What would YOU take?

By: redagainPatti , 1:53 PM GMT on March 03, 2012

I was away from home and visiting with a friend and her family just north of Jackson, Mississippi when the first of the strong storms rolled in over our heads. The mom was eating a late dinner with me as I got a cell phone call from my daughter who lives south of Jackson. Heads up! Tornado Warning!

We had about ten minutes before it was due overhead. I found it very interesting as the mom put her action plan in gear. She has one small dog and four children ranging in ages from ten months old to eight years old. She told each of the older three to choose their one item as she moved a few things from around the washing machines in the safe area. She told me to grab and fill a bottle with warm water and get the box of powder milk. Then she took a cell phone call from a lady two doors up the street.
"Sure, You come right on down! No need to be by yourself" and she in few minutes, opened the door to her close friend with her two year old. Ok, now our group was five kids, one dog and three parents. Oh yeah, this old lady too.
The three year old took the hand of the two year old and went into the safe area with a small game, I-Touch like thing... the two year old had six cookies. The oldest, a girl (about eight years old), took just a family photo of her dear cousin while her brother (six years old) picked up the kitchen cell phone after making sure his fav toys were tucked up under the bed and table in his room. Their dad was last to join us with his small laptop as each mom had their cell phones like me.
The dog had one small rubber chew toy.
I wonder, WHAT would YOU take into a small safe room?
One item only.. into a five feet by three area? You will have other folks, kids with ages from ten months to eight years old. Oh yeah, one older person in there with you too.
All was well even with the second visit later in the evening back to the safe room. The young mom two doors down, stayed home that time as her husband with her other children had returned home by that time, ducking between the storms of March 2, 2012.

Folks, Darlings, you all out there, Think about what to do now. Set things up and have it so you can grab only one item cause you might NOT HAVE even that much time.

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23. RenoSoHill
2:24 AM GMT on May 20, 2012
Well, Patti - your are going to be real close to the Redwood when you come to the photo gathering in Gold Beach OR - not that far away. Don't worry about our hills out here - your stagecoach will go up and over before you know it!
Member Since: December 12, 2009 Posts: 9 Comments: 15149
22. seflagamma
3:38 PM GMT on March 17, 2012
Good morning Patti

Happy St Patti's Day !!!!

From another Patti

Rainbow image
St Patricks Day Graphics
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 318 Comments: 41257
21. Barefootontherocks
5:42 AM GMT on March 17, 2012
A good sturdy pair of shoes.


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19. RobDaHood
9:05 PM GMT on March 05, 2012
Some good ideas. I'm in south central Florida and we don't get terrible tornadoes but I would like to have a comfortable place to hide if we ever got another 'cane like Charley that decides to do something unforseen and it's too late to run! Most of the tornadoes we get are the ones that drop out of hurricanes and are short lived. Not exactly the time you want to be outside looking for a suitable ditch to jump in.

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 125 Comments: 44072
18. redagainPatti
8:46 PM GMT on March 05, 2012
Quoting RobDaHood:
The water table is too high here to have a basement, but we have a very large dutch barn here that would probably survive anything we are likely to encounter. I've given some thought to building a steel reinforced concrete room about 12x20 in the back of it and outfitting it with basic comforts and fold down bunks and storing emergency needs in there. There is already internet and phone, water and sewer in the building, it would be a simple matter to run a cable for sat tv. There is a generator there for the water well. Would be pricey, but cheaper than building from scratch. The worst part would be cleaning out the barn.

