Saturday, February 06, 2010

How to Plan for the Unexpected

The East Coast has been hit with 3 snow storms this winter season. Many did not believe the meteorologists predictions because many times in the past they have been incorrect, but this season it seems they were pretty accurate. This accuracy unfortunately left many of us unprepared for the snow and have had "cabin fever" so bad that many people started walking to the store in these dangerous conditions just to get out of the house.

I started having cabin fever but quickly got over it once I wrote a list of all the things I should have done in my spare time that I did not get around to doing. I then began to start working on the list and checking off each item I completed. I felt a sense of accomplishment and did not feel like I was just a couch potato watching t.v. all day.

I have been stuck in the house since it started snowing last Friday and can't say that I am unhappy about the days off. My street needs to be plowed and salted before the additional 10-20 inches that are expected to fall in our area on Tuesday and I am hopeful that they will get around to us. I can't remember when our area has had so much snow; I think back in 1996 we had a huge snow storm.

Every time there is a snow prediction I go to the grocery store to pick up one or two items which are not necessity items just items I want to have. I laugh every time I go because they are always lines of people in the grocery store who wait until the last minute to buy groceries for the snow and are probably the same people every year who repeat the same behavior over and over again which is insanity. Each time you go to the grocery store pick up one or two extra items that will last you for a few which are very helpful if you lose power. Here are 13 tips to help if you experience an emergency or an unexpected situation and are stuck at home for several days.

1. Have a week's supply of food to prepare or eat at least two meals a day.

2. Have a week's supply of non-perishable food - dried foods that does not need to be refrigerated or cooked such as canned foods, dry cereal, fruit or protein bars, and soups.

3. Have a week's supply of toiletries, prescription drugs and nonprescription drugs such as cold medicine, aspirin, anti-diarrhea medication, heartburn medicine, upset stomach relief, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, a first aid kit and vitamins.

4. Buy batteries, flashlights and a portable radio.

5. If you live in a home consider buying a generator, wood-oven stove or kerosene lights to keep your house warm and provide light.

6. Buy a week's supply of bottled water.

7. Buy a thermometer.

8. Know where you gas line, cable line, and closest fire hydrants are located in the event of an emergency so that repair crews can fix the problem quickly.

9. If you are snowed in, help out your neighbors if you are physically able. Don't shovel your snow onto your neighbor's property or park in an empty space that someone shoveled out. Take time to shovel out your car and driveway. You can get sued if someone walks on your property and falls.

10. Check on loved ones often to make sure they are safe and have enough food, water and heat.

11. If you drive a 4-wheel drive vehicle such as a truck or hummer assist others who need to get to doctor's appointments, hospitals, or go to the grocery store.

12. Clean off your car completely. Many drivers only clean off a portion of the snow on their cars and when driving down the street or on the highway snows flies off sometimes causing accidents or causing cars behind them to swerve out of the way. Imagine how you would feel if someone died in a car accident trying to swerve out of the way of snowing flying off of your car.

13. Use caution and common sense. Don't drive down a snowy or icy street; you will get stuck and will appear on t.v. like many drivers who thought they could get through the snow.

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