Recently, an awe-inspiring afternoon storm swept through town, leaving us in the eerie darkness of yet another power outage. What transpired after was a series of events that were nothing short of total and utter chaos. As resident Floridians we’re more-or-less old hat at storm prep, and it’s served us well in hurricane seasons past; yet there we were, running around like headless chickens. It was a startling scenario that begged the question: how in the world did we get there? (And are we really prepared for when the lights go out?)
When I was a kid (ugh I sound like my grandparents!), if the electricity went out, it wasn’t really a thing. We’d collect a few random candles and flashlights from our junk drawer, hunker down with a book or board game, and ride it out. No A/C? No problem, just open some windows and strip down to our underoos. No TV? UNO and Monopoly were our go-to. We were expected to figure it out and make it work - to entertain ourselves and to sweat without complaint. Mind you, early on in life I lived in Miami without air conditioning or siblings, so years later I had a bit of an advantage there. But thinking back, as a child, mine was a far different experience than it is now with my little guys-and I’m betting you can relate.
Now, it’s an all-hands-on-deck event. Are the tablets and cell phones charged? Did we download everyone’s favorite shows and movies so we can still watch? Do we have a lantern in every room, hallway, and corner? Is the generator ready to hook up? Did I prep an ice cooler with cold juice? And we better have the pillows and blankets at the ready; the forts we make so we can all sleep together in one room-those are some epic builds. One forgotten aspect and - you guessed it - chaos.
I suspect as you read this, you’re shaking your head or (probably) laughing at our shenanigans. (And if you’re my parents, I know you are!) Oh, how things have changed. It is a bit ridiculous, right? There is zero chance my little guys will sit down and play a board game with me for more than 10 minutes. There is a 100% chance one of them will ask if we can go to a hotel after a few hours without A/C. Ridiculous.
I’ve had a month or so to reflect on all of this, and, as I always do, asked hubby to read what I’d written and provide feedback. His response wasn’t what I expected. “Babe, you make our kids sound like spoiled brats!”
*Cue my lightbulb moment*
Crap. It’s us. The chaos wasn’t the result of poor preparedness or mitigation planning. We’re prepared for (just about) every.possible.contingency. That was the problem. In an effort to subject our boys to as few post-storm discomforts as we recalled from our own childhoods, we’d succeeded in also removing every scenario that would have otherwise provided them resilience-building opportunities. Opportunities that as children, had served us well when things went sideways and we had to endure. Opportunities to thrive in chaos. Parenting. Always so ironic, no?
We still have a ways to go, a lot to learn, and more than a few storms we’ll weather along the way as we continue this adventure with Alexander and Fitz. But next time, we’ll be (more) prepared. 😉
If like us you’re entering hurricane season and want to prepare like a dooms-dayer before the apocalypse, we’ve shared some of our favorite finds that have gotten us thru, below! Some of the product links throughout our blogs offer discounts, and some are affiliate links. An affiliate link means that if you click through & purchase (it costs you nothing extra) we get a few pennies too. If you enjoy what we do, shopping through our links is a great way to support our adventures and the content we share!
-When you have a generator (or) electricity but not internet, we’ve had great success using StarLink. It works practically anywhere, and bonus, you don’t have to permanently install it on your roof or anywhere else! Only pay for it when you use it, with no long-term contract and a 30-day free trial. This set-up has served us well post-storms as well as throughout our travels.
-These babies are fantastic! We’ve had them for a few years and they’ve withstood toddlers, dogs, & a cross-country move! Rechargeable with USB or battery.
<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/Duracell-1000-Lumen-Lantern-Pack/dp/B09RRKPBRD/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=1MNWCLRYZ84JG&keywords=duracell+camping+lantern&qid=1685925416&sprefix=duracell+camping+lantern%252Caps%252C107&sr=8-3&_encoding=UTF8&tag=alexanderandf-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=d5e0d9d6677017d0ada753a549f8790a&camp=1789&creative=9325">Duracell Rechargeable Lantern</a>
-For multiple plug options powering most, if not all of the appliances in your home (15,000 peak watts, 12,500 running watts) this is a great option. Carbon monoxide monitoring, dual fuel options (propane and gas), remote start option, easy on/off switch (none of the hard yanking on the choke!) and an oil gauge that automatically shuts the engine off when it’s too low. This is a fantastic option if you’re in the market! AND it’s a couple $$$ less than what Home Depot and Tractor Supply sell it for! If you’re looking for something a little smaller and more quiet, check out the Honda 3500 inverter, also on Amazon.
<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07Q1DLKBG?ref=ppx_pt2_mob_b_prod_image&_encoding=UTF8&tag=alexanderandf-20&linkCode=ur2&linkId=5c7a9a1fff62c50af32726aff5ff0254&camp=1789&creative=9325">Westinghouse generator</a>