Prepare For The Unexpected

Prepare For The Unexpected

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Do you sometimes ask yourself this: “what’s this prepare for the unexpected” warning? Well, the only way I can explain why I feel it’s a warning is because if you look around the world, stuff, good and bad things are happening everywhere, but it seems like we tend to hear more of the bad stuff.

Prepare For The Unexpected

It could be a flood, a severe ice storm, or a car wreck that disrupts traffic for hours. If could be a tornado, a hurricane, an out-of-control fire, severe winds, a tsunami, or a power outage. I have read a number of statements about current events in different forums and I remember seeing a young mother, say, “I’ve been told to be prepared for 10 years and nothing has happened where I live.” She is one of the lucky ones.

I have lived in a few cities and something has happened in every city during my stay there, excessive winds, flooding, tornadoes, ice storms, and more, and I learned how to fill sandbags very quickly. I’ve seen homes demolished before my eyes and there wasn’t anything anyone could do, except stay away and go to safe higher ground.

1983 Farmington, Utah Flooding

I remember buying a home back in 1983 in Farmington, Utah and the night we moved in some warm weather caused the snow in the mountains above us to melt extremely fast, as in flooding. The city had never had floods like that. A city called Bountiful, a few miles to the south, had flooded and washed away many roads that same weekend. In the middle of the night, families were evacuated and had to get help from friends and family to save their homes.

Several homes were totally destroyed by the wall of mud that came down the mountainside. No one had flood insurance because the city had never seen floods like this and they didn’t live in a “flood plain.” They have since built a water catch basin to collect the excess water stream to help minimize any future flood damage to the area.

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It was a Friday night and Mark and I had just moved into a home we built in the Farmington area, and Saturday morning we started hearing sirens to evacuate and helicopters overhead telling us to leave our homes. Well, we were down trying to sandbag a home and remove as many items as we could from a home just down the hill from us. Keep in mind, we had never met these people. It’s surprising what your body and soul can do when you must help other people. It’s just a natural thing to do.

St. George, Utah Floods

You may remember seeing St. George, Utah on the television with pictures showing floods they too had never experienced before. Homes slid off into the Santa Clara River across town from our home. We had a home in St. George at the time but were up in Salt Lake City, Utah for a visit. I called a neighbor to ask how our neighborhood was doing, we were fine but in Santa Clara, Utah, they were in trouble. Trying to be lighthearted, Mark will often say, “This is sure a funny way to run a desert!”

Today, I am more worried about water being contaminated and major power outages. I’m prepared for every scenario unless, as I have said before, my house crumbles after an earthquake hits our area. Our county is gearing up for 350,000 to 500,000 to head to the Southern Utah area from California and Nevada.

Those states will run out of water or food because the roads may not be driveable and they only have one way to go and that’s to Utah. Now, once they hit our area, if they can make it, we will not have enough food or water for all those people. The advantage Utah has is the snowfall, it produces water for the state and other states as well. We also have several aquifers that other states do not have.

Evacuation Plan

This is why it is critical to put together an evacuation plan for your family, wherever you live. If the states run out of gas for the cars or they have zero electricity, those gas pumps will not work. Now what? Please keep your gas tanks 3/4 full. What if the traffic is 20 miles long, will your car have enough gas to get you to the next town? How far is the next city, town, or county?

Will it be better to stay put in your home? Please talk with your family and bring up scenarios that you may encounter unexpectedly. It has happened to Mark and me and to several friends. Yup, we’ve seen and experienced things over the years that we never thought would happen to our neighborhood, community, and city. For the most part, we were ready, others weren’t.

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We have always been grateful we worked to plan for unexpected emergencies. Be sure to be the family on your street that is prepared. You’ll be so glad you did, and so will all your family members.  You may have enough to help others on your street.  Be willing to share your ideas and plans so others can learn from you and implement their own family preparedness plans.

