I don’t know everything. But, seeing what’s going on in Louisiana right now, please, please, please listen to what I’m going to say or . . read what I’m going to write! You never know when disaster is going to strike. Disasters come in all shapes and forms and there’s a good chance you had have all your preps in order and your disaster may come in the form of a fire, a tornado, a flash flood – we just never know.
People affected by Laura may not have water or electricity for weeks and for some, it may be months! I’m not even going to guestimate or pontificate on how to prepare for that type of disaster but the hurricane hit Wednesday night. People are begging for water and food. Do not let that happen to you!
I would suggest that every one of us keep our supplies stocked and have an arrangement with a friend two or three hours away that you have enough for them, and they have enough or you and if your supplies are destroyed or their supplies are destroyed, hopefully you can take them in, and vice versa.
Here’s my advice and if you’ve ever listened to anything I’ve said, please at least think about this.
Have at least 1 gallon of water per day per person. I consider that drinking water/brushing teeth. Keep extra water for flushing toilets, cooking, sponge baths, cleaning wounds, etc. Here in Texas, we have the solar well and we could get water from that so I haven’t been real diligent about keeping water on hand. Without a solar well in MO, I have already bought water to keep on hand. It usually rains every few days there and we’ll get some kind of system set up to catch rain for flushing toilets, sponge baths, etc.
Water is essential to life. Do not be without water!
Buy the food you like. I’ve told this before but my parents always bought Vienna sausage for their hurricane food and we never ate them. Even as kids, who will eat everything, we didn’t eat those Vienna sausage. Vince and I like sardines so we keep a good supply of sardines.
With a gas burner and plenty of fuel, or a rocket stove, solar oven, etc., you’ll be a little more flexible about what you can have on hand to cook.
There are people in Louisiana who were begging for MREs from the National Guard or FEMA within 24 hours of the hurricane making landfall.
We have generators but we only plan to use them for running a few hours to keep the food in the freezers frozen or to pump well water if needed. I have a friend in Lake Charles who had a whole house generator put in. I told her that we’d used one before and they are outrageously expensive to run long term. She figured earlier in the week that it was going to cost them $6,000+ in fuel to run everything as if the power was on. She was shocked!
There are people who do not have the funds to buy up a lot of food. I understand that and I hope they have family and friends who are helping them; but for those who can buy a few gallons of water every now and then, and whatever non-perishable type foods you know you will eventually eat, please buy that stuff, store it, rotate it and have it when you need it.
Please make sure you are familiar with your insurance policies. So many people in Louisiana are upset finding out that they have $10,000 to $15,000 deductibles. Hurricane coverage now seems to come with a 5% deductible. There’s some discussion that it could have been lowered to 2% with a huge increase in premiums. Think about it though . . I’m no fan of insurance companies but if I’m paying $5,000 per year homeowner’s insurance and I pay that for 10 years, they’ve gotten $50,000 from me. If my home, and everyone else’s home in the entire parish is extremely damaged or destroyed and they’re paying out $100,000 in damages or $200,000 or more or more for total losses, there aren’t going to be insurance companies and then there won’t be mortgages and that could result in a whole lot of problems. Here, our wind and hail deductibles have gone way up and we did opt for the higher deductible, gambling that we won’t have a claim but just know what you’re facing.
Also, people are finding out that even though there’s no electricity or water there, your homeowner’s coverage that provides for reimbursement for expenses if you have to live away from your home . . that’s only if your home is rendered uninhabitable due to damages and no water or electricity is not considered “damages”. If you aren’t sure, spend a bit of time with your agent and whatever they tell you, make sure yo can find it in your policy. The policy language is the gospel and what someone “told” you . . if it contradicts what’s in the policy, it’s the policy that’s going to control the situation.
One last word . .
I have no confirmation, but I have a feeling this year Christmas gifts may be hard to find as it gets closer towards Christmas. Please save yourself some stress and buy gifts early and buy things ahead that you plan to use for your Christmas dinners and Christmas baking.
Yesterday I ordered the last of the things I wanted to get for Addie. She’s more into jewelry (check out those pom pom earrings), Barbie clothes/accessories and those type things than she is into trinket type things I’ve gotten for her previously.
