Weathering the Storms

Believe it or not, Oklahoma does have the occasional snow.  Most times, (like right now) we have ice storms.  Oklahoma is an incredible place, and I’ve heard it called everything from the bi-polar state (never know whether it’s going to be good or bad, but if you don’t like it, just wait a minute, it’ll change) to just plain miserable (tornadoes, ice-storms, droughts and now earthquakes).   For me and a few other folks though, this magical intersection of all of the nation’s weirdness and wonder is home and none could be better.  I love Oklahoma for its amazing diversity of– well, everything.

We’ve got hills, plains, salt flats, lakes, rivers, Conifer forest, deciduous forest– well, you get the picture.  Of course there are lifeforms to fill all of these habitats.  Oh, there are places I’d like to see, but home will always be here.

So I’ll weather the ice storms, the tornadoes and the (teensy) earthquakes.  It keeps you on your toes.  Where I grew up in the country, we learned about preparedness long before it was a buzzword.  We called it common sense.  More likely than not, if one lives here long enough, they’ll get to use those fancy survival skills they learned on all those websites, and find out if they work or not, or if they’re more trouble than they’re worth.

My husband Tom and I just keep a little by (some food, appropriate clothing, a little water) for hard times, keep as fit as possible, (ahem)–

And we learn and practice basic skills.  Tom and I consider ourselves still learning when it comes to self sufficiency.  We work a garden just about every year with varying success, I learn more every day about wildcrafting and making clean food choices.  suffice it to say, Oklahoma’s diversity can be much more than a challenge.It is also extremely rich and rewarding.  I recently got to visit one of our state treasures, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, run by The Nature Conservancy.  We seriously need to work on promoting more places like this here.

Back on topic, however, there are really only a few things one needs to ride out an Oklahoma Ice storm well, The main thing is a source of heat that does not depend on electricity.   After that, a source of water that won’t freeze or stored water, appropriate clothing, some form of lighting that doesn’t require electricity, and the rest is all just wine and cheese.

Worried about the food in your fridge?  Box up what you can and take it out to the car, the garage, the shed, or any other unheated location.  It’ll be fine.  It might be frozen, but it can be defrosted by that source of non-electric heat.

Kids bored? Well, teenagers might be hard to please, but we always made it family board game time.  Usually with some form of baked treats and hot chocolate.  If nothing else keep a deck of cards and a game of Yahtzee or dominoes.  If it sounds basic, it is but these are some of my fondest memories with my folks.  The main goal is to keep things fun and light.

Add a sense of mystery or adventure by setting back a couple of great reads.  Then, take turns reading chapters, or just read to the kids.  It really is a lot more fun than you’d think, especially with a swashbuckling tale or a creepy one.

Of course there are a few great modern tips to keep in mind, like fully charged cell phones, laptops, weather radios and more.  My favorite so far is the Cobra Marine radio.  We bought a pair for our business, but they’ve been a real comfort and they are waterproof and have a built in flotation device (for the radio, not people), and best of all they really work.  I’ve had problems in the past with supposed weather radios that lost signal or failed to find one in the first place.  These work spot on every time.

A lot of folks (and I was one of them at first) feel the need to store up mass quantities of everything for something that might happen in the future.  I (and again many others) still feel that there is an imminent event in the future that will call for all the preparedness skills we can learn.  Now, I just place priority on the skills.  The rewards will come with helping each other to make it through.

In the eighties we were taught that any catastrophic disaster (then nukes) would set everyone against one another, and violence would be the only way to survive.  I no longer adhere to this belief, preferring to believe that sharing protection and knowledge, building on skills and bartering will win the day.

For now, thankfully, we just have to weather the storms.  Hold one another and be safe, everyone!