What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Household Preparedness

My gosh!  I have been watching the coverage of the vicious storms and tornados hitting the midwestern US states.  There are nineteen active tornado warnings and six on the ground with total devastation in some areas!  Now, I am a very firm believer in being prepared for emergencies.  I ensure we have twelve to eighteen month supply of food on hand, safely stored mainly below ground.  I have seeds to start a garden safely stored, extra medications, emergency lighting and a wide range of emergency equipment.  But looking at the devastation from these storms, I'm just shaking my head.  I know enough not to put all my food storage in one basket.  Home canned and dried foods can withstand tornados, flooding and extended power outages.  Frozen foods will last 4 days providing the freezer remains shut.  The thing is with these tornados, freezers and refrigerators have become airborne so the food is simply gone.  Those who prepared enough to keep emergency supplies below ground may have a chance providing the house didn't collapse on top of them.  Those just out of the path of the tornados would be fine and that path can really be defining with houses on one side of the street unaffected with those on the other side completely destroyed.  Complicating matters is some affected communities have decided to immediately start bull dozing buildings meaning home owners can't get back into their homes to get those precious emergency supplies.

Despite this, I feel every household should have emergency preparedness supplies including enough food to last 6 months or more.  That food should be stored in such a manner as to even if you lose a portion of the stored food (eg. frozen foods) there is still enough stored using other methods to provide for your family.  There should be enough emergency medications, clothing and other supplies securely protected from water damage.  All emergency preparedness supplies should be stored below grade (eg. basement, cellar).  Barring a below grade location, choose a location in the centre of your home.  There is always a chance your emergency supplies will be lost but there is a greater chance your emergency supplies will come in handy.  It is better to have emergency supplies than it is to go without them.

There is no doubt our weather is changing.  Many areas are experiencing more volatile weather including more vicious storms.  This past winter has been beyond abnormal for us with no hard freeze (virtually unheard of for our area of Ontario) that has resulted in more illness including norovirus.  The midwest is already seeing a severe change in weather with storms hitting a good month earlier than what they normally would.  That means we need to stay vigilant and be prepared!

Garden Gnome