Tag: snowstorm

Preparedness Story with a Twist

Cars driving in snow
OK, what’s a little snow?

As you can imagine, sometimes – in fact, many times – I send an Advisory out into the blogosphere and it’s never clear what impact it has, if any.  

So when something like the following happens, it’s great!

What started everything off

Last week’s Advisory was a simple list of good preparedness ideas that we’d like to see become second nature for everybody.  

I had thought the list might be just too elementary for Emergency Plan Guide readers, who seem to be pretty knowledgeable. Some of them are recognized experts.

So I hesitated before publishing, but knowing there are new readers out there, I figured . . . what the heck. A reminder once in a while can’t hurt.

Results of my post

First, I got a quick note from one of our long-standing readers who has actually written guest posts for us from time to time. Sparky’s note read: “Excellent list.”  I was gratified!

Then I got a whole long preparedness story from a reader who describes herself as “the well-prepared one.”  It made me shake my head and smile. I even laughed out loud to read the footnote. This was such a great story that I decided to turn it into the keynote for this week! 

Here’s Clare’s story, word for word. Hope it resonates with you like it did with me!

The preparedness story

Hi, Virginia, and thanks again for all you do.

I consider myself well prepared for most perplexities. Usually I’m the person others call for help. I stay informed and stay aware.

How funny is it that I was recently in a situation where I was UN-prepared?

We live in an area (Maine) where weather is a daily concern. I decided to spend Presidents day shopping 2 hours away from our home in a metropolitan area. I watched the weather reports (slight snow in the morning but clearing and the temps above freezing). I cleaned out the car so we could have room for purchases.

As I neared the shopping area it was still snowing but I wasn’t going to run home; after all, this was going to let up, the weather report said.

Well, it didn’t. It snowed and snowed and visibility got bad. The turnpike speed dropped to 40 mph.

We decided if we could find someone to care for the dogs at home we’d be better off finding a motel and staying the night where we were.

That’s when I realized one of the things I’d tossed in the house before leaving was—my every day carry bag, with all my emergency supplies inside it. A change of clothes (which I could also use as pajamas), hotel sized toiletries, extra meds, cash, reading book, even some energy bars, raisins and packets of instant oatmeal. The only thing I left in the car was the first aid kit and spare tire. After all, we were only going to be gone a matter of hours!

Luckily the motel where we stayed gave us toothbrushes and toiletries but our clothes were so wet we had to stop and buy some marked down pjs to change into and spend more money for dinner (which neither of us enjoyed, since by then quite a few restaurants closed early and we were left with bad take out).

How could I get into such a pickle? The worst part of the trip was how helpless I felt, and how angry I was with myself. I was dependent on others, not on myself. True, the hotel had a microwave but how much better I’d have felt having my familiar things with me.

The next day we drove home slowly after a hot breakfast and all’s well that ends well—but you better believe my EDCB will never leave my car again.

And then Clare added a list of what’s in her Everyday Carry Bag . . .

  • cash in small bills and a roll of quarters
  • energy bars, small boxes of raisins, instant oatmeal, small bottles of drinking water, packets of dried cocoa, teabags and sugar packets
  • Sterno, metal cup & disposable lighter
  • toiletries in small sizes plus 2 days of extra meds
  • change of clothes (we keep tee shirts, thermal bottoms, extra sox and underwear) We also keep a bright orange extra-large sweatshirt in the car–as a rule! It’s been used for everything from changing a tire to making a bed for a dog en route to the vet
  • individual flashlights & whistles
  • multi-tool
  • bandanas
  • reflective armbands
  • reading book and puzzle books in paperback form, small notebook with marker
  • first aid kit (separate in the car) with space blankets 

And this all fits in one medium-sized backpack.

The following day, I got this footnote . . .

I’m the well prepared one….and I nag others to plan and prepare. My son had even asked that morning, “Don’t you want that backpack?” and I said, “No, I’ll be home by dark and I’m going to Sam’s Club so I need the room in the car.” My family has not stopped teasing me!

Do you have a preparedness story to share?

When it comes to preparedness, we are all trying to do our best. Hearing how others handle it is so useful – and reassuring.

If you have stories of triumph or setbacks, please share them!  We can always change a detail or two to protect your privacy – but REAL stories go a long ways to keeping up our energy levels.

You can drop a story into the comment box at the bottom of the page, or write to me personally. We all look forward to hearing from you!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. Here’s the link to that original “good ideas” list. You might want to read it again – and forward to friends and family.