September 9, 2009

Day 1 - it's a flood!

Day 1 - it's a flood!

Ok I should start out by saying that I wasn't able to do this challenge in it's entirety. Although we did use this time to assess our inventory and possibility of this type of situation.
The w:Iowa River upstream of w:Marshalltown, IowaImage via Wikipedia

Flooding is one of our major criteria when choosing where to live and routes when we drive. Maybe I've seen one too many storm stories on TWC or something but I REFUSE to be put in a water VS. Anne situation! Especially after last year. Let me explain.

When we found our previous house in Iowa Falls we wasn't able to view it before purchasing -- only online. It was less than a block away from the Iowa River -- the EXACT same Iowa River that massively flooded Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City last year! It was called the 500 year flood and it even went past that mark on the maps! And we were a mere block away from this monster.

Do you know what saved us? We were lucky that this side of town was situated 40+ feet UP from that monster! Along with the area's system of locks and dams (I think that what they were?) -- with those they were able to control the amount of flooding somewhat. Iowa Falls received a little more than minor flooding with only major damage to one house (basement blew out), which was a miracle. Especially when you look at all the destruction that was south of there along the same river.

Because of our experiences there I am even more hardcore about where we live and possible flooding. Also about all possible ways for evacuation that are non-flooding -- very important!


Ok on to the challenge!

1. no spending all week -- this will be quite easy for us because we already have most everything bought for this pay period (which ends next week) and plenty of food. The problem is that we wouldn't last for very long AFTER this pay period - SR thinks I'm crazy anytime I want to stock up extras. Toliet paper went on sale 1 week and I had coupons so I bought 3 packages -- he still thinks I'm crazy! But you know we had tp for a month and a half! And food wise - the only reason we would be ok is because of a botched menu for this month so I have plenty of extras that normally I wouldn't have.
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - JUNE 17: Debris sits behind...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

2. no power all day -- this isn't especially hard to do NOW. Since moving in with SR we have cut DRASTICALLY our power usage to save him from having a heart attack. His normal power bills range from $55-$75 a month -- ours usually range from $125-$175 --- do you see the possibilities of his keeling over when receiving the bill? LOL! The only thing we used that had power was the radio which in a emergency situation we would of used a mp3 player w/speaker or car radio rather than the radio in the house.

3. leave the house in 1 hour for 5 hours -- anyone who knows me would laugh till they pee'ed if I said I did this! It takes me an hour to prepare to go for a "quick" trip in town let alone to be gone for 5 hours! We did leave for over 3 hours and we did manage to get out the door within 25 minutes. I do know that after a mishap we had last year (remember this?) that as long as I have more than a couple of seconds to react I usually do ok with getting everything that is needed out. An hour to work with and 2 possible drivers (me & the Kaos King), I could of had most everything inside and out packed up and ready to go. Don't get me wrong I would of forgot something important! But most things would of been brought =)
Interstate 80 traffic is brought to a crawl as...Image via Wikipedia

4. only bring your 72 hour kit and what's on your grab list -- I confess I actually do not have a 72 hour kit or grab list. I do have these things in a list in my head but this isn't the same. I just need to buckle down and do these. Although #3 does have a survival kit that I helped him put together that comes close. The challenge also says *remember your house may be destroyed when you get back -- if this was an actual emergency I would not of stopped till I absolutely had to or was sure I had EVERYTHING that was important out and put UP stuff that could of been ruined.

5. eat food from your 72 hour kit -- umm... don't have an actual kit. But the bag we do have does have food in it and yes the kids would of ate it if I would have let them. LOL! Oh and #3 does have food in his survival kit that he's been dieing to eat.
OAKVILLE, IA - JUNE 20:  Three pigs stand stra...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

6. problems during evacuation --
  • you get soaking wet during evacuation - big problem! if we have any clothes in the car they are going to be clothes someone either don't want or can't fit into.
  • one of your family members cuts their toe open, from the comments - a slice that won't stop bleeding on it's own -with both our bag and #3's kit we would of been ok with anything small like that. I think general knowledge of ways to stop bleeding would be more helpful than having bandages.
7. meet at your specified meeting area -- Also says - your spouse is at work
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - JUNE 21:  Cindi Minehart (L...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
- HA! That would be nice! But anyway we don't have a specified meeting area other than meet at SR's and since we are already here that won't work. I know of a perfect spot and am going to spend time today telling Darkside & SR my idea. On a side note - the only thing that my side of the family does have done prep wise IS a place to meet in the event of a major emergency (like Katrina size problem). The only problem with this meeting spot is it's the Mississippi River, not a specific spot on the river, just the river itself. This covers such a large area! Although I can guess where they would be there would be some searching I'm sure. Plus it's such a well known, large landmark with it's own set of seasonal problems that I'm not so sure it's wise. But we do got it in place!

8. once together you can return home -- we are usually together all day, everyday -- but I do understand why this is said =)
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - JUNE 22: Workers pass debri...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

9. back home --
  • your fridge food is ruined -- that would suck! but I think we would be alright overall. As a side note I would throw out and clean out the fridge immediately. Things I would keep out of there: mustard, pickles, butter, penicillin, pepto, and possibly some other sauces such as bbq and A1.
  • your basement food is ruined -- don't have a basement or anything on ground level. If flooding was from the local creek then all my things in storage would be ruined or possibly contaminated.
  • you need to make dinner with no power -- we have a propane range and a bbq grill that both could be used. plus we love a lot of no cook things that are usually well stocked up. but they are NOT nutritious!
10. keep entertained & out of the dark -- we would do ok with this mostly, it really depends on any damage done to the house. We have like 2 small candles, an empty kerosene lantern, and a flashlight here - in storage I have TONS of great huge candles. If it were a normal situation we would be more than prepared light wise. I do know where the lamp oil is but getting to it would take about 10 minutes. Keeping entertained would probably be a mp3 player with a speaker - we would do music trivia for quite awhile =)

Advanced options -- not a go for us, we didn't even get through the regular stipulations!!


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