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Ready for a Hurricane

Natural (or even man-made) disasters are a terrible thing which we cannot control. But they do make us sit up and take notice of what truly is important in our lives....our health.....our families.

With this big hurricane far off beyond Jamaica, I had to think carefully about how to get ready in case it does a Rita again. What do I need for food? How can I prepare?

Our biggest problem is that even in a regular rain storm we lose power. In a hurricane, we had no power for a week. Figuring out what to do about no power was most important. We decided we would "live" at my office as we did two years ago. It's not great accomodations, but next to the hospital there is power and a solid roof over our heads.

We have new baby chicks coming, of all days, tomorrow. So having power for them to keep them warm was another issue. A small generator would do for them. The larger animals seem to figure out how to stay out of the weather enough to stay safe. They did fine two years ago too.

With power we can cook practically anything with a microwave, electric skillet and rice cooker. Some folks had their barbeque going all week, taking meat out of the freezer which was on a generator. Might as well make a party of it! I won't make the mistake of missing a couple chickens in the bottom drawer of the refridgerator for a week. What a stench. I ended up having to buy a new refrigerator over that one.

Whole Foods was yesterday's destination for gluten-free staples. Making sure there were some foods available without cooking are important. We were out of gluten-free cereal. If you run out of milk, you can always eat them with applesauce. Canned fruit and veggies are useful to have. I love canned olives. Canned sardines and kipper snacks were also on the list. Last year I boiled up 2 dozen eggs. Boiled eggs last a week without any refrigeration if they are not broken. Several types of nuts were also on the list as were dried fruit. Even without power, we'll be fine.

If the hurricane looks like it is really coming, the day before I will cook up a bunch of meat, put it in Food Saver plastic bags and freeze it all. A couple chickens deboned, a pork roast, some ground meat with spices, chopped and packaged into meal-size packages. That takes the hurry out of cooking. Reheat and serve. We ate for 4 days on that kind of stuff last year.

We really did have plenty to eat last year. By the end of the week it got a little old, if for nothing else, something fresh and new. And a hot bath! I am grateful for Rita for one thing. It taught my husband that eating gluten-free was actually better for him. He really does feel better as I know a lot of you do. He's still cheating here and there two years later. Oh, well....he says he needs to keep his position as my bad example.

Those of you who really know you have Celiac or gluten-intolerance, you KNOW it's not worth it. It's not worth being so sick. So be ready for anything that Mother Nature or the terrorist throw our way.
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