I ordered an outfit for her American Girl doll, a few Barbie things, a bracelet that was on sale at Rustic Cuff, a necklace from Etsy, a child’s shirt that says Crazy Chicken Lady (also from Etsy) and I already had a few little things that are wrapped and I can’t even remember what they are. The adults on my list will get knitted hats, mittens or socks so, my shopping is pretty much done.
I do need to make a list of things I’d like to bake/cook and make sure I have all the ingredients and if I’ll be doing the cooking in MO, I need to be sure I have the dishes/utensils we need there.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if I found my cookie molds before Christmas? Hope springs eternal.
Judy, I’m NOT being ugly–where do you get your news about the Louisiana hurricane? We don’t have TV but we do have internet and it’s as if that hurricane never happened on anything I read which I will admit isn’t much these days.
We would be fine in Montana if some natural disaster struck–probably dead if Yellowstone National Park blows–but in Arizona I would need to do a little more preparation. In Montana our water is gravity fed into a cistern and we have the creek. In Arizona we have a well but it’s deep–we could pump water with the generator in our motorhome, it’s big enough. I have little storage space in AZ but I’m going to figure out a way. Thanks for the tips about Christmas–I remember being so frustrated last Christmas (BEFORE Covid) about not being able to find candy making supplies.
Judy Laquidara says
Actually, mostly from Facebook because probably half my FB friends live in Lake Charles since I grew up there, went to college there and lived there til I was 40+ years old.
We don’t have cable news or anything either but KPLC TV is the local station there. They lost their big tower so they aren’t transmitting to the TV world but are transmitting online now.
Chad is there in Lake Charles working now so he sends me pictures and calls several times a day. What better news that Chad there at the scene? 🙂
Stephani in N. TX says
Love the photo of Addie and Chad. Addie looks lovely and very color coordinated, considering her previous choices in clothing dressing herself. We are blessed to see our children grow and have families. Thanks for all the thoughts on preparation. I worked in a supermarket on the eve of the Bay of Pigs (Cuba) invasion, and I do recall the sudden vacuum of every single thing on the shelves as people thought we might go to war in our own hemisphere. Haven’t seen that again till the pandemic so you have been proven right in being prepared all along. (although I’m interested in how all your food in jars makes the trip to MO). I had some packers at my house and they packed mouth wash in a box that I had to find and get to because it spilled and smelled. Luckily I won’t have to go far with my move, but we are sisters in packing mode at the time, except I have no kitty to get in my boxes as I pack.
Sara Fridley says
What a wonderful photo of daughter and proud dad! That one needs to be framed. I’m thrilled for you to be able to spend so much more time with your family with this move to MO.
About 15 years ago we had a bad ice storm coming with loss of power predicted. We lived in a small town with no water tower and everyone had their own wells – and pumps. So I filled up our bathtub with water to use to flush, much to the amusement of my husband. He wasn’t laughing after we needed to use that water.
Judy, thank you for this very thoughtful subject. I never thought about holiday foods being in short supply. Maybe I should start now –not that we will be having a crowd. On the issue of emergency stores….. Living in wildfire country as we do, my emphasis –small as it is– has been on short term evacuation preparedness for the worst scenario of needing to camp out in the car for a few days. That is way different from staying at home without utilities.And I’m trying to think where in the world I would store a month’s supply of drinking water. Or even a week’s supply.
Here’s a funny/not so funny water story. I need distilled water for my CPAP machine. At one point, I brought home several jugs of water, only to discover they were for drinking, not distilled. Thinking a few jugs of drinking water on hand would be a good idea, I put them on a high shelf, out of the way, in the laundry room. Some months later, I woke up to find water dripping down through the cabinet. One of those jugs sat there and sprung a leak! What a mess, but the cabinet got washed out, nice and clean. Those jugs watered my front flower bed right away.
I hear what you are saying and I agree with you. On the other hand, I have not come up with a list of things that we actually eat every week that I could stockpile and rotate. We eat fresh year round, augmented occasionally with frozen peas in the winter. I think we would need to camp by a grocery store.
And friends 3 hours away who would take us in? Don’t know. In the case of wildfire, we would probably need to go further than 3 hours. At age 80+, many of our friends and relatives are gone or in nursing homes..
