Emergency Preparedness-Make A Plan

Emergency Preparedness-Make A Plan

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If I talk about emergency preparedness, how prepared are you is the logical question? I have asked a few people how they feel about preparedness. Some of my questions to friends were like “do you store water?” Other questions have been “how do you feel about food storage” or “how long could your family survive on the food you have stored?”

Well, as you may imagine, the answers were all over the board. Here’s the deal, I really try not to be on a soapbox screaming from the rooftops to tell everyone to get prepared. But, it’s something I feel strongly about, and want to help others catch the vision. We have to be realistic and recognize the government can’t take care of all of us after a minor or major disaster, at least not right away, so it’s on us to do as much as possible to be self-sufficient and well-prepared.

Like anything else that’s a little complicated at first, but important, planning and follow-through are critical. I’m hoping today’s post provides a helping hand, particularly to those new to the preparedness journey.

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Emergency Preparedness-Make A Plan

Emergency Preparedness-Make A Plan

American Red Cross & FEMA

The local American Red Cross is a well know organization that steps in during most disasters. That help may help in a week or two, possibly a month. But their resources are limited. Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the federal agency given the task to provide support during major emergencies and disasters can’t be everywhere and provide everything needed. We must be self-reliant, that’s it. Period.

I’m not a doomsday prepper and I don’t believe in zombies. I know a lot of people do, but I don’t. My life has always been focused on being prepared for whatever comes my way. I have been lucky, my husband has never lost his job. We have never had to live on government help.

Mark worked three jobs so we didn’t have to take out student loans to get him through college. I ironed clothes (I doubt my daughters even own an iron). I’m thinking about this as I write this statement. I babysat kids and cleaned homes to help generate some income with four daughters undertow. Mark and I never thought anything about it.

We just worked hard, and we still do to this day. It’s a way of life for us. I understand people need occasional help from the government. I get it. As long as it’s short term and doesn’t become a way of life or lifestyle, as I call it, I understand.

Living Off The Government

It’s when I hear about families who have been living off the government for ten or more years when they could have tried to do it on their own that I get ticked off. Let me emphasize, “could have tried.”

As you know, Facebook sometimes tells us more than we want to hear. Some people almost boast about the fact they are living off the government going on 12-15 years now.

Wow, my mom could have used some help as a young single mom with three daughters. She was too proud, she worked and we worked to help her. This is why it’s so critical to have food storage and water stored. If you or someone in your family loses a job or becomes ill such that they can’t work, are you prepared to feed your family?

Being prepared is a way of life for me and for my daughters. I can boast about my daughters because they are all hard workers and survivors. They are also self-reliant. Of course, all families have a few hiccups, and I’ve had a few as well.

Texas Boots Quote

I love the saying from Texas, “I put my boots on and got back in the saddle.” I don’t know where I heard that quote, I believe it was a movie. I use it all the time because I know I’ve had to put my boots on and get back in the saddle a few times.

It’s life, but I know I can survive anything. My daughters can survive anything because they are strong women.

I swear, it was from others’ example to us, but also we grew a garden and we “canned” every food we could get our hands on that was free or cheap. I know work teaches kids how to be self-reliant.

Canning Classes

Please note: a few years ago I “pressure canned” chicken for the first time while earning my Master Preserver Canning Certificate. It was a really fun class!!

If you have a disaster or unforeseen emergency in your neighborhood is anyone prepared with water, food, gardens, first aid kits, cooking devices, fuel, or general preparedness skills? I am extremely worried about where I live. I can’t take care of everyone on my street, it’s not going to happen.

I’ll be willing to cook meals with help and share food and water with other residents, particularly older adults and children. My fear is the lack of both on my street. I know possibly seven families out of my subdivision that is prepared for a disaster. I would love to move where there are like-minded people, but economically it’s not going to happen.

I’m concerned for the truckers and their safety if the roads are shut down and the people are trying to loot the trucks because the grocery store shelves are empty. People get mean and crazy when they are hungry and their kids are crying for a drink and something to eat. For the survival of your family, please get prepared for the unexpected through an effective emergency plan.

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Even with somewhat limited resources, families can put together a plan and learn how to execute that plan to their benefit. It’s called emergency management on a family-sized basis and it’s doable. No matter what the natural disasters or the types of emergencies are, we can look out for ourselves, have an in-house coordinator, and stand tall with our own emergency response team, in many cases.

Sure, we’ll need additional resources from outside the home in many cases, but we can also weather the storms in so many instances.

