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Vacation & Preparedness...

Mary Murray head shot
Our family recently came home from a much-anticipated vacation to Washington D.C.  Our son's teacher spent a lot of time with her class studying our nation's monuments and memorials. Those lessons really fueled his desire to see them...we agreed it was a terrific idea!   

As we prepared to leave, we knew storms were coming, but that's nothing new this time of year...the heat and humidity here often bring strong thunderstorms. Packed and ready to go we headed out, knowing neighbors & friends were keeping an eye on our home and animals.  As we drove, we found ourselves traveling under or just barely ahead of the storms.

 storms

After a few hours on the road, we began receiving text messages about the damage in our hometown. Many homes had trees down and power outages were widespread. With heat at or above 100 degrees, it was a difficult time for many families.

damage in DC

This home was one we came across on our travels.  A tree had completely taken off the front of the home and it appeared as a dollhouse...we could see inside each room. The next day a tarp had been draped on the front to protect what was remaining inside.

Neighbors checked on our home after the storm, and we had only two large limbs down. One had fallen beside our home, the second one was at the edge of our backyard...we were fortunate, no damage was done. We were keeping in touch with friends, and while we considered returning home, we were almost to D.C., and so decided to continue traveling.   

Once there, we found our nation's capital had an estimated 3 million people without power. Within a few days, gas stations were out of gas, stores were without ice and running low on food. We were fortunate...our hotel was one of the the few with power, and so we were comfortable and able to enjoy our time there.

And while we had a terrific vacation, visiting sites that made us pause and think..

Lincoln memorial


pondering the beauty of the earth...

mountains at sidling

and discovering out -of-the-way places that made us smile,

washhouse
traveling home, I began to think about our family's preparedness...food & water storage, light sources, our generator & chainsaw, etc. Once home, it would be wise to inventory our supplies again and make sure our equipment was in working order. We were fortunate, our power was back on in 3 days, and we came home needing only to clean out the fridge, cut and move tree limbs...that's not so bad.
 
Yesterday is was 80 degrees at 7 a.m. and 96 degrees at 8 p.m. as I left our local feed store. It's not even August yet...typically our hottest time of year.
 
And so, what's the point in this long post? Well, I'm going to pull my information together and have a weekly preparedness post...I'll share with you what I have learned over the years, what works for us, and ask you to share your ideas as well.
   
These words seem truer than ever...
"The little gardens and a few trees are very valuable.
I remember when the sisters used to say,
`Well, but we could buy it at the store a lot cheaper than we could put it up.’
But that isn’t quite the answer, is it?
Because there will become a time when there isn’t a store.”
 

- Spencer W. Kimball 
 

Mary is a Midwest farmgirl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, animals, and for kids to play and explore is the best kind of life." You can visit Windy Meadows Farm at www.windymeadowsfarm.blogspot.com

nebraska dave
7/31/2012 12:33:09 AM

Mary, midwest storms can be a scary thing. I love a good safe midwest thunder storm with lots of lightning. Not the damaging kind but the one that gives up a good rain and puts on a show doing it. Limbs have fallen from the trees in my yard but so far (28 years), none have fallen on my house or cars. Rain has been a little non existent since June 20. Rain has indeed visited Nebraska but none in my area. We had a shot today but it decided to wander down to Kansas and Missouri. Now the 10 day forecast shows no rain in sight. Have a great storm clean up day.