Please store water: 4 gallons per person per day

Please store food: write down what you eat daily and store enough food for 3 days, then 7 days, and then 30 days or more

Consider buying my book and studying it together as a family: Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation

Final Word

Please meet with your neighbors and work together to prepare for the unexpected. This means you talk to each other and share your skills and what YOU can bring to the table. I just found out there is a nurse about one mile from my house. She will probably be called to the hospital to work after an unforeseen emergency, but it gives me peace of mind knowing we have two nurses in the neighborhood. God bless you in all you are doing. Stay safe and keep on prepping. Linda

Water Storage by Food Storage Moms

American Red Cross


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  1. Good advice here Linda, just because it has ” never happened ” does not mean it will ” not ever happen ”
    Hurricane Erma hit mid south Florida followed by a tornado, i was the only person that was prepared for a disaster. I was able to help my neighbors for a short time, but i could not do it for an extended period of time, every one needs to do this for themselves.
    I have had some people kind of laugh at me for storing food and a lot of other survival items, but they didn`t laugh when the power was out for 3-5 weeks.
    Good article Linda, i just hope people listen and act on this.

    1. Hi Hearl, I love your comment, I was the only person that was prepared. It was a blessing you could help your neighbors for a short time, but I hope they learned from Hurricane Irma!! I totally agree everyone has to be able to take care of themselves. This is why I keep writing, people like you keep me going. God bless you, Linda

  2. Linda ~ This cannot be said enough but unfortunately, people who “preach to the choir” tend to get shut down more often than not.

    Preparing for the unexpected can mean much more than the “big” things like weather related disasters, earthquakes and such. It can mean the “bread winner” in the family being laid off, injured or becoming sick to the point of not being able to work for long periods of time. That is one of the main reasons that when my daughter and son-in-law wanted to get married (they were both 20) I told my son-in-law that it was imperative that he convince my daughter to go to school for a skill that could be used in those events. I told them that they needed to be prepared for the 3 Ds: Disability, Divorce and Death. Of course, she said that they weren’t going to get a divorce no matter what and I said good. But expressed how they need to be prepared for ALL events. One incident with my SIL’s work (he is an electrician) when he found out the hard way that the homeowners had done some work on their own and he was not privy to how to shut off ALL the electricity. He was knocked off his ladder and the tool that he was using at the time was destroyed because he hit a live electrical line. That could have been much more devastating.

    So, prepare for the unexpected: natural disasters, man-made disasters and personal disasters.

    1. Hi Leanne, we really do need to be prepared for the unexpected. I love the 3 D’s!! What a great idea!! I’m so glad your SIl is okay, wow, scary! Hugs! Linda

  3. While this is not your article on portable toilets, my story is relevant to your message to prepare and to do it sooner than later. Our septic tank was ruined and replaced. When Irma hit Orlando, the overflow tank came up out of the ground. The reason was that the people who installed it did not make sure it had some water in it to weight it down properly. And then there was a problem with the pipe going to the tank and the pump. Things worked alright until last weekend when the tank became full and my father called the company to come empty it and then we’d see what we could do from there.
    Because of their neglectful manner and stupidity, we learned only after 4 days of not being able to use our toilets and water as usual, that there is a filter that one only need to dig up and rise clean. This would have prevented the problem, but we were never informed.
    After 2 days of driving to stores to use restrooms, I mentioned bucket toilets and THIS TIME my father was onboard.
    I was glad, so were our two guests, but I found the seat to be small…. like it was meant for a child rather than an adult. They were not very comfortable.
    Before hurricane season, I plan to remedy this problem. I am going to recommend we build a couple of toilets with a regular seat.
    This event served as another lesson that one should never hesitate to put their preparations into action because when problems arise, you are usually caught unaware and with your pants down, so to speak. Excuse my cheeky joke.