Emergency Preparedness-Make A Plan:

I quote from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Preparedness is “A state of adequate preparation.” The key word here is “adequate,” meaning enough supplies stored to keep your family hydrated with water, fed with healthy food, kept warm with blankets, and fuel sources to not only help keep them warm but also to cook or just heat up food. Also, having first aid supplies at the very minimum so your family can be prepared for an unexpected accident or injury.

Please start today if you haven’t already to follow some of the suggestions/guidelines below as outlined in many of my posts in my archive:

  1. Water, one to four gallons per person per day minimum WaterBrick 3.5 gallon with Water Preserver.
  2. Food – start with a two-week supply and add to that inventory going forward. Start with one can or one case at a time.
  3. First Aid supplies – every family needs a first aid kit as part of an overall emergency kit. We aren’t talking about a lot of medical equipment, just the basics of bandages, gauze, and some over-the-counter medication supplies for things like burns, diarrhea, nausea, ointments, splints, prescriptions, etc.
  4. Blankets, extra clothes, hats, scarves, boots, and gloves for every family member are critical in any emergency supply kit. It’s also good to have an emergency car kit in case you have to evacuate.
  5. Cooking devices with fuel stored. Many canned goods are fine right out of the can, but being able to warm up the food will warm hearts too.
  6. Emergency binder holding your important documents. If you have to leave your home, who knows where that evacuation route you planned will eventually take you? You may need to identify yourself and others and make contact with your banker, doctor, CPA, insurance agent, and others. As part of that binder, be sure to include emergency contacts so you aren’t scrambling for information.
  7. 72-hour-kits, at the very least. Your disaster plans should include what others call a bug-out bag. No matter what you call it, having supplies for your functional needs for at least a 72-hour period can make all the difference in case of a sudden emergency.
  8. Pictures of family members so you can post pictures if you get separated after a disaster. This should be one of the easiest tasks in your planning process. If not, you aren’t taking enough family pictures. LOL
  9. Make a plan with your family today so all members know where to meet if you are not home when a disaster hits. We hope we can shelter in place, but if officials direct you to evacuate to another facility, or even to family or friends, knowing where to meet to start that trip is critical.
  10. Buy 90-day prescriptions, if possible (they are usually cheaper if you pay cash, ask your doctors for refills). Those meds may be for current health issues, but you may also have some to maintain disease control with antibiotics to minimize health risks for your family. Prevention is the best cure they say.
  11. Communication, talk with your neighbors to have a walkie-talkie on the same channel. I only have three families linked with my channel. No one else sees the need or has the desire to get walkie-talkies (think Pandemic, I will not leave my house) Walkie Talkies
  12. Flashlights, please get one for every family member. Trust me, you will need them. I like the solar-powered flashlights that I keep charged by placing them on my window sills. I consider this one of my best practices since I don’t have to worry about an extra batter or two for each unit.
  13. If you have a small business, you also need to consider the needs of your workers as part of your response plan in case of a workplace emergency. You aren’t always home at the time of a disaster strike, and you can’t count on emergency responders to be part of your support network since they’ll be dealing with so much with limited resources.
  14. Be sure to include the needs of your pets as part of your planning process. They may need many of the same things you’re setting aside to benefit your family during power outages, floods, and other emergencies.

Seattle Snowstorm

As I’m writing this I’m thinking about the people in Seattle in the early months of 2019. As the month of February started in 2019 the thought of snow warnings seemed crazy. Seattle can be cool temperature-wise, but they seldom have heavy snow storms. This time there were areas around Seattle where they received over 20 inches of snow over just a few days during a severe winter storm starting on February 3rd and running through February 11th.

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The city wasn’t prepared to clear all the main streets and highways, let alone the thousands of side streets in residential neighborhoods. Not only were families unable to get out of driveways and streets, but the trucking companies couldn’t get to the local stores with all the supplies we take for granted when we go shopping.

Airline flights were canceled day after day because of the ice and snow accumulations. This is what they called a 50-year storm since they hadn’t seen this much snow accumulation since 1969, the year we first put a man on the moon.

Texas Snowstorm

My readers are used to me talking about how often we experience power outages no matter where we live and that being prepared for the next one only makes sense. We so often assume that the utility companies and government agencies that supervise them are aware of potential risks to our power grid system and are doing all they can to make sure they stay functional since we rely on them so much.

The state of Texas proved that assurance to be faulty based on a severe ice and snowstorm event that took place in February 2021. Not many people know that Texas has its own power grid, one of just a few in the entire U.S. During the second week of February, weather forecasters reported a pending blast of very cold air and related winter weather headed to a large portion of the state.

