The area of Pennsylvania that I live in experienced a major devastating flood six days ago, courtesy of Tropical Storm Lee. My town experienced floodwaters higher than the "Agnes Flood" of 1972, an equally devastating flood that I have childhood memories of. And further back, in 1936, there was another major flood in this area. Thankfully, my house is on a hill, but we were surrounded by water for a couple days, with a travel ban in effect and many roads and bridges closed.
September 9, 2011. The view from atop the cliff in my backyard.
September 9, 2011. The building with the pillars on the corner is the town library.
Along with hearing about the recent Tropical Storm Irene flooding disaster in the state of Vermont, the situation of being basically trapped at home without access to necessities, like food and water, really made me wonder if I am truly prepared for that circumstance... I wasn't this time around, but I will be in future.
In this particular case, my pantry was fairly well-stocked with canned goods and my husband thought quickly enough to fill lots of jugs with water before the real flooding started. Luckily, we were not without electricity. We do have emergency candles, an old-fashioned kerosene lamp, and a flashlight, but no stock of batteries for it. Nor do we have a basic first-aid kit. And we were almost out of dog food for Mr. Lucky. These are things that will be remedied.
September 14, 2011. My re-stocked pantry... after today's trip to the market.
My town has also been under a boil advisory since last Friday, and until further notice. In other words, all drinking water must be boiled before using. We have a public water system here, as well as a public sewer system, both of which can be contaminated or damaged by flooding. Thankfully, the public sewer system was not damaged.
It is amazing to me to realize how much I, and probably most other people, take for granted in everyday living. Take a moment or two to think about how you would survive without those taken-for-granted things, like electricity, communication systems, or water coming from the faucet when you turn it on... now, let me ask you...
Are You Prepared?
Links to information about emergency and disaster preparedness:
Disaster Preparedness Kit Video by FEMA
Emergency Kit List from American Red Cross
Preparedness Fast Facts from American Red Cross