Just watch The Weather Channel. That’s right, just take a look at the 24 hour weather network at pretty much any time of day and you’ll see why people all over the country (and the world) should be preparing for an emergency. Whether the coverage is of tornadoes across the MidWest, flooding on the central plains, or snowstorms up North you’ll quickly see why having plenty of food, water, and other supplies is a good idea.
Let’s take a quick look at the forecast for this coming weekend. Looks like the Seattle area is going to get a foot or so of snow, California is going to get the first significant rain of the last two or three months, the MidWest is looking at temperatures well below zero, plus scattered snowstorms across much of the rest of the nation. So? So I’m not the channel five weather guy, I’m the PREP guy and I’m here to tell you that from any one of these storms plenty of people will end up without power. For how long? Tough to say. Could be anywhere from a few hours to a few days or more. A foot of snow in Seattle brings down tree branches for sure. Depending on where you live it could be a while before the power company gets to you. When was the last time you went three days without electricity? It’s been a while for me but I can remember it was no fun. I would bet it’s even less fun with a shrinking supply of food.
So what do you do about this? You get yourself prepared to be self sufficient for at least a few weeks. We’ve talked a little about food storage and basic medical supplies so I won’t dwell on that. I did have an interesting idea just this morning though that I thought I’d share. I was talking with a friend who lives in the Seattle area in a nice suburban house set back in the trees. His big worry for this weekend’s storm is that a branch will come down and break a window or worse, part of his roof. A window that gets broken by a baseball on a sunny day is one thing. A window broken by a tree branch in the middle of a storm is something altogether different. How do you PREP for that? Some might say to cut back all the trees or install metal shutters. I think that’s going a little overboard for a threat that comes along a couple of times a year.
A more reasonable approach, and something I would recommend for every homeowner, would be to head down to Home Depot and buy a few large blue plastic tarps and some sheets of plywood. This plus a roll of duct tape and a hammer and nails is just about all you need to seal your house back up temporarily until the storm passes and a professional can be called in. Even better, have the sheets of plywood cut into two or three smaller pieces that you can handle easily without assistance. For less than fifty bucks you’ve now got the ability to give yourself and your family the number one thing you don’t want to go without, that’s Shelter. It’s also not going overboard, which is something we like here at PREP-BLOG.