Mobile Again

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Due to a weather related disaster I was recently stranded for a week.
A week! I had electricity and other than a minor mishap with a broken
pipe (fixed before nightfall), the challenges were mostly boredom and
restlessness. I read, talked on the phone, cooked, bake, ate, napped,
and played hours of stupid computer games. I truly lacked for nothing
that a helpful neighbor with four-wheel drive couldn’t provide. But it
did get me thinking that I am not as prepared for non-ordinary reality
as I should be. Any advice?

Mobile Again

Dear Mobile:

Use your computer time to better use. Everyone from your local utility
district to FEMA has lists of things you can do to prepare for an
emergency. They include having a supply of potable water, non-
perishable food, and similar supplies, to the less obvious: having a
waterproof grab-bag of important papers—like your insurance policy-
and medicines without which your health would be at risk, even an
extra set of glasses. Think about lost luggage: pack yourself undies,
socks, and a good book. Google; compare recommendations; and
follow them. Perhaps keep a duplicate stash bag in your car in case
you’re stranded away from home.

Meet with your neighbors and come up with a communal plan.
Everyone should come to the meeting with information they have
gathered so you can compare notes independently. Agree on a time-
frame for which you’d need to be prepared. A week seems like a
reasonable worst-case estimate. Climate needs will suggest different
supplies. You can keep frozen things cool in snow (protected from
critters); heat imposes different requirements. Look into joint
ownership of a portable generator. And keep a box or two of supplies
in your garage of items like spare batteries, a crank-operated
radio/cell phone charger, boxed chicken soup and milk, pet food,
board games and cards, and perhaps some chocolate covered espresso