Be Prepared- I’m All Shook Up!

It’s been a while since we talked. The internet connection out here in the pasture is just bad. They have been out once to fix it, in fact, informed us that they had readjusted everything, no good. They were due today for another shot at it-no one showed up. That’s just how it happens some days.  So I will continue on, unable to show you any pictures.Untitled

I worry. I believe I have mentioned this before. If there was an Olympics that included “Worrying” as a medal sport-USA-I got gotcha covered. As a creative person, I find new and different ways to worry. It is why we prep-because I worry.

My latest worry is about earthquakes. Our oldest daughter works in the heart of Seattle, and you have probably seen all the reports about the city being “overdue” for a big quake. You may have also noticed the quakes all over Oklahoma that may or may not be linked to fracking practices. And here in Ohio, we have had a few shivers too, maybe related to that same fracking, maybe not.

So when I lay down in my comfy bed at night, surrounded by the Piper, two cats, a fussy female boxer, and at least 3 buzzing insects, I go over our preparations for disaster in my head. Normal people count sheep-I count AA batteries and rain ponchos.  Seriously. So I fell asleep one night last week worrying about my oldest child, Robyn, who is a real grown up with lots of moxie and spirit, and the “BIG ONE” that might happen in Seattle. Around 5:30 I am awakened by something that I cannot immediately identify. Both of the sliding doors to the balcony are open and it is quite cool for July-just 51 degrees, it was not the horses bugling or the chickens squawking. I suddenly realize that my bed is shaking-a lot-and I count 20 chimpanzees  (the recognized marking of time by all elementary school children) and it hasn’t stopped! I read somewhere that most small quakes last less than 10 seconds, so my friends, we are in some deep horse dookie now! Then an alarm beeps! I have no earthquake alarm-what in Grandma’s silky britches is going on?!?

Cough, sheepish grin, digs toe into dirt on the kitchen floor. It was the dog-Lucia does not like the cold at all. And 51 degrees is well below her comfort zone. She is shivering so hard, that her teeth are chattering-thus shaking the bed. And that alarm? Someone did not change the battery in the smoke alarm on the Solstice-my bad.

I know you are laughing at me, the whole family is. But because I love all of you so much for reading my stories, I want you to be safe, and be prepared. FEMA has a website with great suggestions on what you can do to prepare yourself and your family for any disaster that comes down the pike. The concepts are simple. They suggest 3 days of food and water to start with. And I want to point out the easiest thing of all to do— the next time you go to the grocery store.

Buy water. FEMA suggests one gallon a day for each adult and child-just for drinking and cooking. It’s easy. Two of you? That’s 6 gallons of water-enough for three days. It doesn’t matter what size bottles you buy-those cases of water are everywhere this time of year-2 for $5. 128 ounces equals a gallon-figure it out.

Now we live on our own well, so when the power goes out, we immediately have no water, so this is very important here in the pasture. I had cases-lots of cases of water stacked in the basement one time when the power was out. Sgt. Piper was happily making his morning coffee in our emergency percolator on our emergency stove-when he commented that he was glad we had water, but could I get some larger bottles too? He opened 4 small bottle to fill his percolator, and was fixing to open another 3 to make my morning pot of tea. (I know, I am blessed, I always thank God for the Piper-every night-just before I count those batteries.) So now I buy a couple of gallon bottles to keep on hand for larger uses. In the garage I have well rinsed, recycled juice bottles full of water and a few drops of bleach-this is my emergency animal water-cats, dogs, chickens, turkeys, rabbits-I gotcha covered. However, I still have not figured out how to store enough water for the horses! It was the fault in my worrying/planning. And by the way, you can store your own water in a similar fashion-for little to no money-but let’s face it-I’m a bit lazy.

So now we’ve had a laugh, I have pointed out how important you are to me, and I have challenged you to go forth and stash some water for emergencies. Get on that-and report back!




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