    1. Hi Frank, I’m so glad you mentioned this today about the toilets. I’m rethinking my short-term toilets with the buckets. They would be fine for a day or two and maybe a week. I’m so glad you figured out what was wrong with your septic tank. I like your cheeky joke! We need to be prepared for the worst! Great comment! Linda

  4. The day after Christmas in 2015, there was a tornado (well several) that hit here in N TX. My mom’s home wasn’t damaged,praise God. But, she had no power for several days. She was also taking chemo treatments at that time and was very ill. I had a propane heater, propane camp stove for cooking and several lanterns. We also had plenty of water and easy to prepare food.I was able to charge my cell phone with a solar charger and I listened to weather on my car radio. I had left my emergency radio at my home.I have since bought her an emergency radio. Most of her neighbors went to stay with relatives. And would check on their homes once a day to see if the power was back. We did not have to leave and we were very comfortable. I was so happy I was prepared. being able to make my mom comfortable in her own home when she was so ill was a great blessing to both of us. I don’t understand why people refuse to think things can’t or won’t happen when all the signs are there. I do not live in an area prone to flooding. My home sits on a pier and beam foundation on a small hill, there is an 8 foot drop from one end of the property to the other. So where one end of my house is 2 foot off the ground, the other end is over 5 foot off the ground. We are in the country and surrounded by trees. My greatest fear is fire, not flooding. That’s why we have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. And my next greatest fear is tornadoes.While there have been several in my direct area, we have been blessed to not have been directly affected. But I know there is a chance of one hitting here. I don’t kid myself by saying it won’t happen. So what I guess I’m trying to say is, if there are some out there reading this, and you are on the fence about being prepared, now is the time to start. Linda has many great posts on that subject. I beg you to get prepared now, it’s better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it. Love and God Bless all.

    1. Hi Judy, it’s people like you who keep me going. I love your line: it’s better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it. That’s very powerful if you think about it. The good thing is you and I have done everything to be prepared for the unexpected. There is always a chance something may hit our home or neighborhood, but we are ready. And that’s a good thing, girlfriend! Linda

  5. Linda, I remember the floods of ’83 in Bountiful Utah, Salt Lake, and Spanish Fork Canyon when the earth soaked mountain up by Birds Eye, just fell down! It created a natural dam, backing up the Spanish Fork River. My 2nd baby had just been born and I was stunned at the terrible flooding everywhere. Below the fallen mountain a few miles down the canyon is where my parents lived. The flooding earlier caused the bridge over the river to be destroyed and the people had no way to cross that raging river! Many had a few days of food, but my dad had always been into preparedness and had a lot of toilet paper and other needed items besides food put away. One of the lessons learned from them going through that was when in a serious disaster, you don’t have the time or the mental/physical energy to soak seeds, grind flour, make homemade bread etc. – the things normally done. There needs to be food you can quickly put on and heat up or grab on the go. The whole community was fighting mudslides and trying to save each other and their homes. Some did end up needing their basements dug out as they’d filled totally up with mud. The neighbors were the ones who showed up with their shovels once again. We all learned so much going through that.
    Dad returned home one afternoon exhausted after helping save another neighbors home. Covered in mud and hungry, he pulled up to the house. But a neighbor’s face, further down the lane came to his mind. He backed up and drove over to his home, finding him alone fighting a sudden river of mud heading straight towards his home. Dad told us to always have a shovel and work gloves in our trucks and experiences like these are why. He grabbed the shovel and helped him get a good trench dug in record time that diverted the mud, barely missing his home. There wasn’t even time to call for others to come help.
    Linda, thank you for speaking out and sounding a voice of warning! These things CAN and Do happen! We need to be prepared. And we can!

    1. Hi Tana, oh my gosh, thank you for this great comment. I love you dad’s tip about the shovel and gloves. I got emotional reading about the mud, you really cannot imagine the feeling you have of not being able to do anything when the river of mud starts rolling and you shovel as fast as you can. I totally agree with your dad on having food you can just heat up. We were worn out digging and hauling clothes, boxes, furniture, etc. The sandbags are heavier than they look on TV. Let’s keep telling the world to be prepared before they need to be. I LOVE your comment! Linda

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