Texas often gets cold temperatures and also experiences winter storms, but seldom do they see both at the same time. Cold days and winter storms usually don’t last more than a few days, and people are geared to turn up the heat, stay home and off the roads, and shelter in place. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) could see from weather reports coming in that this event was going to be anything but normal.

They ordered what they called rotating outages, something we hear taking place in California during heat waves so the need to shut down various areas due to the demand for power can be passed from one neighborhood to another on a rotation basis and avert the challenge of any one area taking the brunt of a power outage. The challenge with the Texas grid system is that the power wasn’t rotating and the grid was deemed unstable.

Thousands of homes were left without any power to heat them causing pipes to break, and even prompting people to die from hypothermia and actually being frozen to death. State health officials indicate that 246 people lost their lives, with over two-thirds of the deaths from extreme exposure to cold.

With the cold air, demand hit record levels, but the actual supply of power available tended to fall. There was a period where almost 50% of the state’s power generation went offline. It was the “perfect storm” since wind turbines couldn’t run due to the frozen precipitation on the turbines and the generators running on natural gas couldn’t get the gas because of the cold temperatures in the pipelines supplying the gas.

We all need to consider how we can heat our homes during extreme temperatures and take the necessary steps to protect ourselves.

Generation Cold Front December 2022

Now, my mind is racing about this Once in a “Generation Cold Front of December 2022”! Many in the weather reporting field called this storm one filled with chaos across the 48 states. This was leading up to the busy travel Christmas Holiday weekend, causing the cancellation of thousands of flights around the country.

The weather reports talked of anticipated multiple feet of snow, particularly in northern New York. The snow was accompanied by freezing rain, subzero temperatures, power outages, and the related deaths that come when people can’t heat their homes and they don’t have the resources set aside to stay warm.

There have been reports of terrible road conditions, prompting traffic backups, multiple car pile-ups, and again, related deaths. Some places like Denver, CO saw rapid and severe temperature drops in a very short time, even as short as one hour. Some locations reported a drop of 50 degrees and more during the day as the storm swept across the country.

Consider what those stranded in their cars were trying to do to stay warm and safe for hours on end, waiting for roads and accident debris to be cleared. Many of you have heard me harp about keeping your gas tanks over 75% full all the time and putting together an emergency car kit so you have food, water, and warm blankets ready to go during events like this. As stated throughout this post, it all takes planning and follow-through, but it could mean saving lives.

Final Word

Sometimes you have to see, read or hear articles before it really hits you that these needs are real and may save lives. This is the article I hope helps just one family do what they should be doing. Make an emergency preparedness plan, today, not tomorrow, and make sure all of your family knows and understands what needs to be done, don’t take it all on yourself.

May God bless those who have prepared for the unexpected. If you can move where there are like-minded people, seriously consider it, or figure out how you can get those close to you to gather together and work on a common goal to get as many families prepared for the unexpected as possible. Do it now! May God Bless the World, Linda

Copyright Images: Fire Trucks AdobeStock_79142551 By ftfoxfoto

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58 Comments

  1. MORNING TO EVERONE FROM SEATTLE,WA. ARE power went out for some time GO believe I got a “C” had HEAT, FOOD, LIGHTS >BUT< my downfall is making "COFFEE" THAT was real bad

    1. Sarah ~ don’t know if you are still following Linda’s posts but – I always keep a good instant coffee as well as ground coffee on hand. My camp coffee pot is a percolator but many times if I am in a rush, I just want coffee and use hot water and instant coffee!

          1. Linda – I just cancelled the coffee order! Not that I need you to send me some but I was notified that the price went up. So it was $10.58 when I put in my order and just after, the price went up to over $11.00 so I cancelled it!

  2. You left out security. You won’t keep what you have long without it.
    How prepared am I? Better than some, worse than others but I’ll make due and won’t go down that easily.
    Just like the Army it’s “Always Forward” in preparation.

  3. I do OK on most of the categories but I’m lagging a bit on the binders. So far I’m using my blue camping jugs for water and change them when we do our time changes. Really came in handy when our building’s water was shut off for repairs a couple of times. Head lamps and a way to recharge them off grid are a big part of my preparations. Flashlights are OK but with a headlamp you can see what you’re doing while having hands free to do things.

  4. Linda, thank you for sharing your memories of the income-producing jobs you did when first starting out. I remember my mom ironing biz men’s shirts for 10 cents each, 15 cents each for the jacket and pants. Mom also did house-cleaning jobs, where she could bring me along. And I remember her doing babysitting/child care for many couples where both parents had jobs. And, sometimes, it was sort of wierd times as one had a vendor food stand at auctions and the other had to go to English language classes as she’d married a GI, fresh from Vietnam. I also remember her bartering her housecleaning/babysitting with a neighbor for us to get their mare, already heavy in pregnancy. I also remember the humiliation our family felt when mom asked for a county food basket. These were published in the local newspaper. Wow, what different times we live in, where some people almost brag about the assistance they get. Anyway, this checklist reminded me stuff can and will happen: I need to get stuff we’ve used in the last 10 yrs while in electrical outages, during my cancer and heart stuff when I couldn’t work…but, I thank God I had preps when we most needed them.

    1. Hi Wendy, I’m so sorry to hear you had cancer and heart issues. We just put our boots back on and get up, right? I had no idea they published names in the newspaper who got food assistance. It is sad that people sometimes boast about getting low rent and food from the government or I should say our tax dollars. I realize people may need it in their lifetime if they have hit rock bottom. In my area they post it all over Facebook and how to get more assistance and how to hide income. It’s a different world. It’s actually quite shocking to me. Linda

      1. I agree that some people suck the assistance vine. Many others truly do need a web of help, as they start life on their own with very little, and often with no network of help for anything. And I’m not talking about money, necessarily. Sometimes it’s about having someone to encourage, give ideas, help with one small thing. I consider myself to be a rich woman in what my folks taught me. My dad was in the hospital for long periods of time when I was young, (due to blood poisoning from concrete). We sure could have used some help, but here we say ” ya pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. My mom agreed with this philosophy, but also said “sometimes a person needs new bootstraps. Sure helps if somebody can help with that.” And, I can only hope that others get this, in case of a bad situation (lol, Shtf). There is No Way my family and I can have all the skills, supplies, tools, etc to survive/thrive in a lot of worst case scenarios. But, we have a better chance than most, because I’ve made it my biz to know my rural neighbors, learn about them and their skills. I think emergency preparedness should have it’s own chapter on neighbors!

        1. Hi Wendy, oh my gosh, you are so right!! Emergency preparedness should have its own chapter on neighbors! I love your comment! It’s so true sometimes we do need some new bootstraps to pull ourselves up. Love it! Linda

          1. I do know you did an article on this, but sometimes it’s not if people have preps, it’s about what they can do, hobbies, skills…

          2. Hi Wendy, you are so right on the things people can do! We all need to help one another and share hobbies and skills with each other. Great comment! Linda

  5. Linda – I believe that I am prepared a lot better than most and have skills that most do not have in this day/age. Part of this is due to the way I was raised and part is due to my interest in preparing.

    As for the Seattle/greater Puget Sound region – we rarely see as much snow as we had this February!! One of the reasons that I live on this side of the mountains is that I much prefer clear water falling from the sky rather than white water falling!! We were forewarned of the coming snow storm and yet, many in my senior community did not prepare! I did! I had to have my popcorn stocked up!! LOL. My daughter and SIL in Seattle subscribe to Imperfect Produce and the day before the snow started their order was delivered! She remarked that now they didn’t have to worry about scurvy or the hoards of people at the grocery stores! LOL. It took a few years of their marriage (11 years married) but I finally convinced them to get at least a bit prepared. Once the kids started coming into the world, they started thinking about what ifs and started preparing. They are a far cry from actually being prepared like I am but that is something that they are working towards within their income.

    So, I live south of Seattle and the sun is currently shining! Yay!

    Love your posts.

    1. Hi Leanne, I’m so glad to hear you are okay, the snow has been crazy there! It’s funny how you start to realize when you start a family you are responsible for their well being. I’m glad your daughter and SIL get it about preparedness. I love your popcorn statement! Linda

      1. Sadly Linda, even if you shout it from the rooftops, people won’t “get it” because they don’t want to!!! I am convinced with the damage done by Lyndon Johnson and his ” Great Society “, there is limited hope America can find it’s way back to self-sufficient living. After FOUR DAYS people complained about running out of bread, milk, eggs, and wait for it……. toilet paper!!!! If they failed to learn from the pandemic, they never will. Buffalo has been giving out free food since May, like it is leaves falling off a maple tree. There shouldn’t be an empty pantry from here to the state line. We haven’t left the house for 8 days, and we still need for nothing. Our son rescued countless people for three days. People who were warned for at least a week, that a storm was coming. Some people will never learn because it doesn’t pay them enough.

