The news has been full of reports about the derecho storms that blew across the country this weekend. These storms blow in like mini hurricanes with much less warning.

Sonny and I and my cousin John were just leaving an auction when the storm hit. High winds between 60 and 80 mph blew up dust devils and ripped branches from the trees throwing them across the roads like discarded trash. Three times we had to turn around because of fallen trees across the road ways, forcing us to find alternate routes to get home. Electricity, phone and internet were all down.

Crews quickly cleared the roads of fallen trees. The phone lines are still unreliable and it could be days before the power lines are repaired. At least the internet was back on line within a few hours and we were able to contact family.

These storms should be a wake up call for people to be prepared. Our house is prepared, but we were not prepared in our car if we were unable to get home. We should have at least had a flashlight, crackers or snacks, water, and blanket. What if we had had to walk miles to get home?

It surprised me how unprepared people have been, especially here where it is not uncommon for power to be out. Winter and summer storms reek havoc with the power lines.

The day after the storm, my cousin went into town. People were in a panic and he heard comments of how they had no way to cook, no gas in their cars and didn’t know what to do. With the power outage gas stations could not pump gas, stores were unable to sell goods because some of them had no back up generators. What would you do if FEMA was unable to come help you? I know there are catastrophes where no amount of prep will help and I understand that, but I don’t understand how people can be completely caught off guard when they know serious thunderstorms are on their way.

Number one, have a generator and extra gas if you can. I know a generator is an expensive item but it could be a life saver for your family.

Have some food in your pantry that requires no cooking. Spam, sardines, canned fruit, baked beans, crackers, peanut butter. If you know a serious storm is on its way and may knock out power, boil some eggs, fill your sinks and tub with water, ( my mom taught me this and she still does it to this day). Fill up water jugs.

Never let your gas tank get below a half of tank of gas and always have some cash on hand. When power is out so are the ATMs and most banks. A little prep is better than no prep. Think long term. What would you do if power was out for weeks instead of days. What would you do if all communication systems were down? These are all possibilities and there may not be anyone there to help you.

Be ready to help others or even help get them prepared such as an elderly neighbor. Usually power outages are just an inconvenience for a few days, what happens when its long term? Think about it. Don’t be left out in the cold or heat because you didn’t at least prepare a little. Don’t be the person scrambling to get a few gallons of gas before the gas station runs out, which is what happened here in town. Don’t wrestle someone in the Walmart aisle over the last gallon of bottled water.

There will be more bad storms this summer, and trust me our car will be better prepared. You just never know when a catastrophe could hit. Are you ready?



  1. More than most but still could have been better. Short on gas for the generator but we have connections with the local gas station (my husband is an employee) and we were able to get gas even when he had to quit selling to others because of running so low. They are using our generator to pump gas We were loaned a smaller one by another employee. It’s not quite big enough (we have to alternate what is plugged in) but is worth the trade-off to be able to get gas!

    • Sonny says:

      We have 15 gallons of gas. The sun has been shining here so we have not had to use the generator (solar powered). Clarksburg now has power but it is still a 70 mile round trip.

  2. Judi says:

    The week before Memorial Day, VA has a tax free period when you can buy “Hurricane” stuff! Having ridden out a few, Vanna and I are ready for whoever comes blowing by this season!!!LOL This year is gonna be even better for us, we bought a gas grill with a side burner! Gotta have my coffee!!!!(Even if its instant!)So glad you guys are ok!!!Its amazing how people just dont listen!!!!

  3. James Bates says:

    I thought you all were off the grid? I hope everything is getting better for u all!

    • Sonny says:

      Jim, we are off-grid 100%. The loss of electricity has not directly impacted us but we have felt the indirect impact in the county. The stores were closed, no gasoline for friends who are using generators, water for others. It is Wednesday and our area is still without power.

  4. Suzie says:

    I would hope that this storm is a wake up call for our region. Access to water is taken for granted by so many. After all, in our homes we don’t need electric to turn on a faucet. Yet our wells depend on electric pumps and few of us have those old hand pumps. Even in municipalities, electric is needed to run the water plants.

    We tend to prepare a little better in these parts for winter. It’s time to look at our dependence on all resources – food, water, fuel – more carefully.

  5. Holly says:

    I am very sympathetic for those who lost water, because like Suzie mentioned above, very few people can pump water by hand anymore. For those who only lost electricity, all you need is a little creativity and some back-to-basics skills and you can survive. For instance, take a shower in your backyard using a water hose that sat in the sun all day. I also blogged about my family’s experience of going without electricity for a week.

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