Are You Ready?

Emergency kit

There’s a huge winter storm coming! It’s shaking people up to see just about all of the United States east of Cheyenne Wyoming with some kind of winter storm watch or warning. Weathermen are predicting freezing rain, sleet, snow, ice and then powerful winds. This storm is expected to hit central Indiana over the next two days. In fact portions of our area are receiving freezing rain RIGHT NOW.

This has prompted many people to get prepared. . . are YOU prepared?

It only takes 1/2 inch of ice buildup on the lines to bring them down, especially if there is high winds causing them to sway and tree branches to fall. Ice storms are known for causing wide-spread power outages, so it is wise to prepare. If you hear “popping” or see sparking and wires down — stay away and keep others away and call your electric company or 911 immediately. (some phone numbers at the end of this post).  If you are in your car and the line falls on it. Do NOT leave the car unless told to do so by emergency personnel.

Are you and your family ready if your power should go out during this winter storm? Have you talked with your kids and have an emergency plan in place ? If you were told that you must be out of the house “NOW” (gas leak, fire, evacuation) would you be ready?

The American Red Cross says you can prepare by putting together a disaster supply kit, to be used in your home in the event of an emergency, and a “go kit,” which is something you would take with you if you need to evacuate to a shelter.

Your disaster supply kit at home could include such things as:

  • at least 3-day supply of food (ideally eaten w/o heating, granola bars, cheese and crackers, cereals, etc. — don’t forget the can opener if you have canned goods)
  • possible food-heat source, (ie. gel fuel, propane for outdoor cooking only)
  • water at least a gallon a day
  • first aid kit,
  • flashlights and batteries.
  • heating sources- candles, tea lights, lanterns, (+ matches in water proof cont.)
  • Warm Blankets and clothing.

I.D. and Documentation. Always being sure that everyone is carrying some kind of Identification. You can have fun and create one for your kids with an index card and their photo, name, your name and cell phone number.  Also, it is good to create a secret word to know if someone is claiming to be taking them to you.

Remember that with power out… you will not be able to CHARGE you cell phone or mobile devices. Many people have all there important phone numbers stored electronically, so it is wise to transfer important contact information, accounts etc. into a small address book or notebook that you keep in your purse or on your person.

A digital camera (with extra batteries) may be of great use if you suffer some damage from the storm. I ALWAYS carry one with a set of extra batteries for it. This is especially important for capturing and documenting news as it happens. I keep my cell phone for only communication not photos.

Our First Aid Tackle Box

A “Go-Kit” (can be grabbed if you must evacuate in a hurry or go to shelter) . Place the following type items in a rolling suitcase or backpack:

  • bedding,
  • clothing for all family members, Warm & weatherproof
  • medications,
  • personal care items,
  • toys or books for the kids and snacks.
  • a notebook/folder with important addresses, phone numbers, & accts. info & key family photos.
Dog Bucket to Go

Don’t forget your PET Emergency family needs: (We keep ours in a five gallon bucket always ready in case of emergency evacuation.

  • food Lg. ziplocs work well
  • and water for your animal (reused gal. juice container)
  • leashes and collars (be sure I.D. tag is on animal)
  • toys, blanket, brush or comb, ziplocs for cleanup
  • extra rope is always good to have for tie up or makeshift muzzle.

If you plan on using a grill, make sure it stays outside. Don’t operate it in a garage or a basement due to carbon monoxide and fire concerns.

Get Ready:

  • Fill your gas tank
  • Charge cell phones
  • Have extra cash
  • Stock non-perishable food
  • Consider back-up methods for food/water, heat and lighting
  • Have ice melt and non-clumping kitty litter on hand for melting and traction.

Electrical Power Providers:

IPL power outages.  To report an outage or a downed power line, please call 317.261.8111 or 317.261.8222 or toll-free at 1.888.261.8222. or 911 if an emergency.

Duke Energy outages. If you see a fallen power line, call Duke Energy at 1-800-343-3525 and select Option 2 or contact your local emergency services immediately.

Vectren outages. Call (800) 227-1376 to report an outage or downed line.