The best thing I can think of is to have an RV prepped and ready to go. That’s probably not going to happen. Or here’s a thought: How about selling out and moving into the RV! –Always ready, hmm?
Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts, Judy. I will continue thinking about solutions to the issue.
I so agree about stocking up on foods you actually eat. And buying a few cans at a time does work for those who can’t go out and do a big purchase. And don’t forget the pet food stash. Dang – DH just left for a run to the landfill transfer station and I just remembered all those cans of nasty starchy peas that are at least 5-6 years past the “best by” date. DH thought they’d be just the thing for our emergency stash (on sale cheap), but even in good times I will not eat them so they never got rotated through.
As to relocating Boots, we kept our litter boxes in the basement and our cats had no issues with going down to use them. Our cats did not like the covered boxes. One thing you might try if starting out with new box and new brand of litter, sort of gross but… take a *tiny* bit of used litter to put in the new box so Boots knows it’s his right away. As far as litter, we used Tidy Cats multiple cat, or Arm and Hammer. That light weight litter is a back saver but it got tracked all over the house even from the basement.
Cookie molds! Ah yes. Can not wait to hear where they were/are!
Judy Laquidara says
I so hope I find those. You’re all going to hear me scream for joy when I find them!
Betty Edwards says
I agree with you Judy about being prepared. For the lady that has t heard about Louisana here goes: we had hundred mph winds Thursday. Damages is phenomenal trees uprooted snappi g lines and blocking road. We all stayed with our granddaughter, son and did and son and husband had to find us a way in order to get us home. It took them quite awhile. Generators that feed water to areas were damaged leaving a lot of people without water. We never loss water but a “boil advisory “ is in effect. Water looks like milk when you fill a glass. Projected time for us to have power is September 7th!
My husband has a Pace,America’s Defibrillator and he is 83 years old. We go every morning to get two five gallons gas cans in order to run out generator. His devise that reports his Pacemaker, Defibrillator cannot alert us because it uses Internet. No power, no Internet. I am not complaining we are thankful to be alive.
Hope that helps to know about those going through this. in our family four home all with power and some without water.
We will make it, have before many times!
I lived on Guam for 10+ years and went through 2 super Typhoons and multiple smaller ones. For both super typhoons, we were without power for a month and without water for 3 months. The village had a water tank where we would get fresh drinking water, but toilets and showers were done with rain water. My husband would have to work in the morning and pray for a rain shower around 6am so he could go out under the roof and have a fresh rain water shower. After a month we were able to go to the gym club to shower. Gas pumps had damage and were not working even if the gas station had power, so long lines formed to get gas, for weeks and weeks. We ran a small generator for our fridge, but only at night and we made sure to not open the fridge during the day. We put the food we thought we would eat during the day in a cooler with freeze packs that we would refreeze overnight. Food was hard to come by until the ships could get into the harbor, but we had enough stored to last us for awhile, but nothing fresh and certainly nothing home grown for a long while. It took 6 months go get cable repaired so we had no television to watch for that time. I don’t remember how long it took to get our internet hooked back up, but it was probably when the power was restored. We didn’t have enough water to wash clothes, so had to go to the laundromat and wait in line for hours or find a friend who had services. It was not a fun time. We were able to get off island and enjoy a hotel for a few days, but had to come back to the mess eventually.
Judy Laquidara says
WOW! What an ordeal. I’m betting you learned lessons during that time yo have never forgotten!
Yes – I heard one man talking on TV about being without water due to the fires around here. Seems the fires melted everything. He found out the hard way that the insurance company will only pay for a mx 2 weeks rent somewhere else because the damage to the water resources did not occur on his property. What a shock! So yes, we all should sit down and read through our policies and make whatever contingency plans we need to make
I’m betting that you find those cookie molds!
Judy Laquidara says
I am so hoping but I honestly cannot imagine where they might be.
Nelle Coursey says
Planning ahead is always good. I try to keep at least one full case of water and an extra just in case we can’t get to the store. Right now with the kidney stone and procedure coming up probably Wednesday, I will not be doing much of anything. I have never had anything hurt so bad in my life!
Judy Laquidara says
I didn’t know you had a kidney stone. Good grief . . those are awful. Hope that goes well. Holler if you need anything.