Calm before the storm

or panic, depending on your situational awareness and preparations. My list was pretty easy today. As you may remember from my schedule outline on Wednesday that I had the following to complete:

Friday:

-Organize and inventory stocks. This is particularly important for the frig/freezer. Having an inventory will limit the number of times you have to open the unit to get food out for meals which will help to keep the cold air in and the warm air out.

-Fuel up vehicles. I would do this with a little time to spare and then top off just before the storm is about to hit. In the event a storm that isn’t supposed to hit hard changes at the last minute you won’t end up getting no fuel due to a run on the pumps. You also don’t want to be forced into waiting in a 30 vehicle line with half a tank of gas as opposed to having the option to decide when you are down a days worth of driving from a full tank. For most that will be no more than a 1/4 tank.

Organizing was easy as most everything was pretty orderly since stocking the freezer with bottled water. Inventory went quickly as all our frozen foods had been bagged in meal sized quantities when we put them in the freezer, it was a simple matter of getting a count of each type of chow.

Fueling up was a little more interesting…

When I went to the bank today I had to go through the local strip center that had a Kroger (grocery store for those not in the south/east) and a gas station. The parking lot for Krogers was packed and the gas station had 3-4 cars in line for each pump. I had planned to top off after the bank because I was between 3/4 of a tank and full from daily errands since I filled up earlier in prep for the storm. I decided I would pass on the pumps at this location/time knowing I was going out to dinner later. As I passed by the gas station I noticed a number of people getting out of their vehicles while in line, obviously unhappy about being in line at 4:30 in the afternoon on a Friday as Irene moves up the coast.

I headed back to the house and the next gas station up the road only had four cars fueling up across 16 pumps. I pulled in and fueled up with ease, made a pass through the inside of the station and saw that they were well stocked on cases of water and their propane tank exchange rack was full of new tanks. Should I need to pick up any last minute items should the storm take a turn I had options that were potentially a better bet than the larger stores.

So, after taking care of what I needed to do both on the preps side and normal every day business I was ready for chow. The wife and I headed to dinner at a new favorite restaurant for some outstanding Cuban food. She asked if we had any other preps to take care of and we ran through the list and were good to go. The point is, I didn’t have to wait in line at the gas station hoping to fill up my empty tank, I didn’t have to spend my evening trying to play catch up, and I have a reasonable amount of preps based upon the expected threat. My rationale for preparedness is to limit disruption of daily life that includes impact both by last minute rushing around to get ready for a storm such as this or the direct effects of a disaster. Integrate your preps into daily life and it is not an interruption but just another task on the to-do list.

Until tomorrow, Stay Sharp,

Mike

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