Disasters and lessons learned

1 December 8:05 pm
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Last month started off like any other. It was just a continuation of days of homeschooling, emails, phone calls, meals to plan, appointments, etc. However, it didn’t continue on like normal and ended up teaching everyone in my house a couple of lessons.

First it started off with fighting with my emails. I would send them off but no one would actually receive them. I went to post articles, and the system would not allow it. Finally, by the end of the first week my entire computer system collapsed (froze or whatever it is called).

A valuable lesson came out of this, not only for me but for my children. Not only should you have your system backed-up on disk (or cd-rom), you should also have written down KEY information. For example, email addresses to distant bosses (also phone numbers) so that you can log in on a different system and email them with difficulties you are experiencing. In addition, passwords and log-ins for key websites you need to utilize on a regular basis should be written down and kept in a safe location. This way you can log into those vary websites and continue on with your work from an alternate computer.

Towards the middle of the month, my area was hit by a Nor’ easterly that in turn collided with a Tropical Depression. It hung out over top of us pelting rain and winds sustained at 50 miles an hour. We had floods, power out-ages, and homes completely destroyed. It brought home the need to be prepared for any disasters.

California tends to get hit yearly with fires; the east coast and gulf areas must deal with hurricanes; the central north deals often with mudslides; and we could continue on with this list. All areas tend to have something they must contend with and really should be prepared. So, the question comes in how to do that AND add the educational element.

First, I would have the children to help research what type of disasters are common for your area. Then in those situations, sit down and brainstorm with them what items they believe you would need to have on hand to help your family survive. Things like candles and the lighter (working) to light them with. Perhaps a wind-up lantern as well as battery operated one. How would you cook? Keep food cold? Water? What if you need to leave in a hurry? Is there a plan for animals? Food? Medications? All of these need to be address, along with a vast array of other items.

After you get the basics down, how about going further and have them create an “emergency box” that would hold key items that you need during these times. They could go even further with making first aid kits to give to friends and families as part of their project.

A unique project would also be to create simple meals out of things that you would readily have on hand for an emergency. This could lead to a very creative adventure.

In closing, I would like to apologize to all for not having the daily news article up. They will be up from here on out. Please remember to send me your success stories so that I might share them with fellow homeschoolers as well.
For a discussion on this topic and others, please go to our discussion forums at

Written by: Susan Harris News Editor

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