We dont live too far from Joplin and the past couple weeks have been stressfull. We have had storm after storm with tornados and high winds to the north, south, east and west of us and we stay glued to the NEXRAD radar display. We have had hail and heavy rain and the temps today didnt get out of the mid 50s but compared to the folks in the communities that got hit by these terrible storms we are doing well with little damage other than an over soaked yard, pasture and garden. I am proud of this part of Missouri for their giving spirit, their perserverance, and the way the entire area has come together in this time of great destruction and loss. People are lending their time and giving their blood (literally) and what little money they have to help their fellow Missourians of which we are proud to be in that group.
Our phones were out for days and we learned that its not enough to have a storm shelter, a well stocked pantry, reserve water and backup generator....we need a means of communication to the outside world (SATCOM or my preference HAM radio) and we need a more sophisticated weather station on site since we cant rely on our ability to receive communications. And some simple things (I know starting a sentence with "And" is a no no but its my blog and I am tired) like having important papers in a heavy waterproof safe are equally important. We hope to never experience any calamity like what has happened to Joplin but we live in uncertain times..weather wise, economically, and politically and we strive to be as self sufficient and prepared as we can be. The last couple weeks has shown us we have work to do in some areas and though we are well prepared for the economic and social uncertainties; money and our ample supply of weapons and know how does nothing to deter mother nature.
So we plan on doing to following:
1. Obtaining our HAM radio license and equiping ourselves with the equipment to maintain communications in the event we lose commercial or grid tied comms.
2. We have alreay been studying weather and we are fairly competent in our observations but we need more sophistication which means a better barometer, an anemometer that doesnt twist itself into scrap at 50 mph and a non-grid tied weather radio. But frankly that is a remote backup to knowledge on how to read the various radar arrays currently available on line. Knowlege is power but you have to have the power and connectivity and this will be an area we will remain vulnerable as the weather here is more regional than local and storms move at 50 mph or more.
3. We will be installing a heavy safe chained to the floor of our storm shelter to house important documents like birth certificates, military discharge papers, family photos etc. None of this stuff is financially valuable but its loss would be heartbreaking and in some cases would hinder our ability to recover.
Its supposed to calm down for a week or so and we all need a break. Our thoughts remain with those in Joplin, Tuscalosa, and the other communities that will never be the same.