I know by now everyone around the country has heard about the rash of tornadoes that hit the South last Wednesday. Some of you probably witnessed the terror first hand and many more of you have been affected or will be.
Last I heard, in Alabama the death toll has risen to nearly 250 lives. Unbelievable. I can barely stand to see the pictures of the damage and yet I can’t seem to stop reading the articles circulating the internet. I’m terrified, knowing that the spring storms are not yet over.
Remarkably my own family has remained mainly unaffected by the hoard of tornadoes that passed directly through our county, including one that has recently been upgraded to an F5 tornado. Though our property didn’t receive damage, we did loose power when all the high voltage lines were knocked out here in North Alabama.
I have learned a few things through this ordeal that I thought I’d pass along in case you find yourself in a similar circumstance.
1. Keep enough gas in your car that if you need to leave the area you can. Don’t assume that you’re local gas stations will be open or accessible.
2. Keep some canned food on hand for emergencies. Preferably something that can be eaten as is, straight out of a can. Even if you don’t make it a habit to eat processed food- let’s face it- the shelf life for a can of Ravioli is a lot longer than organic fruit.
3. We were fortunate to have water throughout our power outage, but it’s wise to have a minimum of several gallons of water on hand at all times.
4. Keep emergency cash on hand. Bank accounts are nice, but if your area looses power, you can’t touch your money- even with an ATM (unless they DO have power). And, if businesses can’t process credit cards, chances are they will insist on cash.
5. An old fashioned radio may be your only lifeline to the outside world. Make sure you have a working radio and once again, make sure you have the proper batteries.
6. Candles are not only useful for making your home smell good- they certainly come in handy when the lights go out. Keep some unscented, long burning candles on hand with matches somewhere you can find them. Have a stockpile of flashlights with working batteries- and a supply of extra batteries.
7. Car chargers for your cell phones are very helpful. If the power goes out, you won’t be able to use your home phone. There’s also no guarantee that your cell phone will work, but if it does, you will want to make sure that it continues to work. Depending on its strength, a power inverter for your car can also charge cell phones, run laptops, power TV’s or portable fans or heaters.
8. You should have a first aid kit with a minimum of Tylenol, Polysporin (suggested by Drs. over Neosporin), alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, sterile bandages and cold packs.
9. Keep a few extras of anything you wouldn’t want to be without. Think necessities. Can you make it through a week without your medication? How about diapers or toilet paper (assuming that you have water)?
10. Finally, if you ever needed a reason to keep up on your laundry, this is it. What would happen if you had no clean clothes and weren’t able to do any laundry for a week or longer? Not that I would know or anything.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were without power for several days? What tips and recommendations can you add to the list?
This post is linked to Oh Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday.