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Be prepared for weather, power outages

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
Well now, wasn't last week fun? (Please imagine the dripping sarcasm.)
In my 37 years, I've experienced tornadoes, minor earthquakes, blizzards, and now a hurricane. What have I learned? First of all, none of them are fun, and second don't wait until it's predicted to get ready. Here are some ideas to help you get ready that maybe you haven't thought of or heard about.
1. Kerosene heaters and lanterns are great, but keep in mind they do need kerosene to work, and trying to find it at the last minute may be impossible, so keep some on hand. Also, beware of carbon monoxide and dioxide poisoning–know the signs and symptoms. There are some excellent detectors available, as well.
2. Camp cooking stoves that use propane are wonderful, especially if you have an electric stove. In Kentucky one winter, it looked like we were going to get a terrible ice storm, and in preparation we got out our camp stove. My then 3-year-old asked what John and I were doing, and we explained that if the electricity quit working the stove wouldn't work and we could cook on the camp stove. Her reply? "You don't need that Mommy. You could just use the microwave!" I guess I didn't explain that one far enough!
3. We've covered heat and food. What more could one want? Are you kidding? I'm in a house with six children. We need entertainment, of course. Well, there's always board games, cards, and coloring books. Unfortunately, my kids get tired of those things fairly quickly. So here's one idea. This is a good time to look back to the "Old Days." Read a book about Pioneers; for example "Little House on the Prairie," or "If You Were a Pioneer." Talk about their toys, and maybe even make or buy a few to have on hand. This is a great time to try cooking the pioneer way. (I recommend trying this in advance, if you're actually going to try to eat what you cook! It can be a little tricky!) Try making bread or biscuits from scratch. Have a box with "old fashion" clothes for dress up. Ask your children about what they think would be the worst thing about living then and what would be the best. Ask them what they think it was like when their grandparents were their age? (This is terrific–you can get some of the funniest answers!)
Other entertainment ideas could be making your own puppet show using mismatched socks (you know the ones that divorced their mate long ago).
Have your children actually write out a short script about a subject they pull from a hat; such as their favorite Bible story, how to make a friend, what to do if someone hurts their feelings, their favorite bedtime story, the happiest thing they can think of since Christmas last year, or what made them the maddest or saddest in the last year.
Remember children don't necessarily have the same time sense we have, so it's a good idea to give them a reference point like last Christmas, their last birthday, or since school started, etc.
These ideas are fun anytime, but they can become sanity savers when you have no electricity!
Do you have something special you do with a child or grandchild that you would like to share? If so, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496, Hartselle, AL, 35640.