        1. HI Chris, Oh my gosh, this is a classic story of not surviving on your own. If they can’t make it 4 days, well, they will never survive a major storm, but wait, THIS is a major storm! And they were warned!! So Buffalo has been giving out free food, since May? Wow, there are no words. Thank goodness we have first responders like your wonderful son to rescue those who didn’t listen or heed the need to stock up. Or stay off the roads. Those Maple tree leaves…..wow. Linda

    2. Hay and no rain and the snow is melting toooo ! Yahoo the next time I should be a “B “ in being prepared my stove well have a coffee pot with it not in the other box ! I even got my kids into prepping because the “ zombies “ comming ( lol) I am 74 and I like to think I well make it ! When I go to the store I get a case of water ! What’s hard the most is my “ Bengal” cat he has health problem No’s in Saturday’s the vet said he has. Asthma It hard to prep for your pets too !

    3. Leanne, In reading your post, I realize my daughter in law has come a long way toward frugal ways and prepping. They have been married 16 years and maybe it took longer than I would have wanted for them but they are getting there. She is homeschooling 3 boys, and watching the pennies and even making bread. I am so proud of her.

      1. Chris ~ I had quite a time with my daughter and son-in-law just after their first child was born. I told them that they needed to be prepared for just about any emergency. Even though my daughter saw me and even helped me prep when she was a teen, it was difficult to get it across to them! So, I asked the hard question: how will you feel when you cannot provide for your child? Fast forward to 2 years ago – they now had 4 children and my daughter decided to start canning. She started with homemade applesauce and jams/jellies. I asked her when she became a prepper!! She said that she wasn’t. I asked why then did she want to can? She said so that she would have things put up for the winter. I said, welcome to prepping!! Now, they have been married for 15 1/2 years, due to give birth to her 5th child; sold their home in Seattle for a tidy profit and bought a small farm in Wyoming for cash. They carry no debt, homeschool their kiddos and makes her own bread. It is a real treat for them to go out for a meal that is not prepared by her! They are very frugal and minimalists. Now that they live in an area that gets blizzards, I told her it was even more important to be prepared. Not so much for things like flooding and volcanic eruptions (hey they just moved from Washington) but now for weather related emergencies. I am also proud of my daughter and son-in-law. They already have chickens – both meat and egg layers and have started planning their big garden. I think I have them talked into getting a freeze dryer for food and a much better dehydrator – at least the better dehydrator!! She has both water bath and pressure canners so she is set up there. And she has finally realized how satisfying it is to see all those jars of home canned goods and know she can feed her family.

        She asked me recently how I knew all the stuff I knew? Much of it was at my mother’s side, helping with the gardening, canning, etc. But a lot was that I was raised in an era where common sense was critical!!

          1. Linda ~ I am very proud of my daughter and her husband! They have done things so right in my book. AND, I look at my son-in-law’s family – 7 siblings and both parents – and wonder where did he get the gumption to be debt free when ALL of his family is deeply in debt.

  6. My brother that lives in Alaska says he’s had over 3 foot of snow in the past week. His electric coffee pot went out and he has no way to get to the nearest town which is 15 miles away. So he was boiling water and pouring it over the grounds. I asked if he has a percolator pot, he said no.He didn’t have any instant coffee either. I have 2 of the percolator pots,both are new. I will send him one from amazon. (I can’t live without coffee). I prefer ground, but have plenty of instant. I found it hard to believe he didn’t have a non electric way to make coffee. I have backups for my backups, LOL We live in a time when anything can happen. From natural disasters to all out war. I am not as prepared as I would like, but I am working on it a little at a time. I have many electric appliances, but I also have the manual version as well. I bake, can,and dehydrate. Having lost a freezer full of foods in the past, I don’t rely on the freezer for long term. I bought headlamps for my mom and myself a couple years ago. ( my brother said he had some). I have several ways to cook if need be. I got my mom a 2 burner camp chef cook top. We all have oil lamps and candles for light. And most importantly, water storage. We try to keep 4 gallons per person. Plastic cutlery we get from eating out, goes into a plastic tote.The plastic take out containers are also reusable. There are many ways to get prepared. Thank you for another great post. God Bless

    1. Hi Judy, oh my gosh over 3 feet of snow!! This has been a crazy year or two of extreme weather! I love hearing you have two percolators! You rock!! We sure do live in a time that anything can happen! Your comment brings me so much joy knowing you are so prepared not with preps and skills! I love it! It only takes one small disaster to make us realize how important food and water are to our family. Keep on prepping! Linda

