I remember the sickening sound of trees cracking and popping. It was a hurricane – hurricane Sandy to be precise, and we lived in Southern Connecticut. It could have been worse, we were on a high hill, protecting us from flooding, and none of those falling trees landed on our home.
We were well prepared for a disaster; but after living through a week with no power in snowy weather, I came out with 4 big promises to myself that would help me better endure the next storm that comes my way.
1) I will always live in a home with a gas stove.
When the electricity is out, but your gas line is still good, a gas stove will still work; you just need a match to get it going.
2) I will never live in a big city.
Having observed what was happening in New York City compared to what was happening in Connecticut cemented in my mind that urban life is not for me because (a) a little bit of land can make all the difference between digging a pit toilet out back, and having buckets of refuse hanging out in your hallways, and (b) People’s reactions to disasters scares me more than the disasters themselves; I prefer to be away from the centers of looting and riots.
3) I will have chocolate in my food storage
Sure we had all the food we needed to get through comfortably, but I had no idea the angst my body would feel as it was stuck in “fight or flight” adrenaline mode – a little indulgent sweetie sure would have been nice.
4) I will always become acquainted with my neighbors.
This may seem like no big deal for a lot of you, but I’m a severe introvert that could happily go full hermit. Nevertheless, the few acquaintances I did make made a huge difference in our dark, frozen week. It was folks from the other side of town (where there was still electricity) that invited us to store some of our perishable foods at their place. There was also a family we had started to befriend in that lucky side of town that let us come have warm showers, and wash our clothes in exchange for a little babysitting. Remember that angst I mentioned in number 3? A little comfort goes a looooong way.
What about you? Have you lived through a disaster? What promises did you make yourself to do it better?