Wednesday, November 07, 2012

a light in the dark

Sometimes the light shines brightest when it's dark.

When my kids were little, they were frightened by shadows on the wall when I tucked them into bed at night.  I would always tell them, that there must be light somewhere in the house, or else the shadows wouldn't exist.  That even when you think it's completely never really is.

Last week, Hurricane "Sandy" proved that.  When the storm came in that night, all we could see was a singular spotlight casting light and shadows on our mammoth 20 year old maple tree in our backyard, which was swaying and bending with the 90km/h+ winds.  Miraculously, it didn't come crashing through our house (like so many larger trees did, as shown on a multitude of newscasts).

However, what was more miraculous, was the events after the storm.  My faith in humanity was renewed again as I read story after story about the kindness of strangers...people coming together to help each other in need.  Even the simplest of things like providing power to strangers so they can charge cell phones and communicate with loved ones.  These stories of kindness has been the bright light in this (continuing) darkness.

Photo courtesy of Mashable

While I cannot directly help those in affected areas (other than through donations), the aftermath of the storm did however, shed some light on my own emergency preparedness, and beyond the "extra flashlights, batteries, candles and food" list (a handy list of what should be in your 72 hour emergency preparedness kit can be found here at Red Cross), I thought I'd do my small part and share with you some interesting things that I've read and learned that might help you with your own emergency preparedness plan.

1)  Add a "text-to-tweet" option on Twitter.  I know, this may sound like my Twitter addiction is overrun, but seriously, communication is key and if there is no internet access available in my area to email loved ones, at least I can send one message out to the masses (i.e. more than one family member) by sending a tweet via text.  For info on how to do this, click {here}.  Conversely, I've added my husbands' tweets, so I can receive tweets from him via text, if for some reason we've been separated.

2) Make sure your OUTDOOR solar garden lights have been charged.  So often we hear about fires that start with candles (we use mason jars with tea light candles), so a great (and safe) alternative light source in the house would be those outdoor garden solar powered lights (we have the solar coach lights that can be removed from the post and placed flat on a table).

3)   Update our emergency contact list on my phone to include some government phone numbers that I normally do not have handy (in case of hydro outages, downed trees or sewer back up/flooding emergencies).   In Toronto, you can find the list of phone numbers. {here}

4)  Make sure you have an updated hand crank radio.  The one we currently have is a radio/flashlight combo, which can be operated by hand crank.  I realized it could also recharge my phone, if I had the proper phone cord attachment.  But I didn't.  I'm considering purchasing this hand crank radio that has the USB option. {here}.

5)  Pack an extra travel charger/ power outlet along in the emergency kit, like this Mini Surge Protector with USB outlets. {here}.  If you have to evacuate, there is a possibility that your destination will not have enough outlets.  This is a small but good one to have handy.

And while we are very fortunate to have no damage or lives lost in our family and we have the luxury of learning from the devastation of others to prepare for ourselves in case there's a "next time", I hope that in the midst of darkness, we can all be each other's shining light.

Red Cross

No comments:

Post a Comment

What the beautiful people are saying...