Monday, October 25, 2010

On Being Prepared

This weekend we experienced some bad storms around our area of the woods as you can see from the picture I took out our living room window.  On Sunday evening, it got bad enough for us to start moving a few things into our storm room as a precaution.  When we built our home, we were fortunate enough to be able to add a real storm room in the house.  It is used daily as our food and dish pantry.
As you can see from this photo, it has rather thick walls.  They are made from cinder blocks, filled with rebar and concrete, much like a bank vault.  Even has a concrete ceiling that is actually tied to the foundation.  It was designed by Texas Tech and we have built quite a few of these in homes over the years.  Out of the 7 years we have lived in this house, we haven't even averaged once a year on going in thinking we might be glad we had this room, but the few times we have used it, it sure made me feel safer than without the room.

The main reason for this blog is to get your minds to thinking about what you would take should you have to vacate your home suddenly.  That favorite stuffed animal or blanket your child has to have to sleep!  Your wedding rings or other special jewelry, old pictures (not all of them, but the favorites), documents, keys, passwords to computer, combinations to safes, medicines, whatever you and your family deem as important.  What did I put in the safe room last night?  First was my I-Pad and second was my I-Phone.  I know that is kind of sad isn't it, but they are very important to me and contain a lot of valuable info on both.  Next was make-up and some hair products - mainly because they are so expensive to replace and one of the first things I would need the next morning should a disaster ever occur.  (We weren't in a huge hurry to get to safety either! ha)  Gary suggested I put in a coat for us since we would be wet and cold if the house blew away and I took our NOAA radio in the room.  I did grab the "key" to my drafting program so I would be able to work.  I could reload all programs on a new computer, but without the "key", I would be unable to draw houses.  No, I didn't unhook the computer and take in there because I have everything saved on Carbonite, an outside service that does the saving for me without me even thinking about it.  Gary made sure the flash light was working and brought in fire power.  I know this is a sad commentary on what we thought was important and that is my point totally!

Let me suggest you type a list of what you would want to "grab" in a hurry should the need arise.  List them in order of importance in case you can't save everything on the list.  Think about what you would put these items in whether it be a tote, a bag, a luggage, a crate (let's not get carried away here).  Put the list inside this bag so you will have it at your finger tips and place the bag in a place where it would be easy for you to get.  Hopefully, this is something you will prepare for and never need!  But just in case you do, you will have it.

Another suggestion would be for those of you with children, go over the routine of how to escape from the home in case of a fire.  For older children, discuss where you would meet them in case an emergency happened and you were not at the same location.  Buy a NOAA radio and keep fresh batteries in the case (not in the radio since they will corrode over time).  I suggest buying one that you can crank in case the batteries fail.  You might want to keep it in your bag at all times.  You might also want to consider saving your important documents and pictures on an external drive that you could keep in the bag.  A gun safe works wonders for storing important papers, pictures, etc.  Should your house ever catch on fire, have the fire fighters keep a hose going on the safe.  The things may get smoke damage and some heat damage, but they probably will be worth saving.

Hope this has prompted your brain to working and thinking of precautionary steps you need to take to save things that are important to you should the need arise in a hurry.  Thinking ahead could save you lots of sadness later.  This certainly isn't an exhaustive list, only one to start your mind in the right direction.  And remember, material things are just that - material.  They can be replaced and a whole lot of them, you would probably never replace.  Saving your life is the most important thing. 

Have a Blessed Day!

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