The things The Storm taught us

Bowie ready for the next storm
After The Storm, the rest of our neighborhood had power restored within the rest of the week and everything went back to normal, for the most part.  There is still debris that litters the side of the road and city services has yet to come by and carry away all of the fallen branches, which makes it feel a little like a false fall with crunching dead leaves under foot on the sidewalks.

Weather is the universal conversation starter so of course, we’re all still talking about it The Storm and interestingly enough, all of the conversations have had a positive slant.  I’ve discussed how we got lucky not having any damage to our property or vehicles but I’ve also realized in the past few weeks that there are some general life lessons that we could take away from the entire experience:

Turn off the tv and get out of the house.  We cut the cord years ago and haven’t missed having cable.  Okay so we’re guilty of having a TV antenna in our attic so Bryan was able to watch playoff hockey.  Still, we spend the majority of our evenings reading instead of watching tv.  During the power outage, we planted vegetables, watered plants, and weeded the flower beds.  And then once it got dark, we generally just went to sleep instead of fiddling around on our phones, which leads to the next lesson...

Put the phone down.  This is probably a good lesson for life in general.  Trying to preserve phone battery life for emergencies only, we weren’t on our phones texting as much or looking at dumb things on Instagram.  Not surprisingly, we didn’t really miss anything.  Not pictures of food that someone else ate nor pictures of a vacation that someone else went on.

Look for helpers and be a helper.  One of our neighbors down the street ran a power strip from his generator to his front porch and invited everyone in the neighborhood to come over and charge their devices.  Those with chainsaws reached out to anyone who needed help clearing branches from their yards.  Folks expressed gratitude to the out of state emergency power crews that swooped in from all over the country to try and get things back to working order as swiftly as possible.  The minor convenience of having the power out was outweighed by the stories of friends / family who hosted sleepovers for those without AC and neighbors who helped clear tree trunks from others’ yards.  I’d never experienced such a sense of neighborly camaraderie before.

If you won’t eat it, don’t keep it.  After dumping the contents of our fridge and freezer and scrubbing the entire thing clean, I was surprised to find we didn’t really have to restock much when the power came back.  Which meant a lot of the food we had in our fridge was taking up space and we never ever intended to eat it.  Keep your fridge clean and the contents to a minimum.  The only thing we were desperate to replace was the ice cream that had melted during the days after the storm.

Get storm ready when you can.  This past weekend, we had another severe thunderstorm warning on Sunday and yet another last night.  We are supposed to get some more bad weather over the coming weekend again.  Bryan charged up the flashlight batteries and power bank immediately after we got power back.  We know where all the candles are and have bottles of water stocked up.  I know all of the short cuts and side streets that avoid major intersections where traffic lights went out.  I’m hopeful that we don’t get anything nearly as bad as what we got two weeks ago but I also know that if / when it happens, we’ll be prepared.


Comments

  1. Oh thanks for share your experience darling
    xx

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    1. Hopefully you never have to go through anything like this!

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  2. It's brilliant how such a tough experience like this could spark positive changes.

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  3. I do find events like this really make you take stock of what's important, you know? I remember an interview that Drew Barrymore did after her house burned down and she said that it made her realize what is really necessary in life afterwards ( or something along those lines).
    And yeah...I'm so guilty of never really putting my phone down when I have free time. Time to really break that habit!

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    1. Oh definitely, you realize pretty quickly what you need and what you don't. The phone thing is an ongoing battle with me as well!

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  4. When we had the hurricane last year, it was nice to see everyone reaching out and offering showers or electricity to those who didn't have either. I wish it didn't take a bad situation to bring people together.
    Every so often I don't go on facebook for a week. You know what I missed? Nothing. I don't need to know what Kim's new favorite brand of shampoo is!

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    1. I don't feel like I miss anything, which is sad and also good?

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  5. Great lessons learned! I keep a super minimalist fridge too (it helps I live walking distance from a grocery store)

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    1. Oh that's perfect and so convenient. I hate tossing food that's gone bad because we forgot about it

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  6. It is so wonderful how events like these can teach us things and bring a community together! I really loved hearing that neighbors worked together to help each other during the storm!

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    1. It was really a wonderful way to meet everyone

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  7. Praying for no more storms coming your way.

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  9. We had a fair amount of power outages growing up. We had some camping lanterns we used for stuff. Also keeping buckets of water to flush the toilet with was something we did. We had a well on our property so we had water without too much issue until that emptied and it had to refill itself from the water table. Being prepared is really useful. Its something I should probably get back into now that I'm in more of a permanent place instead of moving around a lot.

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    1. Members of Bryan's family immediately take a shower before a storm because they had well water too. Luckily we had water and hot water (because we had gas) but I'd rather not power outages be a common thing we go through this summer!

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  10. In my day to day life, I'm attached to my phone - checking it when I'm waiting in line, walking around, everything. But when I don't have a good connection, like when I'm travelling, I find it so easy to not look at it!

    I think it'd be interesting to practice that mindset at home, where usually everything is within reach.

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    1. It's difficult to just put your phone away and not latch on to it - getting a break from technology can be really nice

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