  7. Linda: There is so much propaganda (from Russia and others) contributed to Facebook and other sources now: you cannot tell what’s true and what isn’t. Now, the people talking about having lived off the government 12-15 years who you mention: this is very likely not true. It’s very likely planted by a Russian “troll” or even a domestic one. Why? Well, it generally results in people being disgusted with “welfare queens”, which do not in reality exist. Those people are very apt to vote in a particular fashion. Voila – aim achieved!
    Pat

    1. I beg to differ with you, Pat. I personally know a few women who have been on the system for years. One woman I know had a daughter who is my daughter’s age. We lived near her when these two girls were toddlers. When that daughter got to kindergarten age, this woman got pregnant again. So, at that point, she was on welfare/food stamps/low income housing, etc. She had a little boy. When this little boy was about to start school, she had another baby. And this went on for several years. When our girls (the oldest of her children) were graduating from high school, she had 6 kids spaced out about 3-6 years apart and was on welfare, etc., at that point for 18 years. I think she was 16 when she had the first child and I imagine she continued to have kids even after I lost contact with her. None of the children had the same father either!

      1. Hi Leanne, this is so true. I wish it wasn’t. I have been to church functions and the women brag about how much money they get from the government. It’s sad but true. And disgusting. I can see if someone needs government assistance for a short time but longer than a year, it becomes a way of life. Where I live the whole community knows the people who get assistance, you can tell by what they can purchase at the grocery store. People line up for pizza at a place called Papa Murphys because you have to cook the pizzas. Its tax dollars feeding these people. I will get off my soapbox. Linda

        1. I guess I am still standing on my soapbox. I agree that short term assistance is necessary. But…

          When I was a single parent – well, guess I still am, just she is 33 and has a family now – I was working full time. My ex-husband was what is called a dead beat dad. He paid child support up until the day the divorce papers were signed. I couldn’t afford the money for an attorney nor the time off work to fight it out in court. Of course, he also had the excuse of not working – I think he worked under the table because he sure wasn’t hurting for cash – Don’t get me started on this one! I applied for reduced lunches for my daughter but I made $50 a month too much to get that. And the place I was working was a vocational school for adults. One day, a student came in sporting braces and bragging about how she didn’t have to pay a dime. Well, I knew my students pretty well and knew she was on government assistance and this just burned me up. I could not afford to put braces on my daughter who needed them. There were times that I thought I should just quit my job and go on welfare myself just for the medical benefits. I didn’t and the only thing I really wanted was my child support and possible some assistance in the form of reduced lunches for my daughter at school. As it was, when she was 9 years old, I couldn’t even afford day care during the summers. That was pretty frightening but I did have a reliable neighbor who checked in on her and my she was to check in with the neighbor as well. It worked out OK. Fortunately.

          1. Hi Leanne, oh my gosh, you really could have used some government assistance. It’s so sad that someone fathers a child and doesn’t own up to the responsibility. I had a daughter who had an ex-husband that did the same thing. Urggh! Thank goodness, you got through the storm, but it was rough I can tell. God bless you, my friend!! Linda

    2. Hi Pat, they live in my neighborhood. They belong to my husband’s church group. They boast at tables I sit at in church functions. It’s for sure true. I wish it wasn’t Pat.

  8. I’m sorry, Pat,
    My DH spent 30+ years in Social Services tracking AND getting prosecuted welfare rats. He and his co workers saw 6,7,8 (and a 9) generation families that had been on assistance and most of them were NOT minorities. It was easier than getting a job for them. SO yeah there are those that take advantage of the system but a great majority are, were, like my family, trying to keep body and soul together. IF the states and Feds would revamp the system, Most people would not be on welfare but as Leanne stated if you make just a little too much but not enough to feed the family, you are SOL. So I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss some of the information out there.
    When I was growing up, my dad lost his job, he became the neighborhood “fix-it” guy and my poor mother was the neighborhood hairdresser even though she was allergic (doctor proven) to human dander. She had been a hairdresser before she got married. My dad eventually got a job but I will never forget what they went thru. I remember my mom crying (late at night) because we were on what Dad called the “Army Dole” and worrying about losing the house and splitting up the family. I remember when I was about 6-7, I got called welfare scum by a teenager down the block one day. By the way her mother paddled her butt for that and made her apologize to my parents and me and got grounded from the Spring dance mom was doing her hair for. She still had to pay my mom though.