I understand what you mean about the water table. We have the same problem in my area. One answer has been to drop in a metal/plastic like room as deep as you can go and then lay a slab over it. The slab runs at least eight feet beyound the room and slowly rise up over the room that stick up out of the ground. This makes a dome like shape over the room instead of the flat ones we build our homes on.
Do some studying on it.. I understand there are many different ways to deal with this. Even to the point of bring dirt in to act kind of like a dam or something along the walls. Then the top is filled in with earth. Kind of like if you can not dig down.. Pack the earth up and then fill in the top.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 1629
17. RobDaHood
8:11 PM GMT on March 05, 2012
The water table is too high here to have a basement, but we have a very large dutch barn here that would probably survive anything we are likely to encounter. I've given some thought to building a steel reinforced concrete room about 12x20 in the back of it and outfitting it with basic comforts and fold down bunks and storing emergency needs in there. There is already internet and phone, water and sewer in the building, it would be a simple matter to run a cable for sat tv. There is a generator there for the water well. Would be pricey, but cheaper than building from scratch. The worst part would be cleaning out the barn.

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 125 Comments: 44072
16. MTWX
7:48 PM GMT on March 05, 2012
Nice to see you posting again Patti! You definitely pose an interesting question. The only thing I bring is my family. My interior room that we use as a shelter has a premade storm kit (large tupperware container filled with non perishable food, case of water, and first aid supplies), and is also the room I keep my waterproof fire safe with all my important documents. The NOAA weather radio is also located in this room. Having a family of 5, we need all the time we can get into our "safe room" ( oldest child is 6), so I don't worry about too much else. Yes I agree with the others that it would be nice to save heirlooms and photos, but they are just material things and not worth risking mine or my family's life over.
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1396
15. ycd0108
1:30 AM GMT on March 05, 2012
This stuff is well worth the time spent thinking and typing. One thing I imagine as the most upsetting loss thereof would be communications. A Swiss friend had just moved to New York a few weeks before the planes and was jogging in the neighborhood. He had no idea what had happened until he phoned his parents in Switzerland many hours later.
I speculate that all communication systems overload in times of crisis - we hear few or no updates from people near any significant event for very good reasons: electrical power and land lines are damaged and cellular systems, if the hardware survives, are overloaded.
I'm thinking of some form of walkytalky - VHF or even CB radio:
http://www.bizrate.com/two-way-radios/walkie-talk ie/
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 230 Comments: 6449
14. Skyepony (Mod)
12:22 AM GMT on March 05, 2012
So glad y'all didn't get pummeled. Sounded scary.

We had a long tracking tornado come at us in the last year or two. It really looked no worse than a F1 coming. Husband was home. Got the kids in the closet. They grabbed a few favorites on the way. I ran out to lock in the ponies & do a little weather spotting. It passed barely north & was lifting over my immediate neighbor's as it went by. Was an F0 at that point.

We so rarely get strong tornadoes & this house isn't designed to take one. Had it been a stronger tornado I'd have loaded up & drove away or got in the culvert (if the water wasn't high).

I like Ylee's idea of building something (I so hope you pursue it). I've played with the idea..maybe a sand bag or berm, root cellar/fort/playhouse thing.

Y'all about talked me into the bug out bag. I've put them together when fire danger is high. Could just keep it in the strong trunk we use during hurricanes. We keep it in the hall of the front door during hurricanes..so if the house was destroyed chances are the emergency stash might could be recovered.

If I was to grab something after the kids, cat (ponies & their papers if I was driving, with kids on the hens) it would be my purse. Back up drive & stuff is in a fire proof box. This house maybe more likely to burn down than blow down.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 439 Comments: 44302
13. redagainPatti
12:00 AM GMT on March 05, 2012
Hey Beachfoxx, Proserpine, Seflagamma!! hugs to you all!
I dont think of photos anymore as I have all backed up on my computer, Time Machine, my cellphone, and on my photo account at Flickr. I wear my cellphone on my shoulder where sometimes it has slipped down into the bar... oh well.. I did not count it as an item since I was wearing it... I really took the bottle of water for the baby.

RobDaHood and Shoreacres, hello! Love the bug out bag and abandon ship bag idea. I have a box in my car and another in the house of needed items such as first aid stuff and back up meds. In the end as I went into the safe room, I left my travel bag behind as I felt the room was too small. I did push it with the toys under the six year old's bed however as I told him it was time to head on to the safe room.

OGal - hugs! Good to see you!

ShenValleyFlyFish - thanks for sharing the song - I have never heard it before..

