Thursday, October 2, 2008

If I could tell you one thing

... that I learned about hurricane preparation it would be to make sure you always have a stocked pantry!

When Ike hit, nobody realized that grocery stores and discount stores would be closed for a week. That even if they were open, the shelves would be bare and the refrigerated and freezer sections would be empty because the food had gone bad. Nobody ever talked about those things.

Over the past 6 months, I have built up my pantry. I have learned to buy a lot of an item when it was on sale and especially if I had some great coupons. I never dreamed how much I would appreciate my stocked pantry. Sure, it made it easy to make dinner on a whim. And that week I couldn't make it to the grocery? Yeah, it paid off then, too.

But what I never expected was having to live out of my pantry. To feed my family. My neighbors. My friends. After the hurricane, we would gather at the neighbors' house and prepare dinner for 6-8 families - out of food we had in our freezers and pantries. How amazing it was to be able to contribute to such a worthy cause. One other neighbor had an equally-stocked pantry which made all the difference between our neighborhood eating dinner or going hungry.

I could have lived without my generator. Flashlights. Batteries. Even gasoline. But not without food and water. They tell you to have three days' worth of food on hand. Three days is not nearly enough.

If you take anything from any of my posts about the hurricane, please take this. Make sure your pantry is stocked. You never know when you might really, truly need it.