    1. Hi Mamacando, great comment. I grew up with a single mom and it was so hard. What is “Army Dole”? Your comment is great, we have all had hard times but it makes us realize we can get through anything. It’s so hard to see our mom and dad suffer and we don’t totally get it until we are older. May God bless you, Linda

  9. Great article as usual Linda! One never knows when their preps will be needed. Living in Maine we prepare for snowstorms and possible power outages – get laundry done, extras for chickens, etc.
    One year my husband and I were both out of work for surgeries. We had “income protection ” which was 2/3 of our pay – BEFORE taxes. Needless to say our bills weren’t reduced by a third!! Our preps got us through three months with no worries.
    Years ago I worked as a waitress when a woman came in for a “celebration meal”. She was celebrating 30 (yes 30) years on welfare!! It was all I could do to continue waiting on her.

    1. HI Beth, WOW! These are the live-off government stories I used to hear in Southern Utah. They were boasting about how much they got from the government. 30 years, well that beats all! Celebration, there are no words…..It’s a way of life for them. We both realize there are people that may need help once in a great while. I get that. 30 years…. It’s wonderful to hear that YOU made it through those three months without any government assistance. You had a plan and thank goodness you did! Good job!! Linda

  10. Linda ~ Reread this article and the comments!! So, we had another weather incident just before Christmas Eve. No snow to speak of but ice was thick on the roads, cars, etc. I was supposed to fly from Seattle to Denver but the airport in Seattle shut down as they could not de-ice the runways fast enough. Well, anyone reading the news probably heard about it!! And then there was the blizzard in New England.

    What I find so difficult to believe is that people go through these weather episodes every year! The weather reports these weather episodes in advance! WHY do people find it so difficult to be prepared?

    1. Leanne, it’s not difficult to be prepared, it’s not even expensive. A dozen eggs, two loaves of bread, peanut butter and jam, a box of cereal. A gallon of milk. It may not excite your taste buds, but you’ll survive. You would not believe the whining from some people about lack of food after 3 day. Linda’s composer and patients as she tries to educate me and others should earn her a bright red ribbon.

      1. Chris ~ So true. The weather incident in Seattle a few years back was an eye opener for many in my Senior apartment complex. We had 3 days warning of the weather and people still failed to become adequately prepared. One woman asked me to go to the store for her to get a loaf of bread. There was no way I was even going to attempt to get out of a parking lot with 2 feet of snow on the ground and slip/slide my way to the grocery store. She asked me what I was doing for bread – I told her that I had prepared AND that I had a loaf of bread rising as we were having our conversation. She asked me where I kept my bread machine!! LOL! – I told her in my arm muscles the way I was taught.

        When winter approaches (and keep in mind I live in an apartment) I get out my camp stove, my camp coffee percolator, plenty of butane. I make sure I have quick to fix meals on the shelf such as canned soup, crackers, cheese, etc. I don’t eat cereal or milk (milk due to lactose intolerance and cereal because without milk, just saying!!) and I don’t care for peanut butter – just me! So, I make sure that I have cheese, deli meat for sandwiches.

        6-7 years ago, I tried to “educate” my neighbors 2 separate times, but I was booed off “stage” with comments like: You are a fear monger, we’ll just come to your apartment, and others in similar light. So, I gave up trying to teach them and let them handle themselves.

        The last time we had a power outage for any length of time, I stepped out of my apartment with a steaming cup of coffee and my neighbor happened to step out as well. She asked me where I got hot coffee and I told her that I made it myself. I had just a few days prior told her that Walmart had the butane camp stoves on sale and she should get one for times like this. She told me then that she did not need to be like me!! So, when she asked me if I could spare a cup of coffee, I said sure but only one otherwise she need to be like me!!

        1. Hi Leanne, oh I agree with you, I do not like the term “fear-mongering”. Don’t get me started on that one. Well, I guess I did get started. In Utah that is a famous statement that I detest. Do not say anything to “scare” or “fearmonger” the people. Oh, you mean like teach them skills they must know to survive? And they will come to your apartment, oh brother. Wow, just wow. Nope, nada. Stay safe my prepared friend, Linda

    2. Hi Leanne, oh I was hoping you made it to Wyoming, I think that’s where your kids moved. I saw you were stranded. What a crazy year for another crazy snowstorm!! Hugs, Linda

      1. No, Linda, I didn’t make it to Wyoming! I was supposed to fly out on Christmas Eve (thanks to my son-in-law!!) and back on New Year’s Eve. So because the airport in Seattle was closed, I never even got to Seattle! Then, the next available flight out was today and that would only have left me with 2 1/2 days there. OH I could have cancelled the return flights but was told there was a fee to do so. So, rather than fight it all right now, I decided to cancel everything and go next month closer to when my daughter is due to have her baby!

