So, what about this swine flu, hmmm? Kind of scary. While I'm not in panic mode, I will admit that yesterday I went through the hurricane supply cabinet, stored some water for cleaning, cooking and drinking, inventoried the medicine supply cabinet and made out a new grocery list that included stocking up on things like lantern oil, mosqito repellant, bug spray, bleach...etc. and then headed out first thing this morning to get it all.
The H man has been sick this week with a nasty cold virus; that's really what got me thinking about the state of our preparednesss for going off grid for any length of time. I'm watching the news, listening to the radio hearing about this possible pandemic and I'm listening to my kiddo cough and sniff and watching him try to go about his day feeling like..well, you know....and how could I not then think about the "what ifs" of this flu?
What if....there's a run on the stores for things like batteries, first aid items and meds, bottled water and canned goods? We've lived through that a couple of times with the hurricanes here in Florida and I've learned to keep those things stocked through the year and not just in hurricane season, but I was low.....and hurricanes usually only shut things down for a day or two; a pandemic can shut society down for six weeks or more according to some analysts.
What if....we're forced to live off grid for several weeks? No electric means no water. And this house loses power at the drop of a hat anyway.....and sometimes announces it with sparks that roll slowly down the driveway.....After Hurricane Frances in 2004, we were without power for almost five days..
...I had filled water jugs, pots and pans; had bottled water on hand for drinking and we had plenty left after four days...but we also had access to stores that were running by generator for sodas and things. In a pandemic, just like what is going on in Mexico, the stores are not open....this calls for a bit more planning than just a hurricane.....so I'm stocking up on more bottled water, finding more jugs for filling and in fact have already filled them.
No electric means campfire cooking and cookstoves....which means firewood and propane....although we don't have a fireplace in this old house, we do have a fire pit outside....usually we burn about twice a month because of the rate of dropping limbs from the 100 year old trees that surround us - change of routine - now, the largest limbs are "logged" and stored for a hurricane and possibly this swine flu. Propane is stocked but needs to be a greater quantity then we have on hand.....on the list it goes.
No electric means no flushing.....the hot tub and a couple of buckets take care of that (tmi?... : )
No electric means no refridgeration and no freezers....which means storing bottled water in the freezer to gain a few days to cook and eat whatever meats are in there.....and a cupboard filled with soups and stews and jars of peanut butter, cans of tuna and spam (yuck), vienna sausages (yum), cracker, fruits and veggies etc....the normal hurricane supply list, but once again in a greater quantity.
So, what about you? Are you planning ahead? If so, why not? It seems to me that after Hurricane Katrina where a great deal of the problem was that no one was prepared to care for themselves in case FEMA couldn't get there......that everyone would at least be a little bit prepared for going off grid, closed stores and schools.....shouldn't they?