Letter Re: I Thought that I Was Ready!

I have just returned to my house after 6 days without power. I Thought I was ready. I had plenty of beans, Band-Aids, bullion and bullets. What I didn’t have was the stuff I needed to get through the first week of a massive power outage. We still had water, even though I had an additional 50 gallons of fresh, treated water for myself, The Beautiful Wife (TBW) and the pets. We had enough short term food that we were able to provide a chili meal for some of our friends and coworkers that were doing without. We had more money of all kinds than we needed. What I hadn’t planned for, was the first week. We had enough flashlights, but a headlight would have served much better. Cooking with a flashlight leave the cook one hand short. I knew that I had a Coleman propane camp stove, but I had neglected to put the propane and the connector hose with the stove. I had a Coleman lantern for light, but I had used the last pair of mantels and had not replaced them, you know, I’ll get them on sale or when we go to town next. And then I forgot! I would have paid three times what the cost just to be able to read after dark. Same thing for the propane, I had one for the grill, one for the stove (Oh, yea, I don’t know where that one is), and a spare. Oh, the spare is in the travel trailer, and has an inch of ice over the storage door. Hummmm! Thank goodness for deicer. Oh, yea, I had to go dig that out of storage in another box.

Have a list! Know what things you need to rotate, replace, use up, whatever. Make sure your BTW or your closest friend knows where that list is, and what it means. Abbreviations on a list that have meaning to you, are worthless to your partner, unless they know what they stand for.

Drill! Work with your partner to fine tune the list. We both knew where the spot flashlight was, we thought! We had moved less than a year ago, and the spot flashlight we both thought we knew the location of, well that was in the old house. We found it in the travel trailer on the fourth day. Have a scavenger hunt and find random items on the list. Where is the fire extinguisher, the spot flashlight, the propane for the stove? What do you need to splint my broken arm from a fall in the ice? How am I supposed to get you to a medical facility without a phone?

I have been reading SurvivalBlog for a year now, and I thought I was doing pretty good. Boy, was I wrong!

Keep up the good work and God Bless. – Ray B.