  11. Because of rain and heavy winds, I was out of power for about 12 hrs yesterday. Fortunately, it wasn’t very cold. I had run the dishwasher and did laundry the day before. What I wasn’t ready for was the boredom. No pc, no internet, no keyboard, because it was quite dark outside, no reading. I have flashlights and batteries, but I realize I need something larger. I have a battery powered radio, but still don’t know what batteries it takes. I have a small coleman stove and propane canisters but had never opened the box. Food and water was not a problem, Knowing how to use what I had WAS a problem.

    1. Kathryn ~ It is very important to be prepared not only “with” things like the radio, flashlights, coleman stove but a HUGE chunk of being prepared is the knowledge! So, now that you have power back on (I am guessing here) you need to get batteries for your radio, learn how to use the coleman stove AND get better lighting. Also, NEVER store the batteries in the flashlights or radio – I keep the batteries in a ziplock type bag that I punch a hole in then secure the battery/bag to the flashlights and or radio with zip ties. I reinforce the hole area with duct tape. You could just as well keep the batteries, flashlights, radio in a tote that you get out when you know there is an incident coming up.

      Read past blog posts by Linda. And certainly, ask questions. We are all here to learn as well as impart our wisdom!

    2. Hi Kathryn, yes, lanterns are awesome, and flashlights are great but we need more light. 12 hours with no power, what a crazy storm. I’m glad you stayed warm. You know it takes a storm like this to realize how much we depend on TV, the PC, or the internet. I know I do. I need to write a post on light, I hate the dark. Stay tuned. Linda

  12. Hi Linda! This is a great article. I’ve learned so much from you on this list. Thank you so much!

    I won’t and don’t count on the government to take care of me and my family. I feel like it’s up to me to do that. I’m still gathering what I need to survive whatever life gives out.

  13. I spent much of my career working with low income families in one way or another. I’ve seen abuses by people getting public assistance and times when public assistance was really needed on a short term basis and the person denied. I think we need serious reform in our public assistance programs.

    Linda, I am going to order a jar of that coffee to keep here. My husband and I are not coffee drinkers and since our youngest daughter (the only coffee drinker) took the coffee pot and coffee with her when she moved out, we have no coffee. My oldest daughter, son-in-law and toddler granddaughter spent Christmas eve night with us and my poor son-in-law woke up Christmas morning with no coffee. Now I’ll have coffee the next time they spend the night here. (I gave a copy of your book to him for Christmas, my daughters roll their eyes and say “whatever Mom” when I give them emergency prep items; my son-in-law is interested and was very excited to get your book.)

    We live in a climate where we get extreme cold in the winter and can get extreme heat in the summer. In addition we get several good snowstorms and usually one blizzard most winters and tornadoes in the summer. I don’t really understand why everyone doesn’t have water in case the pipes freeze (and maybe burst) Why people don’t have tools and know how to turn off the water. And have food on hand for the blizzards. Even if they just have some cans of ravioli and the bags of “just add water” soup mixes that are in every grocery store. The preps don’t have to be fancy or expensive.

    My daughter was starting to feel sick on Christmas day and asked if I had anything for a sore throat. I told her where my ‘flu box (I think I got the idea from here) was and she was impressed. I told her that I was looking at all the things that can (and will) happen unexpectedly and made a plan for it. The ‘flu box has everything you would need if you have a cold or the flu (I added covid test kits, so it’s a “covid” box also.) I also have a “lights out” box on each floor with flashlights, lanterns, candles, extra batteries and headlamps. Every May, I set up our tornado room (in my husband’s computer room in the basement) with a case of bottled water, some snacks, games, blankets and cat/kitten supplies. Our basement lights out box is in that room so no need for additional light sources.

    I’m thinking a lights out box would make a great Christmas gift next year.

    1. Hi Topaz, oh my gosh, I may need to write a post about making a Lights Out Box, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that idea! I love your idea of the flu box, we all need one of those. My kids and grandkids always know where to get stuff in my flu/cold box! You rock! Linda

  14. We have a small generator and we are using it right now. Our power went out about 8 this morning and it still has not come on. We have wood heat and can cook on the top of the wood heat stove. Tonight we are having sandwiches and leftovers that can be heated in the Microwave or on the heat stove. We will be getting our solar system about the 5th of January and I can’t wait. I have stocked up pretty well using coupons and I even get the mackerel my husband loves with coupons. Not the big cans but I have enough small cans that he can have a mackerel patty with other foods he loves. I can’t wait till Feb. when we get our 1/2 cow along with the extras if you know what I mean. We will eat the liver and give our dogs the other pieces. Win Win in my opinion.

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