This past weekend Ottawa experienced one of nature’s most devastating weather events. A tornado hit Dunrobin and Gatineau, which left many families without electricity, vehicles and for some their livelihood. My family was without power for literally the whole weekend.
According to Global News, by now most of us have electricity due to the tireless work of the city’s technician, including myself.
During this time my husband and I realized very quickly that we were unprepared. For parents of an energetic 1 year old that is not good. It’s not like we didn’t have the means to fend for ourselves because we did. We just didn’t know where our stuff was. We couldn’t operate in the dark…literally. So I’ve decided to list some of the lessons I learned.
1. Gas Tanks Need Gas
My husband loves to experiment and see how long he can drive with the needle on E. On a normal day, I’d leave it alone. But now was not the time to experiment. He also realized the errors of his ways, so I didn’t push it. This was no time for “I told you so”. So we had to borrow my mother’s car to fill up the jerry cans so that we could put gas in our car. Then drive to the nearest gas stations to fill up our jerry cans and our gas tanks before the gas stations ran out of gas, which actually did happen.
Unless absolutely necessary, you should always have gas availabl, in your tank or your jerry can. Unless, you don’t mind taking a walk…then do as you please and enjoy the sunshine.
In my house, we had candles everywhere. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think we were setting up for a romantic evening. Candles are amazing. The scented ones helped lift our mood because it so smelled nice. It was really nice being able to spend time with my husband by the candle light. Of course, we had to strategically place the candles so that my daughter wouldn’t be able to reach them.
3. Rainy Day Savings
You don’t realize how expensive a rainy day can get, until you need an umbrella. Honestly, don’t underestimate the power of saving money. A credit card is handy for emergencies, but when you can purchase without credit it’s even better. Of course, it means you have to start all over but at least you can take care of your immediate needs if and when necessary. We were able to get food because of our savings. We didn’t have much but the little we had helped out.
4. Reach Out
We can’t go through life alone and we shouldn’t. You would be surprised at how many people genuinely want to help in moments like these. It’s easy to get down on yourself when disaster strikes but sometimes we need a reminder that it’s ok and it’s going to be ok.
All throughout the city there were so many stations. So many programs were put in place to help families. In fact, Saturday we hosted a barbecue after doing some emergency groceries out of town. Then on Sunday my family and I spent Sunday afternoon at the museum because it was free.
We need each other, now more than ever. No one should ever feel like they are alone. Especially in times like these.
I want to hear from you. How do you handle times of crisis?