Our area just had one. At least if we are outside we can hear the sirens from town. Not loudly but they are noticeable. That is good. It did make me realize we have a long way to go to be ready for tornado season. Or any other weather season really. I need to rearrange my basement/pantry. I need to rotate and store more water. Especially having more animals now. As general rule I’m fairly prepared for things but my stuff is pretty scattered. I will be working on fixing that.
I still need a weather radio too. It is one of those things that I never seem to get around to buying. I know better but I still skip it. Like so much in life I suppose. I don’t go crazy prepping for stuff but I do make sure to have a good back stock of goods in my pantry.
Funny that the day we had our tornado drill ended up with thunderstorms in the evening. Well, at least some really great clouds. It was warm (72 degrees!) and then we woke to about two inches of snow with more coming down. Lovely Spring weather. It is crazy weather here.
That is one of the many reasons we need to be prepared for crazy weather. We get blizzards, tornadoes, thunderstorms, hail (this is one of my least favorites), power outages, and wind, lots of wind.
What do I do to be prepared? Well, the Red Cross is a good place to start. They have some good emergency lists found here.
My basics though are as follows:
Water- I never have enough but I always have some on hand.
Food- I try to keep a mix of several things that can be eaten with no cooking. Things like jerky or trail mix. There are a ton of exhaustive lists out there in the land of internet. I just try to keep what we eat on hand. I really only grocery shop about once a month so the only time I’m worried about low food stores is at the end of the month and then it is mostly the fresh stuff I’m low on.
A Garden- I almost always have at least a pot of something growing. It is nice to know that even if the power gets knocked out we can have a fresh salad in the summer or storage crops in the winter. I try to store and can as much as possible for the winter months as well. This does a couple of things. It makes us more secure in food to eat in general and in an emergency and it makes my meal planning and prep easier on a day-to-day basis.
A Wood Stove- Because my house has electric heat, electric everything really, if my power goes out we had no way to heat or cook until we put the wood stove in. Not everywhere can do this and even here isn’t necessarily the most economical as many times we have to buy firewood. Right now I would be up a creek without power since I’m out of firewood.
A background of cooking/living without power, water, or indoor plumbing. This is where I get lucky in many ways. I don’t struggle for this knowledge. It wasn’t until I was well into elementary school before I had indoor plumbing, I camped a lot as a kid (and not car camping it was primitive), and I learned to cook on a wood cook stove and a camp fire. Honestly I’ve struggled with things like learning the microwave. So the only real pain is water. If you don’t have that background though I would suggest learning as much as you can about living primitively if there are lots of disasters in your area or you are worried about it. Little things like instead of using the gas bbq to cook dinner use the fire pit. Learn how to do dishes in a tub without running water. Learn how to make coffee either boiled or with a percolator (if you drink coffee that is). And even though I have this background I am always reading and experimenting with the more primitive processes. Mostly for my entertainment but also as a “just in case.”
Other little things on my list are mostly just my standard kitchen tools. Manual can opener, wood spoons, whisk, coffee percolator, manual coffee grinder, and that sort of thing. Partly if I lower my electric use my bills are lower and my house is quieter. Plus, my everyday tools still work if the power goes out and I don’t have to struggle with learning them in what could become an emergency. I also keep a stock of candles and kerosene lamps although if I had gas to the house I would use flashlights and batteries instead. I prefer not to blow up or start fires.
There are plenty of things I don’t have. Some I need some I don’t. Much of it is stuff I need to save up for in order to buy. Little steps toward our goals. This year we have hopes of buying a chainsaw, tires for both vehicles, firewood, and half a hog. All things that range from $150 each to about $800 so it is time to set a little bit by each time we can. The hog I’ve committed to so that has to be saved for first. Tires are getting down to the not safe range, so that is next. We have to have firewood for winter so a chainsaw is next since there are a couple of trees on our place that are dead and need to come out so that is mostly free wood.
The things a “simple” tornado drill can make you think about. I also need to move my food stores down to the basement. It will be a good time to clean it out and take stock of what we used up this winter and what I need to preserve for next winter.