Stockpiles During Disasters: Readers’ Stories
Coupon preps have helped so much in having hurricane supplies way ahead of time! Thanks again for all the tips! We were riding it out in Florida, and I cannot tell you how much it really helped in the long haul. We were lucky to only have 4 days with no power, but we couldn’t get out of our neighborhood for two days. We lost cell and internet as well.”
I wanted to tell you how what we’ve learned from you personally helped us through Hurricane Harvey. We don’t have a basement so we have always kept our stockpile items up on shelves in a closet in our home office. I have always taken the ‘gallon a day per person’ guidelines for storing bottled water seriously so we had 14 gallons on hand to get my husband and I through a week if we had to. We got floodwater in the house as did many others, but we sheltered in place and had about a foot of water at the worst point. Our power was out for four days. Everyone we know was driving around ahead of the storm panicking to get bottled water and foods they could eat without cooking. We have a propane grill with a side burner on it for cooking with pots and pans. We keep an extra propane tank on hand too in case we run out unexpectedly.
When the power goes out, first you think about eating everything perishable. We grilled and ate all of the meat in our freezer and fed some of our neighbors, too. After that, we had plenty of canned goods stored that we could open, heat and eat.
After this experience, I would like to share with you some things everyone should have on hand in case of an unexpected disaster:
A hand-crank can opener: All the cans in the world will not help you if you don’t have a way to open them without power. We keep ours stored in the stockpile closet right with our cans.
Disposable tableware: When the power is out and water is on a boil order, you won’t want to wash dishes because it will be very time consuming to boil all the water first and make sure everything’s sanitary. We are glad we had plenty of disposable plates, bowls, cups and plastic ware to use.
Hand sanitizer and wipes: Again, if your water is not sanitary, you will want a way to quickly wash and clean up.
Batteries, flashlights and a radio: If you have a radio that gets the weather band broadcasts, that’s even better, but a regular AM/FM radio was invaluable to hear what was going on with relief efforts and also to break up the silence. You also forget just how dark it is at night with no power. We have a camping lantern that thankfully we also had enough batteries for.
If you are using candles for light, just be very careful with them. You do not want to add a house fire to what you’re already dealing with. The small air freshener style candles can fit inside a Mason jar, which will help reflect more light and shield an open flame.
We also have a BioLite camping stove that charges USB devices while you’re using the stove. This kind of stove only needs sticks or small wood chips or pieces to burn, and it converts the energy from the burning wood into electricity. We used this outdoors both to cook on and to charge our cellphones.
I’m thankful that we survived the hurricane. We never had to worry about going to the store ahead of the storm as we knew we had enough supplies on hand to ride it out, and we ended up having enough to share with the neighborhood too. Keeping your morale up is equally as important if you’re ever going through a disaster.”
Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.