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Monday, May 10, 2010

Be prepared (for a giveaway!)

When I was a freshman in high school, our house was hit by a tornado.

Well, I don't know if that's exactly accurate. There was a tornado warning and the roof over my bedroom was torn off by high winds, knocking part of the chimney into my parents bedroom, before the remnants of roof came to rest in the neighbor's yard. But whether it was actually tornadic activity or just high winds associated with it, I don't know. But it's easier (and more dramatic) to say "my house was hit by a tornado."

The events of that afternoon are a little fuzzy. I remember we were gathered in the laundry room in the basement. I remember that we didn't even realize the roof was gone on that part of the house until the neighbor came to tell us. And I remember that the fire department came to nail tarps down over the roof.

My memory may be a little fuzzy, but my dislike of those crazy spring thunderstorms lives on. So when the folks at Energizer asked if I'd like to blog about their Keep Safe. Keep Going emergency power kit, I didn't have to think twice.

Energizer has teamed up with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) to promote severe weather preparedness and home safety. Every year, more than 15,000 home fires are caused by candles, many of which are lit when the power goes out in a storm.

The three organizations are encouraging people to be prepared for power outages (weather-related or not) by having back-up power supplies, flashlights and lanterns on hand.

They suggest to have the following in an Emergency Power Kit:
  • Battery-powered or crank radio
  • Plenty of extra batteries, including specialty batteries that power critical things such as hearing aids and blood glucose and blood pressure monitors
  • Flashlight (one for each member of the family is a great idea)
  • Battery-powered cell phone charger
(Of course, I'm thinking batteries to power a small DVD player are a must for parents with kids likely to go stir crazy 10 minutes after the power goes out.)

And it just so happens, that the list of things Energizer and friends recommend is exactly what came in my very own Energizer Keep Safe. Keep Going emergency power kit. Check it out:

emergency kit

Plus, it came with a handy drawstring bag to keep all that emergency gear together in one place.

Now, you might be thinking, "well, isn't that nice for you."

But it could be nice for you, too. Because the Energizer folks will give an Energizer Keep Safe. Keep Going emergency power kit to one lucky 4th Frog reader. Even better, they'll send it directly to you so you don't have to wait for me to get to the post office. Which is a good thing, because I definitely fail at the U.S. Postal Service.

There are two ways to enter this giveaway:
  1. Leave a comment on this entry and tell me about your worst weather-related disaster.
  2. Visit the 4th Frog Facebook page and leave a comment there on the entry about this giveaway.
On Thursday night at 8pm EDT, I'll use the random number generator to choose the lucky winner and post his/her name in my Friday Fragments post next Friday. Simple, huh?

While you're waiting for your emergency power kit to arrive, Energizer also suggests you stock up on water and nonperishable food and to have copies of important documents such as medical records and insurance papers. For more information on being prepared in a storm, visit


babybeezymom said...

Oh lord..You have given me one more thing to worry about. Gotta love the midwest!

Shauna said...

I'm new to bad weather, since in California we only had earthquakes and droughts.

But here we get crazy thunderstorms and we've had a few tornado warnings, and the power goes out A LOT. With the new baby coming, we actually started an emergency kit, which is pretty sparse right now and just has copies of important documents, and canned food for the animals, but we're starting somewhere!

Vicki aka Diva Mom said...

Mid-December. Hot water heater dying. Enough commented!

Anonymous said...

Labor day 2003. I knew we off to a bad wkd when my husband took some coworkers on a bike ride and one of the men died of a heart attack. John was spent with shock and sadness but late night it rained and rained and the sewage swelled into basements around our neighborhood. I was calf deep in sewer water and a few months pregnant. John went to help neighbors with a finished basement as I tried to determine what to salvage as Fisher Price toys floated around in yuck. Not sure why I bothered to go upstairs to puke. Had never heard of a backflow preventor but I can still tell you what it costs 7yrs later.

Sharon said...

