Almost 18 months ago my front yard looked like this... Two of my big beautiful trees had fallen during hurricane Ike....We hadn't let enough water out of the pool, and the back of the house almost flooded due to the pool overflowing. First lesson learned!
The week before we knew it was coming and set out to get the house ready. We brought in all the plants and kids toys we could. Nailed down everything possible and taped all the windows.
While many people were panicking and spending all their available cash on supplies, we were comforted knowing that we didn't need to join the rush and that we were well prepared. We ran into Walmart on Thursday evening and were stunned to see the shelves. It was a very errie feeling when your huge super center is cleared out COMPLETELY!
Because of couponing and my food storage there was nothing that we needed, save for some fresh fruit and vegetables.
On Friday, everything was closed, the kids were out of school and we just had to sit around and wait. Paul, myself and the DuBois Family, took the shotgun and hand guns down to the creek to do some shooting and relieve some anxiety! We heard reports on T.V. of all the chaos surrounding the stores closing early and people not having any food or water. I can't understand not being prepared? Why would you live so day to day that you can't take care of your family in an emergency with the basics of food, when you have the ability with coupons to do it almost free?
Friday was very still, it was hard to imagine what was coming. I can understand how so many people were killed in the 1909 hurricane, you really have no idea what is about to happen. That afternoon the wind started to pick up a little and by bed time we were getting a little rain and large wind gusts. At midnight we lost our power. Paul and I laid down to try and get some sleep, but at 1:30am our first tree fell on the house. We ran to see what had happened and could tell that we might loose more, so we grabbed the kids and put them all in the center of the house. I can't describe how loud the wind was! It was amazing!
When morning came we were stunned at the damage. I guess we thought it would just pass over and we would have a few downed power lines.
We got to work quickly, cutting down trees and helping neighbors. It was a really neat experience for myself and my family. It was difficult. We were without power for almost a month. Paul had to go to Dallas for work and I was alone with the kids, two were having major asthma problems, it was HOT outside and honestly I was scared at night. Without power your world is completely different, we talked a lot more, we played a lot more and it was really nice. Psychologically it was difficult because we were some of the last to get power back. So when everyone else has it at church and school they move on, not realizing you are still struggling to prepare every meal.
Try getting your kids ready for school for two weeks without power. That is exciting. NOT.But I am very grateful for a few things. I am grateful for all food, water, and batteries that I have stockpiled all for almost free with coupons. This is one of many shelving systems I have for storage. It may not be pretty, but I never want to have to worry about how I am going to feed my kids. I can't imagine a more sick feeling than not having anything to feed them or wondering who is going to help us, I hope that never happens.
We were also able to donate almost $1,500 dollars personally, of toiletries to our neighbors and to my kids elementary school. Many people in my subdivision were flooded out of their homes. The kids and I went to "The Ivanovsky mini-mart" in my garage and pulled together almost 40 gift bags for families who had nothing but the clothes on their backs. We also were able to make dinner and bake items with the solar oven that I had and give warm food out to friends.
I am so thankful we were kept safe physically during the hurricane last year, and that the damage to property was fixable. I am also thankful for a supportive family who helps me use coupons and tolerates my stockpiles/food storage around the house! Hopefully we never have to go through any significant power loss again, but I know that if we have to, we will be prepared.