LowerCal - yes, I really am glad to know her. Met her the first time at a tail gate party at a football game. She is a special soul.

ycd0108 - LOL! your pants! .. Good one cause you have good pockets!

Ylee - Do some thinking and get the place located asap! I used to live in a trailer and my first plan was to get out to a building open to the public for just that reason. One time, I could not make it out and we went under a metal bed with a ton of pillows. While the trailer shook hard and photos/stuff fell off the walls.. we were ok.
I got a real home a few years later which I picked out because of the center hallway and rooms layout. On the second day as we were still moving in, storms rolled over our town and we ducked.

Folks think about what to do now. Set things up and have it so you can grab only one item cause you might NOT HAVE even that much time.

Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 1629
12. redagainPatti
11:07 PM GMT on March 04, 2012
Good feedback from you all. I hope you all give some thinking time as to what to do. You can move stuff ahead of time if you see things setting up for bad weather in the next few days... BUT you do need a plan. Do not wait till the warning goes out... !!!!
One thing more my friend did do was to bring the dog carrier into the room next door to where we were sitting but not right into the same room as it was too small. She did move a few things out where she was worried about stuff falling off the high shelf. Finally she moved all of us into the room as we lined up with our different one items to take in there. She had a plan all set up and it made things move so smoothly and fast. It also help kept the kids calm. They all knew their plan as their parents had talked and still talk to them about picking out the best thing to take with them into the small area.
THEIR plan seems to be to talk it out with the kids before the weather even thinks about getting bad. They must have talked about what could happen because as the mom was moving things off the high shelf, the young six year old son was in his bedroom moving his fav toys down off of high shelf down to under his bad and table.
I loved watching the action as the eight year old looked about and picked her photo up, the three year going to the door and greeting her little playmate from down the street. Then she showed him the way to the safe room as she held his hand.
All family members but for the ten month year old, had a part to play. Even me when the mom told me to fill the bottle with warm water. I made sure I had my cell phone and all five kids were inside with their moms as I went to the corner I was told to sit in. The father was the last and he closed the door.

During our time, we listened to a news station who did not know they were on the air. They made comments to each other which would had never been sent out.. so darn funny! I know there were some red faces later but they were cool to listen to ... and hear their un edited comments about the weather and sometimes somebody they knew.. Well we were at times laughing and the kids played the computer games and the oldest read a book.
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 1629
11. Ylee
10:44 AM GMT on March 04, 2012
After the events of yesterday, I'm giving serious thought to a storm shelter. Since I live in a doublewide, having a safe room isn't an opion since there's nothing solid to bolt it down to. A buried storm shelter is the only real option, one big enough for ten, in case my neighbors, who also live in a doublewide, need some place to go. I'd make sure there was battery-powered LED lights in it, with fresh water, a first aid kit, and a multiband radio with fresh batteries. If I had a half an hour, our filing cabinet and computer would go, with some clothes for everyone, some food and our two cats and the bearded dragon. If it was five minutes, it'd be down to the backup hard drive, the checkbook, the cats, if they could be found, and the dragon.
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 134 Comments: 24068
10. ycd0108
7:44 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
One item, eh?
I assume this one item is on top of what you are wearing at the time. I generally wear work trousers with a pencil, some electrician's tape (that's my first aid kit) and an Olfa utility knife in a pocket. iPod (missing just now) is usually in a back pocket.
So I guess my one item would be my trousers.
Depending on the severity of the warning, and assuming I could grab something else since I was fully clothed I might grab a bottle of booze in worst case.
'Course if there were children sheltering with me I would not be smoking but the tobacco would come with me anyway and the lighter or matches can usually be found in one of my vest pockets.
Che Guevera said there are really only two items you need to supply for a revolutionary army:
1) Tobacco
2) Shoe leather
Once the immediate need for secure shelter is past we come to Shore's question above: Where to go? I guess in that portion I'd grab the chainsaw and try to round up my "Best Beloveds".
I experienced on significant earthquake on the second floor of an apartment building. Never even had time to decide which way to run before it was over.
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9. LowerCal
6:56 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
Patti, I'm glad to hear you all had a good plan and came through safe. What a wise mother your friend is. Giving each of the children a responsibility and granting them discretion in executing it.