I mentioned this on FB, but adding it here, too:
When I was maybe 8 or 9 years old, we were in Oklahoma w/ my dad for business. It was my parents, my brother & myself.
We were staying at a Holiday Inn, driving back from the store to the hotel, and police offers were in the middle of the road. Sirens were going off. They told us to get to our place IMMEDIATELY and seek shelter.
We got there asap, and the staff had us all go to the restaurant section, and we had the tables lifted up so we were crouched down under them.
I lived in MI at the time, so we weren't foreign to this weather, but it was my first time where we were IN it.
Too scary for me.

Jessica McCoy said...

I could use this now that it's tornado season here in TX.

I've been through several tornados but never had actual damage done to my house. We've had trees ripped up and sheet metal put right through the middle of a tree (crazy!).

My worst disaster experience though was when we were at a car show a micro burst hit (very bad straight line winds) and about 200 people were gathered in the pavalions holding onto the metal beams. We thought it was a tornado. Huge metal barrels that places use as trash cans were being hurled across the car show area. Very scary!

Anonymous said...

I was at Girl Scout camp. I was about 10 at the time. It was the middle of the night and when a storm blew up and a tornado touched down within just a few miles of the forest where we were camping. They rushed us through the camp, over a bridge that spanned one of those deep creek gullies and into the dining hall where we all sat on the floor and waited for the thunder and lightening to pass. My main memory was that crashing thunder rumbling through the trees while we were stumbling through the pitch darkness. I have hated thunder ever since.

Mickey B said...

It was June 1985 and we lived in western PA.It was the night of my brother's high school graduation. My parents had recently gotten divorced and we were living a town away. When getting ready we lost power, we thought it was just a regular storm no big deal. So we drove to the high school, the sky was eerie and dark, again thought it was just a spring storm. At the school the power went out and they had to use the backup generators for the commencement. When it was over we left, the sky had lightened and we went to celebrate. It wasn't until the next day that we found out that several tornados had gone through the area - one very close to the school.

Missy said...

Well, my worst weather MEMORY was when I was in elementary school and my parents' Sunday School class had a cookout. We were out in the country and a tornado warning or watch came out. It started raining so everyone ran for the garage. Mom told me if I saw a tornado, to run to the ditch and get as low as I could. My fifth-grade brain began to think....."which would be worse, drowning in a ditch or being carried off by a tornado?" Thankfully even though I've grown up in the midwest, I don't have any actual weather horror stories.

Cat said...

Hurricane Katrina. That was a bad week without power, roads blocked, etc. But at least I wasn't in New Orleans. I'm a coastal kid, so I can list the hurricanes I've been through, lol. Non-weather related, I was in DC for 9/11. That was emergency-kit worthy... wound up hiding in a basement all day with all the bottled water my roommate and I could gather. Scary times.

Amy's Mom said...

In addition to the tornado/high wind that tore off the roof, we had our worst weather incident about 18 mos. ago here in Ohio. Since Amy no longer lives here, she didn't experience it. It was the severe high wind storm that hit various parts of the area. We were without power for about 8 days. Others were much longer. Living "out in the country" we have a well and septic system. So when the power goes out, so does
our water supply. It was odd, because both of our jobs and the school had power, so during the day, things were pretty normal. Since LOTS of people were affected, the groceries, who still had power, were sold out of all batteries,and bags of ice and flashlights. Being withour water meants 3 important things: 1. no drinking water (so we refilled empty water jugs at work); 2. no showers (Thanks to the YMCA about 1/2 mile down the road- they let those without power come in to shower!) and 3. no ability to flush! (Since we have a pond in the back yard, we would "fetch a pail of water" to dump into the toilet and then it flushed!)
So now, if there is ever a threat of severe weather, in addition to having the nifty Everyready safety kit type of supplies, I run to the bathroom to fill the bathtub with water. Much easier to retrieve a bucketful of water there than going "out to the back 40."