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?
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