Storm Savvy on a Shoestring

I hope that got your attention.  As our climate changes more and more, different areas will be subjected to more and more severe weather threats and events.  When you are poor, these events cause even more complications than just trying to get by already does.  Why?  Ok, here we go.

No Transportation:  Almost the first thing I notice in the poor neighborhoods like mine is lack of dependable transportation.  How do you get to a safer place then?  A car?  You may have a car, but it must be worth less than $1000.00 or it suddenly becomes a “salable asset” to the government and counts against any aid you might get.  You may have a junk car, but no gas money.  Gas averages .25-.45$ higher in the poorer areas of any American city.  They are few and far between and can charge what they like, sort of how the few grocery stores do the same.  Ok, the bus, on a Sunday?  Maybe.  Other days, early morning or late evening for decent layovers and you WILL have a layover otherwise plan on spending a few hours getting to a storm shelter/cooling shelter/warming area.

No Food:  See above for part of the reason, then think about what a storm will do to your monthly trek to the food bank/pantry or the Social Services office.  Miss an appointment with them and they don’t care if they were in the basement when your appointment was supposed to happen, YOU should have been there.

No Shelter: Most housing in large parts of the US are not built with storm shelters or even basements anymore.  More modern houses are built of staples and 2×2’s than anything that might hold together over your head. Gods forbid if you are in a trailer park!  What can you do?  Go to the inmost room in your house that has no windows, put a mattress over you as you lay NEXT to a table or other sturdy furniture.  If the inmost room is a bathroom, lay in the bathtub and pull the mattress over you (I have a crib mattress for this) or put your pillows and blankets in the tub to cover you.

No Warning:  Watch the skies and the news.  Most severe weather threats are able to be fairly reliably predicted a few days in advance.  If you have a free phone from the government, you can get weather alerts on that.  Go to your local fire department and get smoke/CO2 detectors and sometimes weather radios for free.  They’ll even replace your batteries 2x a year.  Just remember to make sure they work in your house.

No Supplies: You can call the American Red Cross and ask for a storm kit.  Sometimes they have them.  Call your local TV station and ask about storm/severe weather kit availability too.  Or, grab a small suitcase, hit a thrift shop or your closet and put in 3 prs of socks, pr of tennis shoes, 2 shirts, 1 jeans, toothbrush/paste, 5 days worth of your MUST have meds (change them out every six months) and you can ask your pharmacist for help in doing this, a good one will make you up a pill pack for your “go bag”.  Add small flashlight, extra batteries, radio, 2 candles and some waterproofed matches (dip the heads in melted wax) and a gallon of water and a box of granola bars or a few canned goods.  Pet food is nice if you have pets to care for, but this is bare bones.  Put this suitcase somewhere you can get to it easily but out of your everyday pathways.  Behind my front door has always worked for me so far.  Good luck, stay alert and shoot me some comments or questions.



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