The stories we’ve been hearing from Texas over the past two weeks have been truly horrific. People went without heat during an unprecedented cold snap, without electricity, and without water for days, and many shifted to a survivalist mode. Obviously, the Texas authorities responsible for the power grid have a lot to answer for, and talking about a winter storm of the century doesn’t fully explain how completely the system failed.
Now that the worst of it is over, Texans have been talking on social media about what they learned from this experience–and what they can do to prepare for the next devastating winter storm, or hurricane, or other natural disaster. It’s an interesting topic, and one that those of us in other parts of the country would do well to think about, too. You never know when the weather might wreak havoc with expected utility services and food supplies and leave you to go into survivalist mode. And the unsettling question is: if that were to happen to you, would you be reasonably well prepared?
So what are our friends in Texas saying?
- Lay in a supply of bottled water, and if a storm is bearing down, fill bathtubs and sinks. Humans need water, and if disaster strikes you just can’t have too much of it.
- If you live in a standalone structure, buy a generator. People in Texas who had generators that they could rely on during this period say they’ve never made a better use of their money.
- Know how to shut off your water and drain your pipes, and remember to turn off your water heater when you do.
- Be sure you’ve got flashlights and batteries.
- When your plumbing is inoperative, disposable plates, cups and utensils are essential.
- Get a propane-powered space heater and don’t forget the propane for it.
- Keep a supply of instant coffee and canned food in the garage.
- Did I mention bottled water and a generator?
You never know when a crisis might hit. Being prepared for the worst isn’t a bad idea.