*Prepped" Is Not PREPPED*
By: BigStick
21 Sept 2008

Last night I got into some poison ivy while hunting for my cat who jumped the fence into the field adjoining our property (don't ask.)

By this afternoon the itch was driving me crazy, so I used some high-speed poison ivy scrub to try to treat the inflammation. Since the gunk was now all over my leg from the knee down, I figured I'd rinse my calf off under the spigot in the tub. Turned on the water, set the temp and put my right leg under the flow - while I leaned my right hand on the tiled wall to steady myself (40% of all fatal accidents in the home happen in the bathroom...) and BAM!!! My hand went right through the wall; nine 4x4 inch tiles just folded in like there was no drywall.

Hole in the Shower Wall

So here I am, BIG hole in the shower wall, the shower in the other bathroom is out of commission because we're renovating THAT bath, and so I have to jury-rig temporary repairs. I go out to the garage, get a roll of duct tape and cut a piece of plastic sheeting off my "seal up the house" roll and head back into the bathroom for a 10-minute taping job.

As soon as I re-enter the bathroom I am hit with an almost overpowering wave of the smell of mold. Our house was poorly built in the 70's and we seem to find one nightmare after another. THIS one is that the tile was apparently never sealed 100% and all of the wallboard behind the tile is crumbling and LOADED with mold.

Now, I know that mold is a potential health hazard, so before I start taping I need an N100 mask to make sure I don't inhale all this junk wafting out of the big hole in the wall.

Me And My Respirator

So... here's what I learned so you don't have to:

  1. Even if you don't live in the hurricane-prone SE, you should ALWAYS have a big roll of plastic sheeting and LOTS of rolls of duct tape around.

  2. Just because you "think" something is in your BOB doesn't mean it really IS - unless you have laid eyes AND hands on it personally. I know I have those N100 masks, I just for the life of me could not lay my hands on one when I needed it. If this had been an immediately life-threatening situation instead of just a potential one, I would have been toast.

  3. My "object permanence" in my garage has disappeared. Object permanence is a fancy term for that old saying "A place for everything and everything in its place." Over the past two months or so, when I have gone to the back garage/shop to get something I needed, I have not always put it back where I got it. Do this a number of times and you not only have an unorganized mess, but you also can't find things when you really need them.

  4. "I'll get to it" = DEAD. I could have accessed my NBC mask, but any other option just wasn't available. I know I cannot be prepared for everything, but I owe it to myself and my family to be fully prepared for what I AM "prepared" for.

Temporary Shower Wall Repairs
(funky taping is because the end of my roll was uneven and I didn't cut it off the roll very evenly.)


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