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Just When you Think you Thought of Everything

Two motto's to live by; the Boy Scout motto "Always be Prepared" and The Marines motto, "Improvise, Adapt, Overcome."

We lived through one winter storm here in Kentucky in the early 90’s that left us with 18” of wet snow, temps in the 30’s and below, and no power for 5 days. I had a chimney put in for a wood stove when we built our home. Yep I procrastinated (not good) and I didn’t have my wood stove, lesson learned. After that we bought a whole house wood burning stove.

But we are survivors, I improvise. I had a king size heated water bed, a wife, a 12 year old daughter, a 120lb Rot and a Golden Retriever we covered the bed with all of the blankets we had to keep the heat in. We all sleep very well. Put hot water bottles in during the day to keep the heat there. I also did a lot of camping at the time, I had a Colemen stove and a Colemen catalytic heater and lanterns (they put off a lot of heat, ventilation a must!). I bought all of this stuff at garage sales. I cordoned off one room with blankets and we stayed in that room. Maintained about 50 degrees. Nice and cozy considering. We Adapted and Overcame. We survived.

In 2007 we purchased a portable gas powered 1750 KW generator and a transfer switch. All I have to do is plug a cable into my generator and then into the utility box on the outside of our home, then flip the transfer switch. This will run every thing but the electric heat. But, we used up the firewood that we had a week before the storm and didn't order any more. My fault I forgot to order it, won’t happen again!

Face cord will last us about two weeks. We heated our house with our electric stove. Worked great, but it was eating up our fuel at four dollars a gallon. No big deal I’d just go and get some more gas. I got to the gas station and put my debit card in an nothing, all of the credit card systems at the gas stations in the whole town were down, but they would still take cash. Nope, I didn’t have any cash and all the banks were closed because no one could get to work. Schools were all closed. Road were clear though. So my suggestions to you is please don’t count on your credit cards or debit cards have some emergency cash on hand. Also would suggest getting a smaller generator just to run your refrigerator, heater and a few lights. Because if this lasted longer we would have been out of money real fast. I only get 10 hrs at half load that equals 16 gal of gas. You do the math. Of course gas was only $1.50 at the time of purchase. At lease I was preparing. You have to constantly be thinking of a back up plan.

The winter of 2009 we had a nasty ice storm an inch thick on the trees. The eerie sounds of breaking branches and trees dropping all day long. We lost power for three days. We were lucky some homes were out much longer and not prepared. But this time I was ready. So I thought.

I remembered that we did have an old kerosene heater that I picked at garage sale for $5 which we never used (just in case kinda thing). That was in storage. So I went to the storage which is fenced in. To get in you have to put in a pass code, but no electricity so pass code was worthless. There was just enough room between the gate and fence, barely. I managed to shimmy through. I get to the storage and get this heater and bring it home, praying that it will work. I tear it down and the wick was totally disintegrated. So now I have to find a wick an some kerosene. I call one of the local hardware stores, no dice. Then I call the one that never has what I need. Well, it was my lucky day they had only one and the right one.
My wife went to the grocery store to see if she could get some cash from our debit card while I work on getting the wick installed. It didn’t take long, so I called her to see if she managed to get some money; she informed she did. I decided to go and stand in line at the gas station and wait on her. There was thirty people in line when I arrived. It comes my turn. No wife, so I let some people ahead of me. I’m standing there thinking that their going to run out, before she gets here. She arrived shortly after my pessimistic thinking. My main concern was that my daughter and her husband and two infants were staying with us during this storm.

All’s well! We all sat in our home watching TV, playing with the grand kids, using the computers and cooking dinner. Business as usual. I decided to go outside, it was around 9:00pm to move some of the branches that had fallen on my van and in the yard (no damage). As I stepped outside shivers ran down my spine. I looked over the neighborhood, there wasn’t a single light on, not one. This set me back. If this were a real catastrophe where would all of these people be? Most of these people wound be in dire straights. I sat on my porch and thoughts started to run through my mind. The what if’s, if this lasted a lot longer when a few days turning into weeks then months. I’m preparing for my family. How many people can I help before my family suffers. I’m well armed. God forbid that I have to harm anyone, but my family comes first at all cost. I hope you can understand this. I’ll help where I can. Not for the whole community of unprepared people.

Don’t count on the government to help! They can only do so much. They were overwhelmed during hurricane Katrina, so we think! Personally in my opinion, I’m betting they were hoping more of those poor people would have died. Of course if they were prepared just a little bit it might not of been so bad. The only one you can count on is yourself. Never count on the government. "Watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when the government's not there for you?" (To the theme song of Cops). This is a mind set that we must maintain until proven other wise. It’s sad when you can’t trust your government or even your neighbor. Especially when they are hungry, cold and have no place to stay. It’s comes to “survival of the fittest” or should we rephrase it and say “Survival of the prepared”. Ignorance is not an excuse! Learn all you can, practice all you can.

Apparently the message is not getting through to a lot of these people. I’m guessing it mainly the media’s fault. Most people are content with shopping at Wally World (little China) and listening to their favorite music and watching TV. I wish I could say watching the news. The news is a joke in it’s self these day. I guess if TV is all you have Fox/BBC America would be my choice to suggest. The rest are in the government's pocket. If you have the net/web the world is in your hands. It’s up to you to learn what you can. As far as the Politician’s are concerned their all in the pocket of the big corporations and special interest (not the people) and I mean all, with exception of maybe one or two. These corporations are slick they donate to both parties so it doesn’t matter who wins. Corporations are still in control. They have been manipulating us since the 30’s maybe longer controlling the masses is their game and we are such good puppets.

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Comment by Michael Levin on October 16, 2009 at 11:34am

Devastation from Hurricane Charley in 2004 - needless to say, no power for days...
Comment by Michael Levin on October 16, 2009 at 11:23am
I totally agree! Yesterday, President Obama was in New Orleans assuring people that they are not forgotten. I can remember Hurricane Charley and the devastation here in Florida. Our neighbor has a generator and ran extension cords to several houses. Without it, it would have been even worse. You can see some of the pictures I took after the hurricane here.


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