Saturday, December 13, 2008

Coping with the Storm

Hunker down or evacuate? Depends on the storm.

Here in the Northern Reaches of the Midwest, we hunker down. Our storms are tornados, thunderstorms, blizzards, bitter cold temperatures, and (sometimes) floods. Most of the time, it's not even enough to cancel a football game. We prepare by having flashlights, fresh batteries, candles, matches, and firewood. If power goes out, we can cook on the grill or eat cold sandwiches. If power goes out in winter, we put the frozen food in a cooler in the snow and all is well. Snowstorms usually leave the house intact.

The main danger in a storm is travel. In a blizzard, we stay home. Schools get cancelled (sometimes) or delayed until the plows can get through. In bitter cold below-zero weather, we dress in layers - many layers -- before venturing out to get the paper or shovel snow. We Wisconsin natives pride ourselves on coping with the cold and the snow, but it's a world of difference from the parts of the country that prepare to evacuate on sometimes little or no notice due due impending hurricanes or wildfires.

In my training as a Public Health Volunteer, the trainers kept impressing upon us that a true pandemic flu could stop all public interaction. Schools would close, most businesses would close, and people would be advised to stay home. Cutting out the outside world can stop the germs and viruses from spreading and potentially save lives. It would be the ultimate in hunkering down. How can we prepare for that?

I guess the best way to prepare would be to stop rambling on my blog and take inventory of the pantry and medicine chest. Here I we have enough peanut butter to bake cookies?

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Blogger Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Midwesterners are tough, hardy stock. Do you ever hear the Iowa folk grousing about their flood this summer? There's a reason for it. We deal. It's in our blood. I'm proud of that.

12/13/2008 3:21 PM  

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