, I studied. I mean I read more internet and books about how to do EVERYTHING than you can imagine, and than I can believe, looking back. I read so much I don't even remember half of it and I normally have a good memory. But I know a lot more about everything from sanitation to childbirth, from injuries without medicine to how to build a sturdy wall from stones, how to bake without an oven if you have sun, a million things.

One of the things that really got me in my studies was that this idea most folks have, that our civilization is so immune from weather-related emergencies, is ridiculous. In fact, you'd be astounded by how many times huge numbers of people lose all power for quite a long time.

Reminds me of how in the '94 Northridge earthquake -- which nearly killed me I might add -- happened, just after, I was clinging to the wall of my back doorway. Everything had just stopped shaking, which nearly gave me sea legs adapting, I could hear the blood rushing through my head, and then the sky flashed vivid green and blue lightning like crazy! -- and then abruptly the whole world went blacker than it ever, ever is in a city.

It was transformers blowing out... all over the place... and I was about 70 miles from Northridge. Parts of CANADA and Northern states lost power over that!!

Back when I lived in Seattle, I remember Spokane Washington was out of power for like 5 days, maybe more. People froze, it was the dead of Winter.

This article talks about how recent winds "up to 69 mph!" (the tornado alley Oklahoman in me scoffs, haha! We have straight-line winds here that get up to that.) caused a power outtage in Seattle, in other parts of Washington, even parts of Oregon.

I wish people understood that having food, water, basic medicine, etc. is not just for the paranoid but a sanity check worth having. Especially if you have kids. If your power went out in the middle of winter -- stores closed, gas station closed, no just in time inventory, and mass competition from locals -- would you be ok? When your house was just over the temperature outside that is solid ice, would you be ok? Do you have a tent your family could sleep in to conserve the heat around you? I know people who have a couple electric blankets and a thin pretty bedcover. If they lose power in winter they'll wake up ice cubes. Will your neighbors be ok? Because they may need help and guess who they'll ask. Do you have medicine if you need it?

I know, this isn't lowcarb. The article just reminded me of all the reading I did prior to Y2K. Just like every house should have a fire alarm and a fire escape plan for everyone, every household should have some stored food and water, you can use it every so often after you've replaced it with newer stuff. It doesn't take much effort to proactively make small plans just in case it's ever needed.

When I was in 5th grade, we had the 'fire training'. My classmate Linda's house caught on fire just a few weeks later. She was the oldest of like 5 kids. Thanks to that training and the 'fire plan' she'd done for the assignment, she got her little siblings and led them out of the house to safety, crawling on the floor under all the smoke. The parents managed to get out their window or something, in a different direction. The house burned to the ground, not a shred of anything left. But they were all alive.

A little planning. That's all it takes.

(This has been a community service. haha!)

1 comment:

Cindy Moore said...

I've been without power several times since living on my own. The first time my kids were 3 yrs and 10 months...and not a single neighbor helped me out! We had no power for a full 7 days. I cooked outside on a camping stove, and heated the house with a wood stove. Other than loosing lots of frozen food, we came out of this without a problem. Others didn't fare so well.

People truely don't plan for power outages, or other disasters, nor do they usually make sure they have enough medication on hand! We really do have a "it won't happen to me" attitude!!!