So, Grasshopper, what did you learn?

The Big Island quake that rolled everyone here out of bed (or shook them out of bed, depending on who you talk to and what kind of bed they were sleeping in at the time) was a good dress rehearsal for other, more serious, emergencies that may arise in the future.

I grew up in Southern California. My father is a Safety Engineer by trade. He has worked for an international construction firm as well as the Southern California Gas Company in the field of safety. The man is, bless his heart, a walking public service announcement. Needless to say, I NEVER ran with scissors (or a lollipop in my mouth) and I always have disaster preparedness supplies on hand. Not that I would have ever wanted to actually experience Hurricane Katrina but if I had to live through that (assuming that my house was not flooded or blown away) I would have done just fine, thankyouverymuch. It would not have been pretty and there would have been much crying and gnashing of teeth but I would have been just fine.

However, as prepared as one may be, there are always lessons to be learned. My friend discusses the things she learned over at her blog. Some of our lessons were the same (or similar. I would have used 100-mile-per-hour tape but that's just because I'm a nerd) and some were not (our 4 food groups for the earthquake aftermath were peanut butter, chocolate, beer, and pretzels). So what did I learn? Here are a few things:

1.) that my husband being a battery hound is actually a GOOD thing! (I usually give him grief over this) We have MagLites and they use D batteries and we had plenty of those. The kids each have small flashlights that usually don't have batteries in them and I had plenty of AA batteries for those. (Thanks babe!)

2.) that I need more water on hand. I was able to fill the tubs with water and fill up the stock pot and a few jugs I have with water. I also had a case of bottled water in the outside fridge in case we needed it but I think we need more, just to be safe. I also had bleach on hand and I *think* there are water purification tablets in the big, giant camping box. If not, I'll add those in. Funny thing is, I did not drink a DROP of water all day long. We drank the milk (didn't want it to spoil) and then we drank the juice (didn't want that to spoil). And then we moved on to the pina colada mix that was in the fridge (definitely didn't want THAT to spoil nor did we want to waste the ice we had on keeping other things cold!). Priorities, people!

3.) that I needed a car charger for my cell phone (which I have now). God forbid I not be able to TALK to people (or at least send text messages). However, right about the time my cell phone was beginning to die, it dawned on me that we have 2 power inverters. Woohoo! I hooked one up and just as I was getting ready to plug my phone in, the power came back on. God is good!

4.) that we CAN go 24+ hours without the TV (or the computer) and survive. And we will. From now on, Sundays will be "TV Free Days" (unless someone is sick...namely me). Amazingly enough, my children had no trouble whatsoever entertaining themselves without the television.

5.) that I'm really glad I have the cell phone I have because I was able to get instant message and MSN Messenger on it (my old phone didn't have that capability) though the connection was spotty at times.

6.) that news travells fast. I got a text message from MacGyver less than an hour after the quake hit. Not bad for a guy in Iraq! The even better thing was that he did not worry about me. His faith in my capabilities is incredibly flattering.

7.) that, as much as I chide him for it, I am greatful that my husband is so mechanically inclined and such a gadget hound. He had several items in the garage that were of use to me during the power outage.

8.) that I need to go do some target practice with the Beretta because I've never fired it before. I've fired the Sig but not the Beretta and I'm not sure what the kick is like. And it's been a while since I've fired anything and I'm sure I need practice. When someone is breaking into my house or threatening my family...that is NOT the time to practice.

9.) that I am greatful for our gas grill (and camping stove if I really needed it) but I want a generator too. Not a big one, just a small one.

10.) that there is much fun to be had with raincoats and umbrellas when there is no power and nothing better to do

11.) that the trade winds are a wonderful thing. I miss them when they are not here. Blech.

12.) that s'mores taste even better when the power is out!

Oh, and Haole Girl...did you save any of those graham crackers to dip INTO the chocolate frosting? THAT would have been close to perfect!


- hfs

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