The Crazy Suburban Mom: Planning and disasters and disastrous planning

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Planning and disasters and disastrous planning

What a week.   Hurricane Sandy blew in last Monday and my power held out about two hours max.  I've lost power before but never more then a few hours so I was totally unprepared for unending cold during daylight and freezing all night in the dark for days on end.

As surprising as that was... I was physically ill to find I'd lost the use of my iPhone (And seriously guys,  try and call 911 to report hearing a smoke alarm in the empty house next door at 5 a.m. without coverage.  And yes, that happened).  If I needed to use my phone I had to drive several miles for a signal....  Not entirely unpleasant, I spent a lot of the week in my car.

God bless seat heaters....

For all my Filofaxes and obsessive life planning after the power went off my days turned into a multiple deck version of 52 cards pick-up.  


I wrote in my Filofax everyday to keep some sense of normalcy.  Since I had no idea how each day would go I mostly jotted down milestones on my Dodo  week on two pages insert.   


Mostly things like the number of days without power and when I threw out the food in my fridge... And ultimately all the stuff in the freezer too.

But after five days of it my family (and Ginger) were at their breaking point and we went to stay with generator-owning friends in Pennsylvania.   Oddly, Ventura was nonplussed by the cold.  Most greyhounds are very sensitive to the cold, some even wear pajamas at night but Ventura wants nothing to do with a coat in the winter much less pajamas in the house.

Ginger on the other hand at twenty years old has very little vision or hearing and never liked the cold.  When she wasn't shaking, she was pacing and peeing everywhere.

Getting away was very welcome by Friday.  Only two stores were open at that point (one without power for dry goods only), we didn't have any food left, and if I had to stay in this dark house  the night of the time change (where you add one hour) I would seriously have lost my mind.

My a5 Malden #filofax enjoying the hearth, warm and toasty at last

Here is Mr. Malden warming his rings in front of a roaring fire on arriving at our destination.

Dawn is a beautiful thing after a warm cozy night. #sandy #nothankstoPSEandG

After sleeping my first warm night everything looked beautiful again.  I took this picture at dawn on Saturday.

A beautiful lace covered window

And this warm, sunny one through a lace curtain.  We left Sunday afternoon and didn't know if we had power or not.  As we got closer to home the traffic signals were up and running again (they'd all been knocked out) and while we knew that was encouraging everyone was still worried.


  Thankfully the power was on.


I realized several things after a few days and at the top of the list was dealing with this disaster. Everything was harder then it had to be because of the way I organize my life.  Nature disasters are difficult as best to deal with but the whole process would have been smoother if I didn't have so much stuff and kept 'like things' together. 

The above list was something  I worked on during my 168 hours without power.  It's the beginning of a plan, things that would have made finding what I needed so much easier.

emergency filofax list

I realized after I made the emergency list, I hadn't a clue where most of this was and it freaked me out a lot.  

My current plan is to tackle my major problem first.  Getting all related things together so I know where things are because knowing you have four flashlights and a battery operated radio is useless if you can't find them.  

I plan to do posts on the specifics as I tackle them and I hope you will benefit in some way from them, perhaps even giving some thought to preparing an emergency bag.  

Thanks to everyone who sent me good wishes and offered to do things / send things to me.  Your kindness was just overwhelming, I'll forever be grateful.   

While things still feel unsettled and life isn't quite back to normal (Ben's college is still closed, my father has yet to get his power back, many gas stations don't have gas... Etc. more bad things) and we still have an empty fridge....We are doing fine now.

Ben and #ventura have a great big belly laugh

Everyone is back to smiling...


Pallavi 11/6/12, 12:40 PM  

Wow sorry to hear about your tough times..but i'm glad that you, your family, and Mr. Malden made it! I think many people fall into the same boat as you with not knowing where stuff is in an emergency..but it would be great to see what you come up topic..How's the pocket Rio? I'm totally obsessed with it and actually tried to buy one myself and it was sold out after I paid for it on a website now I have a pink pocket finsbury instead. I've decided to get a mini one next and would love for you to to post some more detailed pictures or a video on your mini piazza if possible. Hope you get back to your normal life soon xoxo

Tracy Reinhardt 11/6/12, 1:58 PM  

Pallavi - My rio is doing great as a wallet. I've seen the other colors come up on ebay but never the pink one - think I've seen the cream and green one. Haven't used the piazza but maybe I'll do another post on the rio?

Lord Dodo 11/6/12, 3:36 PM  

Tracy, so pleased things are returning to normal for you now. I just cannot imagine how it must have been - we've seen the footage on TV but it is far from the touched to see how the Dodo Pad played its part and I hope was a small help in keeping you smiling. x

Tracy Reinhardt 11/6/12, 4:17 PM  

Lord Dodo, Theres something comforting about maintaining the things that you do when chaos is all over... And it doesn't hurt if there's some fun to be had at the same time! Thanks for the smiles :)


Kristin Peters 11/6/12, 8:16 PM  

I was really worried about you when you stopped posting. Hate to hear how bad it was but at least you had a place to go. Do you need anything? I am not sure how much help I would be out here but I could buy and have it delivered.

Lin 11/6/12, 8:34 PM  

Do you need anything? Can I send you anything??

How is Ginger??

Pallavi 11/6/12, 10:48 PM  

Any post you do is greatly appreciated I love how you decorate all of your pages. Your Filofaxes are so inspiring! Thanks for taking the time to upload. I have been using my pocket finsbury as a wallet but it barely fits in my purse so I'll have to keep it at home and invest in a mini size. But I do love my filo thanks to you and your YouTube video for introducing me to them. :) I have also placed an order at yozoCraft and can't wait to get it!

Tracy Reinhardt 11/7/12, 10:27 AM  

Kristin, It felt weird on this end too, I've never felt so disconnected! And we're fine now but thank you for the offer


Tracy Reinhardt 11/7/12, 10:29 AM  

Lin, Ginger was herself the second we walked into the house and it was warm! We're good on this end...stores are opening, mail is being delivered...the post office is open again ... At&t seems to have the network back together :)

Thanks so much for the chatting over the last week. Made me feel human :)

mstraat 11/7/12, 1:39 PM  

I am glad you all are ok. Don't beat yourself up too much about deficient disaster planning. If you haven't done it before, some stuff is hard to anticipate though it seems obvious later. Like, add a crank can opener to your list. Cause if electricity doesn't work and all you have is an electric one. . .not that I am speaking from experience or anything.

Tracy Reinhardt 11/8/12, 9:15 AM  

Mstraat,Yes! Definitely a can opener. The things you don't realize are important...


LJ 11/10/12, 1:19 AM  

So glad you all weathered Sandy and came out the other end OK xxx

Shabby Vintage Junk 11/16/12, 6:50 PM  

Tracy I'm happy to hear you're all OK....Lets hope there is NEVER a next time....But if there is....I'm sure you'll have prepared yourself....!!!!!


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