Are You Ready? Am I Ready?

Groundhog Day snow storm

The weather forecast is calling for another major snow storm this week, and as much as I love a good snow day, there is a storm-weary feeling creeping in with the clouds. According to FEMA, this weather event is unique in that this west-to-east storm system has the potential to affect 30 states – an estimated 100 million people.

I started thinking about my own family’s readiness – how would we fare if we lost electricity and heat for a couple of days? I know we have canned goods, flashlights and batteries around here somewhere, but am I really ready?

I headed to www.ready.gov – a site I ofter refer people to for emergency preparedness information. I printed out the one-page checklist and began a scavenger hunt around the house to see if I have everything on the list.

I imagine that you and I are in the same boat – you have most of the stuff around, but it’s not organized.

I have 6 flashlights, but only 3 have batteries.

We have bottled water, but no gallon jugs as backup.

I have plenty of canned goods, hot chocolate and instant oatmeal, but they all need to be heated or have hot water to enjoy.

We have a good supply of crackers, peanut butter and jelly, but we need to build a better variety of food that we can eat without heating.

All three of us have smart phones. We’d have to plan to keep at least one always charging and stick to text (SMS) messages if the power went out.

We have kept our land line, but I’m not sure where the “old-fashioned land line phone” is.

I have a wrench and pliers to turn off utilities, but to be honest, I’m not sure I really know where to do that. We have have electricity, water, and oil heat. So, I’m off to figure that out.

I need a few more things for my basic emergency kit, and then, we’ll tackle the additional items on the list. I’m feeling more prepared already – are you?