This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their plans to keep their families safe. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
We live in Stamford Connecticut, a city on Long Island Sound. Hurricanes are usually tropical storms by the time they get to us- more of an annoyance with power outages- but in October 2012 we could tell Hurricane Sandy would be serious. We knew it would strike Monday, October 29th, so on Saturday I sent my husband out to look for a generator. I had a freezer full of breastmilk and I was going to protect it all costs!
All of the hardware stores were out, so he swung by the Honda Motorsports store... just as a truckload of small generators was about to be unloaded. He was second in line, and we knew we were very fortunate to locate a generator with only a couple hours of effort. The line was 30 deep before he left.
I’m a teacher. School was cancelled on Monday in anticipation of the storm, so we had plenty of time to get last minute snacks. That’s usually the extent of our storm prep: Cheezits and chocolate. And batteries and flashlights, of course.
We were optimistic that we wouldn’t get hit too bad; we’re over 4 miles from the Sound so I wasn’t worried about flooding. We often don’t even lose power during bad storms, unlike the areas north of us that have more trees and consequently lose power for longer periods of time when storms knock down power lines. Still, I knew we’d probably lose power during this one.
On Monday the weather was fine around noon; I actually did a call in interview with my friend Christopher Gabriel, a host of radio station WDAY in Fargo North Dakota. (He was my neighbor when I lived in Rye NY 15 years ago and one of the funniest, smartest people I know.) “It’s not too windy out, actually,” I told him. We wrapped up our interview around 1, and almost immediately, the wind got scary. By 3pm the trees were roaring, and by 5pm the power went ZAP. Gone.
|Husband has some backup power for computer/TV, so we had an hour of TV after power was out.|
|Setting up the generator|
As night fell, we dragged the queen-sized mattress into the living room so the baby and I could cosleep in comfort, and we set up a cot for the 3 year old. I wanted to sleep with the kids in the living room, the part of the house furthest from the tall trees in our backyard. My husband was quite happy to stay in the king-sized bed in the back bedroom... right under the giant tree. The man loves his creature comforts.
Cosleeping comes in handy in emergencies- if you and your kids need to sleep somewhere different (as we have other times when we’ve lost power or heat), your cosleeping child can adjust quite easily since YOU are their familiar sleep environment! My favorite picture from the storm is of me nursing the baby (10 months) on the mattress. The wind thankfully calmed down during the night so I was able to sleep without fear of a tree crashing down on us. Falling trees did kill several people in the region and that’s always my biggest fear during any storm.
We only lost power for about 36 hours. It snapped back on at 3 am Wednesday. I don’t know if I’ve ever been as happy to get power back. I knew there was the potential for long term (7 days or more) power loss, so 36 hours was like a dream. Some areas around us were without power for ten days or longer... and some towns in New Jersey and New York were absolutely devastated by flooding. In Queens, 80 homes burned down.
Over 100 people in the US were killed by Hurricane Sandy, with NY having the highest death toll. Hurricane Sandy was as bad as the weather people predicted, but the human toll was much worse than expected. With global warming, flooding will probably become more common, and I fear we will see more scenarios like Sandy. I really worry about the world we are leaving our children.
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)
- Be Prepared for Emergencies — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama is reviewing Angela England's new ebook, The Untrained Housewife's Guide to Getting Prepared. See what measures she is learning to adopt in her family.
- Prepare to Expect a Safe and Beautiful Natural Birth — What do you need to have prepared so that you can have a nice and relaxing birth at home? Lisa at The Squishable Baby shares her list in a guest post at Natural Parents Network.
- Fire Boxes for Emergency Preparedness — Jana of Jananas tells why she bought a fire box to store important documents and what is stored in the box.
- Firefighter Training Homeschool Curriculum — Kellie at Our Mindful Life helped her homeschooled kids prepare for emergencies through a Firefighter Training unit.
- 3 Secrets to a Royal Emergency — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep tells the secret to living like kings during a storm-induced power outage.
- Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency? — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares an overview of what her family has done to become more prepared for emergencies.
- What to Do in an Earthquake — Julia at A Little Bit of All of It gives instructions for staying safe in the event of an earthquake as well as tips for teaching your children to keep safe and where to find information online after an earthquake.
- Spring Cleaning & Preparing, Part 2 — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger organizes and replenishes her emergency supply every spring and is learning to add to the food stockpile by preserving year-round.
- 15 Must-Haves For The Natural Minded Family When Disaster or Emergency Strikes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she prepares for disaster or an emergency as a natural minded mama. Learn what 15 natural items you should consider having on hand!
- Emergency Preparedness: Cosleeping, Cheezits, Chocolate — Kristine at All the Things in the World was happy to have cosleeping in her emergency tool kit during Hurricane Sandy.
- Being Prepared For Personal Disasters — Luschka at Diary of a First Child draws on her own recent experiences and considers five things every parent should have in place to ease the burden when sudden disaster strikes.
- The Natural Emergency Kit That I Always Carry in My Diaper Bag — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the four green and natural items in her emergency kit that she can't do without when she's out and about with her little ones.
- Prepared... or not? — Is it dangerous to not prepare? Jorje of Momma Jorje shares whether her family prepares…or not.
- Pack a car safety kit: 25 must-have items for emergencies — Whether you're out for a leisurely drive or fleeing a disaster, Lauren at Hobo Mama offers tips on stocking your car with emergency supplies that will tide you over if you're stranded.
- Teaching My Children About Tornados — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about preparing her children for tornado season.
- Preparing our children for emergencies — Preparing for emergencies means preparing your children, and Robbie at Going Green Mama shares ways on how to empower kids when it comes to emergencies.
- Emergency Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa — After living in Sub-Saharan Africa for 7 years, emergency preparedness is not just a concept any more to Laura from Authentic Parenting.
- Five Ideas to Keep Babies and Toddlers Safe from Choking — Do you have a baby or toddler who likes to put everything (and I mean *everything*) in her mouth? Dionna at Code Name: Mama does, and today she's sharing a story and some tips on how to keep your little ones safe from choking.