Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Things Learned

So, as you know from my previous post, my sister and family have been directly hit by the effects of the latest hurricane, Ike. In her communications with me, it has reaffirmed my belief that being prepared is the only way to be...we never know when we will reap the rewards of that preparation, and even if we have a few days to prepare..many things will be out of reach.

Two days before the hurricane, she drove for an hour before finding a gas station with gas. Only days later, her neighbor explained how they waited in line for gas for 9 hours.
She didn't even attempt to buy boards for her windows, two days prior to Ike hitting, b/c the stores were mobbed and running out of supplies.

She explains:

"The camaraderie of the people in an emergency situation is amazing. Going into a grocery store and seeing nothing on the shelves in the produce, meat, frozen (anything requiring refrigeration) and bread sections is very humbling. Having certain things on hand are ESSENTIAL to survival….food storage is a must. Living in Houston without Air Conditioning is not really possible. We can live without electronics, computer, tv, and the INTERNET. Life is truly about family, not about where you live, what you have and how much money you make. 5 Gallon gas cans and generators are golden. We rely more on gas than you would ever realize until you don’t have it. And that is just to name a few."

Fortunately, they evacuated to a friends house 4 hours away and did not endure the horrifying experience a hurricane can be. Her neighbor described it as, "being in a tornado for 9 hours straight- it was hell." This neighbor and another affirmed their strong desire to evacuate the next time. Their house faired with minimal damage compared to many, but still damage that will take some time to repair (walls, doors, roofs with water damage).

In our area, we most likely will not ever see a hurricane, BUT any disaster would apply to the following list. This is a list put together by my sister, throughout the hurricane Ike experience. Many of the things listed, I would have never thought about--take note and PREPARE your own families: (these are in no particular order)
  1. extra 5 gal. gas canisters- fill them up even if a hurricane comes remotely near; also propane (their neighbor spent $400 to run their generator for a week and a few days w/o power) (and their were shootings over gas cans) ***Gas stations CANNOT pump gas without electricity--even if they have gas--the ones w/o electricity w/ gas were running on generators

  2. emergency binder with all important documents and identifying papers (identification, insurance policies, pictures of home, etc.)

  3. generator- w/o electricity, life can be very difficult

  4. have camping essentials- stove, grill, etc.- even if you are not a camper

  5. food storage-- have essentials-- people were literally going hungry, and others were living on their food storage.

  6. cash on hand ($500+)- b/c the electricity may be out for extended period of time--that means no debit, electronic transactions-though some stores would not take cash for some reason (probably security)--be prepared for both

  7. pictures of property (normal conditions)

  8. run disposal and take trash out before you evacuate!

  9. Never leave whole bananas in your freezer w/o putting them in a bag (b/c if electricity is lost when you are evacuated, they are very messy):)

  10. turn off water and gas before you evacuate
  11. have a chain saw- people were literally stuck in their homes due to down trees in front of their doors, driveways, etc.

  12. prepare boards for windows (this is an expensive feat- my sister quoted $500 for their 4 bedroom house)

  13. a corded phone land line- your cordless phones will not work w/o electricity

  14. hand wind radio and flashlights- b/c D batteries are impossible to find prior and post disaster

  15. have gun and a dog-- Alarm systems do not work w/o power; and they slept w/all windows open b/c it was too hot.

  16. keep every receipt that you pay for repairs, or extra expenses during the disaster- things that you wouldn't necessarily

  17. keep extra produce on hand--that is the last thing to return to market

  18. WATER-- have plenty on hand- the stores ran out before the hurricane even hit

  19. always take your prescriptions and medical info- your Dr's office probably will not be open.

  20. car charger for your cell phone, even though many people couldn't get through to anyone for three days, this was the main type of communication; at first the cell phone companies suggested to only text.

  21. if you evacuate, leave a house key with someone

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bowling Bonanza:
A few weeks ago, we took the kids bowling for the first time. It was a hoot. Brinly and Cade LOVED it! Cade could hardly carry the ball, or Brinly for that matter, but they were entranced by the return-the-ball machine. While we waited for their ball to finally meet the pins, our neighbor bowlers took about three turns--literally! It was too funny to watch how slowly the ball rolled down our alley. It was definitely memorable!
Brin taking her turn while little brother soaks in the technique of his all-knowing big sister:)

Cade's victory! (I LOVE it when he does is just makes me melt.)

Aerobic Adventures:
So Brinly has a great little dance class she attends each week- last week, we were without a car, so we biked. It really was very refreshing, even with heat of almost 100 degrees outside! I enjoyed the exercise, and the kids fell asleep-helmets and all- on the way home...great bonus:)

Dress-up Dude and Diva:

Brinly enjoys dress-up immensely--Cade is now succumbing to his sister's endless efforts to join her:) Introducing...Cowboy Cade!

...AND snow princess Brinly!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

The storms of these days are amazing! This hurricane is huge and is hitting my sister's home in the outer skirts of Houston. We are hoping and praying that their home will be protected from the incredibly strong winds and the torrential rain and flooding.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our Musician

Brinly is amazing...she dances, she sings, and now she plays the piano:)

Cade's Chatter

At the Westover Family Reunion, just following Shane's father's sealing to his parents (very neat by the way), we had food and fun at a park in Dayton, ID. Cade and Brinly enjoyed playing with their cousin, Jaydon, while the adults mingled. Cade also became quite the chatter box, as displayed in the video. Pretty cute:)