Prepared for a winter storm

Why do we let unexpected problems with weather, electricity, and other little things throw our routines in the trash?

I can tell you, it is not a perfect world. One little thing out of whack throws a monkey wrench into our plan. Winter is almost here; with this season, comes snow, school closings, ice storms and power outages. Are you prepared with plan B?

Let's pretend for a minute – some of you will not have to pretend at all – you have lived it. OK your power goes out and you have no heat, no hot water, no stove and you can't stay home because it is very cold. So you go to the neighbors, because they have a fireplace, but the family is still running in and out of the house.
After the power comes back on, your home is trashed. WHY? You have not been cooking, washing dishes, taking baths or watching TV. You have not really even been at home, except to run in and out getting things.
Here is why your home became trashed! Everyone reverted back to your days of CHAOS. They thought that since there was no power, there was no power – discipline in our home. Routines are a discipline. So without power, we didn't need routines, because we couldn't adhere to them anyway. FREE FOR ALL. Well if your routines were habit, you would not have been able to toss them out into the snow so fast.

Our biggest problem is picking up after ourselves. Without our routines, we do not police our hotspots, keep our sink clean or keep the children on track with their routines.

So when the storm hits, the kids are out of school, and you are without power, you still have sunlight (during the day). Don't allow the fact that there is a little problem to stand in your way of doing things like you have been doing for months. You want a perfect world and most days are not like this at all. Enjoy the challenge of feeding your family with a buddy burner.  If you were in scouts, you know what I am talking about. Play games by flashlight, read to them, just remember to stay calm and don't let your home get panicked. You are still in charge.

Plan B is like being on a camping trip for me. I love to make do with what ever I have. Since we live in the country and have our own water system, we have to be prepared. So we have some bottles of water in the basement for making coffee, washing our hair, sponge baths and cooking.  We also have two fireplaces so we can keep warm if needed.
There are dutch ovens for cooking in the fireplace and a real perk coffee maker. We also have a gas grill on the back deck. So if the freezer was without power for more than 2 days, we would have to start cooking up a storm. Knowing what you can do and how to do it is part of not getting panicked.

Do you have an emergency backup plan in your home? Think about this for a little while and see exactly what you would do in case of a power outage.

Do you know where your flashlights are? Can you find them in the dark?
Do you have a weather radio, or battery operated radio for an emergency channel?
How about extra water for drinking and minimal bathing?
Do you have an alternate way to heat your home?
How about to cook? And the pot and pans to do it with?
Do you know about safety in the house with kerosene heaters, grills and candles?
Do you have a fire extinguisher handy?
Do you have plenty of blankets, hats and gloves?

Just a little planning can keep you from pulling your hair out after the crisis is over. Learn to adapt and you will be so pleased the next time there is a weather emergency.

Get ready for a storm; you will be glad you did!
For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at  www.FlyLady.netor her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2010 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.

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