Thursday, September 1

Trial Run

The interwebs abound this week with blog posts about what people learned (or should have) from Hurricane Irene.

Locally, I know several people who found themselves unable to get to work and a few businesses/ services closed for a day or two because their employees were stranded on the wrong side of the river with no way to get across. Even after the weather had cleared and the sun was shining, our electricity flicked off and on erratically as crews removed trees from power lines. Thirty-six hours post typhoon we got a boil-water order.

Of the most impact to me personally was news that if NYC had been hit hard my husband and his unit would have been called up and had to go down there to assist with evacuation efforts. Fortunately, they were able to function on just volunteers this time through, but it made me think.

I tend to consider myself pretty prepared, but this trial-run provided me with some valuable feedback with which to evaluate and improve my preps and plans.

Menus My stove-top stayed on, but every time the power flicked off my oven went out. I am thankful I have a collection of skillet recipes, but I realized that I need to be more proactive about keeping crackers and other dry, ready-edibles in the house.

Escape Routes Our plan has always been to shelter in place unless evacuation became truly impossible to avoid. But having seen so many bridges out and portions of the major highways completely shut down has forced me to explore alternative bug-out locations. If “out” is open in only one direction, how do I get somewhere safe? Something to think about.

Me, Myself and the Dog I've always known that there's a good chance emergency will strike while my husband is deployed; I'd never considered that he might be home and deployed because of the emergency. Honestly, a little heart work is necessary here because I'd be pretty pissed if he had to go take care of strangers somewhere like NYC sure to be full of looting, rioting and people who've never bothered to prep at all (reference their complete melt down last winter during a snow storm for the basis of my assessment) rather than here with his family and friends. Beyond that, I clearly need to address our communication plans since I could be forced to evacuate while he's gone and it would be important that we be able to relay valuable info despite cell restrictions. I'd been trying to avoid the third-party plan, but I may have to bite the bullet and make it happen.

Like a Good Neighbor Friends of ours have a three month old baby; the father works with my husband. God forbid they got called up, the poor new mom would be by herself – all their local family is on the other side of the river! Although I'm used to keeping half an eye out for my physical neighbors, this was the first event that made me consider whether or not I need to expand my view when it comes to thinking of people to check on or offer to assist.

Procrastination Is A Suicide Installment Plan A slightly more impressive version of the “don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today” idea, I picked up this line in Mary Kay training believe it or not! It really stood out to me as the most valuable lesson from this storm, though. Laundry, food prep, grocery shopping – life if meant to be lived, certainly, but letting chores and seemingly mundane tasks pile up simply because we assume we can always do them later could come back to bite us badly in an emergency when everything instantly gets harder or takes longer.

Those lessons give me plenty to work on right now. What did you learn?


  1. Oh, wow. "Procrastination is a suicide installment plan"? That makes me feel like I need to go DO something, stat!

    Glad you all made it through Irene okay!

  2. What great things to take from a difficult situation. Thanks for sharing your insight.