So, do you remember a few months ago when I sent you a list to make an emergency kit? And who made one? Hummmm? Well, after last months shake up, I think we all need to revisit this. I have made some observations on my own in dealing with the earthquake and its smaller babies! I have discovered many things that I am doing different in my house AND I have had the pleasure of speaking with a lot of you who have shared with me all the things in your homes that you would do differently. So, I thought I would share:
- I had some bottled water in my house. But not enough. Of course, we, like most of you, are on a well and with the power out, that means pumps were out, which trickles down to toilet flushing! I really think that I need some sort of water storage system and maybe you should too. There are large plastic water storage units that you can buy that replace the water on a regular basis, so it doesn’t become stagnant. Just a thought.
- AM radio. We did not have an AM radio in the house. The power was out and the only thing we could do was to turn the car on and stand in the garage to listen to the news. I am buying one of those AM FM radios that has a crank on the side with a flashlight. Then I don’t have to worry about batteries! I heard that AIH has them for less than $40 bucks.
- My china cabinet. Even though, I own no china! I still have very special things that I don’t want to lose, you know, the ceramic things that your kids make and all those special gifts from years past. I was blessed in that my hutch did not fall over – but it really rattled. So, I think I should anchor it to the wall and I have put special little latches on the doors, so things cannot fall out onto the floor. I saw a ton of pictures on line with all the dishes broken out of people hutches. (sad face)
- TV’s No more free-standing TV’s. They must be anchored to something – a wall a cabinet etc! I have a friend who just purchased a curved screen TV at a black Friday sale……lost it in the quake!
- Framed art with glass. I have a beautiful Gail Niebrugge print that I just love. I had it on the mantle of my fireplace and it did come crashing down! Glass shattered everywhere. The print was fine, and all I must do is get new glass for it – but ALL my art will be secure from now on. There are lots of different hanging systems that can be used, and I plan on researching the best one for my house.
- Water heaters. We had earthquake straps on our water heaters and they STILL ripped off the walls. It looked as though they had “walked” across the furnace room. Pipes broken and water everywhere. We were so lucky that Lowes was open and selling plumbing parts, but I think we are going to keep a bag of extra parts stapled to the wall in the furnace room because chances are, this will happen again.
- Flashlights handy. I am married to “The Flashlight King”. He has them everywhere – nightstand, closet, car, bathroom, kitchen, everywhere. So, we were well supplied with light when the power went out. The LED’s are the ones to get. I have learned that having them stashed everywhere was very helpful.
- We have a small generator, but it’s not hooked to the house. The power was out for a good 6 hours and even though we have a gas stove, there still were some problems. My parents, as most of you know, live with me and we immediately went over to their part of the house and my dad was stuck in his electric recliner! When the quake hit, he was all stretch-out in his recliner, with the power out, the chair won’t move from its reclined position. So, the earthquake really did “trap” him – in his chair! This is when you can see that a generator would really come in handy! (If you do set up a generator, call an electrician to do it, there are some very specific ways that they have to be set up.)
- Emergency Group Text. If you have a smart phone and you text, I found that having my kids, my grandkids that have phones, my parents and siblings all on a premade group text would make it simple to just do a “check in” when something like this happens. That was the first thing that most of us did – call our kids!
- Some pets did very well. I have a friend that has birds, not a problem at all – some dogs were okay, some were freaked out! Many lots pets on Facebook, most came back. Just like kids, pet’s need reassurance too after something like that. Our dog had his nose on the back of my leg for a good week after the initial quake. I was able to make arrangements for him to be with me that week, so I didn’t have to leave him home alone for that week with the aftershocks.
Ok, I am done nagging, it was quite an experience for us all and I know that I had become a little “lazy” in my prep-skills and I am planning on doing much better moving forward. Here’s to a new year without anything “earth-shattering!”