*Wow, that was some weekend, wasn’t it? If you don’t live on the East Coast, you most likely know someone who does and had your heart in a knot just worrying as Hurricane Irene roared her way north. Some media stories are quickly suggesting it was not as big a deal as expected, but lost lives and lost homes are always a big deal, and with flood waters still rising, we’re not done yet. And so, my thoughts are with everyone who was affected, and I am reminded again how important it is to have an emergency plan, know your neighbors (even if it’s just to put your frozen food in their freezer if they have electricity and you don’t, as happened with my relatives), and support local businesses so that rebuilding keeps much-needed money circulating in your local economy. Don’t have an emergency kit ready to go (or the room to store it)? I am very, very tempted to get the filled backpack kit pictured. And don’t forget about preparing for your pets. For more ways to prepare for emergencies, see here and here. And get some free advice about choosing a home generator here.
* Home repair needs following a “major weather event” include everything from roof repair to tree removal, and could, of course, require the services of restoration specialists who handle water damage, sewage damage, smoke and fire damage, and mold. If your home had flooding, it is important to have your walls, floors, carpets, and anything else affected professionally serviced to avoid future problems. (photo from the site of this water damage restoration company.)
* A whole lot of problems were caused by falling tree limbs. Take this to heart and have dead trees removed from your property, and overgrown limbs cut back. (This is another job best left for the pros.) Go outside and look at the trees, imagine them falling, and follow your eyes to where that would be. A little forethought now can avoid smashed windshields, windows, and roofs later.
* Been thinking of getting solar panels or a solar water heating system? A few days without electricity may be just the encouragement you need to finally do so. It’s amazing how much we depend on electricity, and having some control of your family’s supply can mean that you can do your work, you can take warm showers, you can run medical equipment, you can cook, and your teen can blow dry her hair (making her much more pleasant to be around, especially if you’re all stuck at home a few days).
Go to Kudzu for service companies who can help you prepare for emergencies–or help get you out of one. As for moody teens? You’re on your own.