If I had to go to a little safe room right now I'd take:
the flash drive for important data backup from my desktop computer (contact info, document scans, browser bookmarks, digital photos, etc.);
a small bag with important paper documents (birth cert., army discharge, etc.);
and my web capable cell phone (the cell phone battery lasts days and the laptop lasts hours).
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8. ShenValleyFlyFish
6:35 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
For some reason this post made me think of this song:

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7. OGal
5:08 PM GMT on March 03, 2012

Patti I am so impressed. It sounds like my hurricane plan minus the kids. I have a laundry room that serves as our go to place. Each inch has special things to go there. If we get any storm warnings that is where we head, Steve and I, the two kitties and lab Zoe. We don't mess around. A warning is a warning.

Glad you guys are all ok. The drill pays off big time. Take care and let's hope this is all of the storms for this spring, but I don't think so.

Thank you for your interesting post.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 72 Comments: 19224
6. RobDaHood
4:46 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
Good idea for a blog. Gets folks thinking about the one thing they can't do without or the one thing that would be most useful. Problem is most of us have a lot of things that we wouldn't want to do without. I learned this after a couple really bad hurricane seasons. We all know to keep some water and food on hand, but what if you had to abandon your home or your home and emergency supplies were destroyed?

One thing that folks really hate to lose is photos and videos. If you have a bug out bag ready, or as shore calls it an abandon ship bag, you can copy all your digital files to DVDs or flash drives along with scans of older photos and important documents and stick them in the bag without sacrificing much space.

Having such a kit ready to go if needed doesn't make you a doomsday nut, it just means that you realize that there are lots of scenarios, not all far fetched, in which you might need to leave your home and are in a better position to make that call when needed.
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5. shoreacres
4:32 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
I'm slowly putting together the land equivalent of an abandon ship bag, that I can just grab as I go out the door. I'd take the bag, and Dixie Rose.

Of course, then there's the problem of where to go. There really isn't a good place. I'm on the second floor of an apartment building. The apartment clubhouse is no good - it's all glass. In the end I might be just as well off to stay here and get in the front closet. The construction is poured concrete, and its new enough to have been built to current hurricane standards, so who knows? If I was out and about I'd come home anyway if I could, to get Dixie Rose.

I don't even know anyone in Houston with a basement! I'm sure they're around, but I've never come across one.
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4. RobDaHood
4:18 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
My "Bug out Bag"

A large pack that has the basics for 3 days or more survival and personal defense including a real good first aid kit, food, and water. There is also a place in it to slide the laptop and a portable hard drive that has all my really important stuff on it. (need the laptop to see what's going on outside)

If the phone counts as a second item I'd clip it to the dog's collar and have him carry it. (he's not much into chew toys anyway)

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 125 Comments: 44072
3. seflagamma
4:06 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
Hi Patti,

In old days I would have grabbed a few photo albums... maybe some heirlooms....

but I think today, I would grab my cellphone and purse... and would hope my computer was safe..(I don't have a laptop or Ipad yet)

if it is a quick seconds only rush,
I would grab Harley and/or any grandchild hanging around
and get them to safety..
everything else is just stuff...

Happy Saturday to you.
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2. Proserpina
2:04 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
I would take my pocketbook (where my cell phone is)and a photo of my sons and grandchildren.

I am listening to the news and it is just horrible how many places were hit, the death of at least 31 people, etc. Prayers of thanks for sparing so many, prayers for the dead, prayers for those affected.

Take care Patti.
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1. Beachfoxx
2:02 PM GMT on March 03, 2012
Hi Patti...
Glad you are safe.
I would take either my laptop or iPad.
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The nick, redagain is short for the words - "Redwoods again". It stands for a goal to sleep again in a tent under the Redwood Trees in northern Ca.

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