No running water…. no problem? Only if you are prepared in case of disaster, which I confess, we were not. So it was not exactly a disaster, but last week we discovered our shower was leaking into our walls, through the floor and into the cellar causing all sorts of damage, mold and “fun.” It’s still pretty gross down there and in order to get it to stop leaking we had to shut the water completely off till a repairman could come out (days later). So with a sink full of dirty dishes, loads of dirty laundry and without water we were forced to improvise.
It was a first hand lesson in being prepared or I guess I should say in not being prepared, which I found out really stinks. We were fortunate enough to be able to stock up on bottled water and take a shower and do some laundry at my parent’s house (thanks mom!). I ended up washing dishes in a big metal tub outside using heated bottled water, which was interesting to say the least. We also created a makeshift lavatory and no, I will not discuss that any further.
Whether a major disaster occurs or not, it’s best to follow the advice of the Boy Scouts and always “be prepared” by stocking up on supplies and making a disaster plan with your family. The Red Cross suggests that families have at the minimum the following supplies: water (one gallon per person, per day for at least three days to two weeks), non-perishable food (3day supply for evacuation, 2week supply for home), flashlight, battery powered or handcrank radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, medications, multi-purpose tools, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of important personal documents, cell phones with chargers, emergency contact information, extra cash, emergency blanket(s) and local maps. Families might also need to stock up on baby supplies, kids activities, pet supplies and two-way radios. Keep supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.
Then make a plan detailing when, where, what and how families members will respond if disaster strikes. Make sure family members have contact information and know where they can go if they are not close to home. The Red Cross also suggests practicing evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable. They also suggest keeping a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
Again, the leaky shower/cellar weirdness was not a disaster, but a good reminder to be prepared. So yes, I went and stocked up on some essentials this past week (water, a flashlight you crank to power, extra batteries, etc.). It was a start and we’ll continue to collect more supplies over time. So take the time to prepare and plan, you’ll be glad you did… just in case.