These are just suggestions based on my understanding of what the American Red Cross and local news reporters are suggesting, along with personal experience. Using your own common sense trumps it all. The purpose of this post is simply to prompt you to ready yourselves and consider items you may not have thought of.

I very much welcome other personal suggestions that you would make. What kind of experiences have you had with emergencies that caused you to better prepare for the future? Please feel free to send a comment and I will post it if it is helpful.

Now, people … get ready!

Baby Jonah Pics

Baby Jonah 2011-01-03

WARNING: the family want to share photos of their baby Jonah fighting for his life right now, but also are sensitive to the fact that some people may not be up to viewing his medical process photos. Others will find these photos a wonderment as they see the extremes that medical personnel are employing on behalf of this tiny little boy. Therefore, I have placed the medical photos as a link [med photo]- if you want to see for yourself. You decide. In any case, I will at least post his pre-surg photo to spur on your prayers <3.

Here is what Jonah’s parents said about the photos:

If you would be willing, we’d like to share more of our burden with you. If you are willing and able, we’d like to e-mail a picture of Jonah to you, we believe that a picture is worth a thousand words. We do not wish to offend or disturb any one of you. We are merely seeking to share our heavy burden and believe if you were able to see our little baby, you might be able to even better pray for us. The picture may be disturbing, so if you are willing and able to see it, just click on the link [med photo]. Thank you again so very very much.

Two pictures are of Jonah before he went for his first surgery (Mon. 1/3).  The other two are of him [med photo] 1 day after his first surgery (Wed. 1/5) AND [med photo] The next day (Thurs. 1/6) he was taken into surgery again to open up his vein to open up a blockage that was preventing him from fully draining the fluids from his body.  Even more lines and tubes and meds were placed at that time. (no pics of that).

Please pray that he would continue drain the fluids so that the doctors will be able to close his chest.  The original plan was to close it on Monday, but he had an episode on (Fri 1/7) – he was moved in order to take a CAT scan because his eyes were dilated and they were concerned about possible swelling on the brain.  When they brought him back to his room, his blood pressure dropped and his heartbeat was erratic.  So they had to give him fluids and more meds to get him stable again.  So that put off the surgery for at least one more day.  He has begun a round of antibiotics, because the longer his chest is open the greater his risk of infection.  So again please pray that they would be able to get the fluids out and the swelling down enough that they would be able to close his chest.

Thanks again for all of your love and prayers, Marty & Val

Additionally, here is a photo of Jonah’s Big sister with him. Let’s keep her in our prayers as well. God is at work in a mighty way in this tiny little one. Remember, YOU can leave comments to encourage them.

The Reason for the Silence

You may have noticed that I haven’t been blogging regularly since the middle of December. That is because I made a conscious decision to step back from many ventures during the Christmas season to focus on the most important areas of my life. I focused more on family and the celebration of what the birth of Jesus Christ means to me.

Also, in December I had been increasingly afflicted with the extremely low energy associated with Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome. As the daylight hours reduce at this time of year, the ability of my body to function decreases as well. Even the simplest of tasks takes exponentially more energy to accomplish. So I ended the year refraining from blogging.

As I increasingly pared back on what activities I attempted, I found myself discovering what I valued most. My husband and I grew closer together in our prayer and Bible study times together, as well as those that we shared with our daughter. We communicated more with one another what we really value and the dreams that we have. As a family, we didn’t worry that we didn’t have a lot of money for gifts at Christmas, but dreamed of ways to do the most with what we had.

I became a baking fool. I literally spent 2 weeks in the kitchen baking various candies and a few other baked delights to hand out to some friends. Steve’s work alone had 18 little packages of goodies which yielded smiles and happiness at his workplace. I guess one of his coworkers in particular found that she is somewhat addicted to my Buckeyes (chocolate covered peanut butter nougat balls). I did somewhat perfect the peanut brittle this year too.

We mailed off Christmas packages to relatives via Priority mail to arrive before Christmas only to find that 2 of the 3 were addressed wrong and returned the second week of January!! Argh!  However, we did spend a lovely Christmas Eve at Steve’s folks and had a wonderful lamb feast with family before returning home between bad ice storms.

As New Year’s Eve arrived, I was ready to put 2009 behind me and start a new decade.