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Lessons Learned the Hard Way


Life lessons I’ve learned the hard way about storm preparedness from almost three weeks without power at home and six weeks working my business in the parking lot after Hurricane Isabel.

1. Pray

2. Make sure every potentially important file you have on every computer is backed up and take your backups with you. Isabel lifted the roof off of our business and sat it back down. It looked fine on the outside but when we walked in the door 5 days later we had lost everything.
3. If you use web based applications print out schedules and contact list.

4. Get a power bank. You don’t want to waste your gas trying to charge your phone in the car.

5. Check and double-check and then triple-check how those that vendors that insurance companies pay to help you actually charge you.

6. Make sure every bit of your laundry is finished. Do not let a storm approach when your running low on your most comfortable clothes. You do not want to get stuck wearing the emergency backups that you should have thrown away years ago. And washing it all by hand and hanging to dry…not as fun as you make it look to the kids.

7. Do all the dishes…even that dirty pan you tossed in the oven because you didn’t want to deal with it. A few days with no power and it’s going to get stinky.

8. Clean the house. Nobody wants to be stuck inside with a mess…plus it’s more sanitary.

9. Have first aid supplies. Dan may think I’m nuts for ordering those steri-strips, skin glue, gauze, etc from Amazon, but if someone gets cut and those supplies actually get here in time…I’m your girl! And know some basic first aid. Read up on it before you have no ability to google it.

10. Everyone take a shower and wash your hair right before the storm. You’ll be glad if you have to wait a few days before your standing under that warm water again. Everyone else will be appreciative, too.

11. The dollar store sells those emergency candles. They’re probably out by now, but next time you feel like wandering into that store, grab a few boxes. (I’ve done this but have no idea where I put them)

12. Oil lamps are awesome. They put off a lot of light. Portable Solar lights too.

13. It’s highly unlikely you’re going to starve to death because most of us, these days, have a few things in the pantry we have no intention of ever eating. If things get bad enough, you’ll eat those wax beans. So don’t panic about food.

14. Wash a load of white towels/rags in bleach and keep them in a safe place in case you need something more sanitary than that towel hanging over the shower curtain.

15. Get a good book. If you have kids at home, read together. I tortured my kids with this often, even when we had power. If I can suffer thru Scooby Doo chapter books, anyone can.

16. If it looks like power will be out for a while, after the storm passes encourage your neighbors to all bring their grills to the street and everyone cook whatever they’ve got and have a block party. Laugh and play games. Corn hole requires no electricity and grilled frozen pizza is awesome.

17. Look up recipes now for things like how to cook bread in a tin can over a fire.

18. If you have a generator and coffee…SHARE! You will be the hero of your cul-de-sac and trust me that form of kindness will never be forgotten!

19. If your neighbors need help get out and help them and make sure your kids do too. Check on the elderly.

20. Pray.

Be safe and check in that you’re safe when you can….especially if you happen to be my family and church family. Even though we lost a lot in Isabel the bonding in our community and our family was a gift. No bonding like disaster bonding. So look on the bright side and take the opportunities to spend time with your family and love your neighbors. ❤️

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