Friday, August 26, 2011

Week-end Simple: Plan ahead

It's been an interesting week here in the Washington, DC area.  A rare earthquake on Tuesday and the threat of a hurricane due to hit Saturday afternoon has residents thinking about emergency preparedness.  In an area where heavy snowfall constitutes a natural disaster, we are unaccustomed to natural occurrences that menace other parts of the country.

Planning ahead is good advice, no matter what the situation.  In all areas of life--financial, professional, personal--planning provides some control, and great peace of mind. 

In my day-to-day work as a teacher, planning a week's worth of lessons ensures that my students receive instruction even if circumstances prevent me from being in the classroom. And silly as it seems, planning what I'm going to wear for the week makes early mornings stress free.  Planning ahead helps to make life run smoothly.

I am prepared for a couple days of heavy rain and an extended power outage.  But the situation started me thinking about what it means to plan for the unexpected.  So, this weekend when I am stuck inside, I will piece together a plan in anticipation of the next unlikely event.

Those of you who live in other parts of the country--other parts of the world--do you prepare for the unexpected?

12 comments:

  1. I live in the middle of tornado country; as well, it seems any rain brings electrical storms that can take out the power--and with it, the well water. SO, we've stocked up on water and candles, and we're going to grab the farm kitty the next time (the last storm brought coyotes that ate her brother--weep, weep).

    Good luck this weekend!

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  2. A hurricane in an urban area can be very different from what my friends at the beach deal with. Here in Raleigh, NC, Hurricane Fran (a Cat 1, with 60 mph winds) brought down thousands of old oak trees, which destroyed countless houses, power lines etc. The debris took months to clean up. Traffic lights were out for 2 or 3 days. Power was out 1-2 weeks, which is tough in a sticky NC summer. Some things besides the usual advice: have a car charger for cell phones in case house phones and power are all out; if you have a hardwired landline phone, get the dial up number for your ISP, make sure dishwasher and disposals are clear; wash the clothes in the hamper (like shorts and tshirts) because that's what you'll need. Here, the hometown paper only missed one day's delivery, but kept advising to stay tuned to TV for instructions...tough, with no power. Best advice? If it's really bad, have somewhere else to go after the first day or so.

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  3. Speaking from experience, it is a good idea to have a duffle bag or similar with a basic medical kit, water for three days for each family member, non perishable food for three days, candles, a flashlight with batteries, medication if needed, a hand crank radio. Also, if you have the space in the bag a toothbrush and toothpaste, facial cleanser, soap, and a change of clothes is a good idea. I keep mine in the closet by the front door. Instead of taper candles which need a candle holder I have a bag of tealights which can be used as is in a pinch, and also are easier to share if you are in the fortunate position of having extra. It goes without saying that you will also need a lighter, but I have seen people with candles and no way to light them. Because I have two furry friends I also have pet food packed and their harnesses and leashes in the bag so that I won't have to search for them.

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  4. I hope you have a completely uneventful weekend!!

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  5. Living in Seattle, there was always the threat of earthquake, volcano explosion, and winter storms. We had a bag packed in the car and one by the garage door in case we had to vacate in 10 minutes. Our bags included power bars, water and cat food.

    Now that I live in Austin, the most significant threat we face are ice storms in the winter. When we get to that season, I will make sure there is enough food in the refrigerator for 4-5 days at a time in case we can't leave the house. Where we live in Austin isn't threatened by tornados, but other parts of town are sitting ducks and many of my friends have a tornado kit and instructions taped to the garage door.

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  6. I echo Luxebytes sentiments, please stay safe everyone!

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  7. Thankfully, Irene was a non-event here. Lots of rain and wind, but nothing more than you'd expect from a bad storm.

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  8. Yes, I just heard from my best friend who lives in Arlington (Ballston), and she said that there are just blown branches and wind/rain, but that's about it in her neck of the woods. Thank goodness. I'm glad to hear that all is well in your world, A!

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  9. We just got through Hurricane Irene and only (thank goodness) two days without power. We make sure to have water, batteries, led candles and lanterns (regular candles are dangerous in hurricanes, can start fires), food that can be eaten without cooking (i.e. peanut butter, bread, etc. We were lucky in that my gas stove worked, so we could heat water (instant coffee!). We also had a storm radio that has an alarm for tornadoes - and it went off at 3:30 AM!! Also had a water alarm in the basement - it went off 30 minutes after the radio alarm and it saved a lot of stuff from getting wet. We keep a wet-dry vac in the basement. I guess we learn more with each storm. One thing I have learned is to be prepared ALL THE TIME. Store shelves a usually empty when people start buying in a frenzy. Also - keep car tank filled, I never let mine get below half a tank - you never know when you will have to jump in an drive!

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  10. We were very lucky. You know how much I like to be organized. So routines help me deal with the day-to-day. For the unexpected, my organization means that I mostly have extras of the "needs" (food, batteries, tp) in the house. I surprised you plan your outfits but not your meals.

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  11. You often write about fashion or choosing colors or coordinating pieces of furniture with this space and that and I’m often left in a haze……and FINALLY….something I really KNOW about (aka…live and breathe for). First and foremost, remember the self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you will never speak French well….well you won’t. So it is safe to take on a chic, black boot stomping attitude and tell yourself that you DO speak well and that you will continue to speak even better. (I used to tell myself that I spoke better than all grad students around me. I didn’t, but I spoke more and in the short-run, it paid off.) Second, in the order of language acquisition or even foreign language learning, speaking-fluency will always come last. Always. Ironically, the only way to improve your speaking skills is to speak more! It is easier (to learn to speak better ) to feel shameless and just talk in any way, shape or form possible, but often our pride takes over and we feel self-conscious. But if you could somehow work that into your CHARM….then you will notice that conversations will flow. Bravo for reading and I’m assuming writing also! These strengthen your speaking skills, but essentially, the only way to improve your speaking skills is by speaking! And lastly, the “Use it or lose it” theory really is true as I’m sure you notice upon returning to Francia in the Summer. If you could somehow find 15 minutes a day to incorporate into your schedule to speak Frances, (to someone is always best, but sola will work also) you will notice a difference! I also know there are many Francophones out there (especially retirees with more flexible time) yearning for someone to chat with while sharing a little café somewhere. Hmm…I love this stuff! Hope this helps or inspires you!! Buena Suerte y un abrazo!

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  12. Hiya, is that your one and only portal or you personally have some more?

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