*Confessions of a Reformed Sheeple*
By: Lousiana-Mom
31 October 2006

Okay, I admit it. Begin shaking your heads in disgust now. I was a Sheeple and had it not been for Hurricane Rita, and my poppa (Delta, a member of the Rubicon) I would probably still be one.

My husband on the other hand has always been very interested in survival and being prepared and is constantly storing food, water, ammo, and filling notebooks (yes, more than one) of information about said subject. Whenever heíd order Mylar bags or purchase bulk rice and beans, or empty water containers and refill them with fresh water I just figured that he was a bit eccentric, but whoís husband isnít and I loved him, so I would just smile sweetly and tell him "Thatís nice dear." I never really believed that weíd need it.

And then came Rita. Oh my Gawd!!! What are we going to do? I have to get to the store! We need .........(in my mind the list was endless). My husband tells me to calm down and listen to him, "We have everything we need and weíre gonna pack you and the kids and evacuate yaíll, until the storm has passed." I asked, "Youíre not going with us?" "No," he says "Iím gonna stay here. Dad and Grandma (both live less than ten miles from us, though in opposite directions) wonít be going anywhere and I want to be close in case it gets bad."

So, we packed. We had everything ready to go and I was still trying to talk him into coming with us. I had called mom and poppa to tell them that we would be coming their way. Poppa asked me which way was I going to be traveling. I paused, HMMM....hadnít thought about that. I told him that I didnít know. The only route to their house that I knew was the interstate and that was out since it went right through New Orleans, which was still in chaos and unsafe after being hit by Hurricane Katrina. Uh Oh! Time for a new plan. Out come the maps. Not my maps; you guessed it; I didnít have a map, not even a local one. What did I need a map for; I grew up in this area and knew where everything was. Besides if I ever needed directions there was always MapQuest. OOPS! MapQuest only shows major interstates, not gonna work for what I want. Out come Momís maps. Okay, now we have alternate driving directions, everything packed and ready to be loaded into the truck, food, cash, my pistol and spare ammo, a full tank of gas and spare, and all of the kids.

Hubby still not going. My husband decides to go and check on his family before the kids and I leave. Well, while he was gone, I started to get mad because he was staying behind. I had seen what had happened in New Orleans and Mississippi and knew if we left that there was no way of knowing when we would be able to return. My husband is a civilian contractor working overseas and was only home for R&R for three more days. I didnít want to leave without knowing how or if I would be able to get in touch with him after the storm. So I decided we were staying, called mom and poppa told them that we werenít coming at this point but would try to keep them posted. By the time he got back I had everything unpacked and put away. He walks in and asks me what I think Iím doing. I told him that I was putting everything away. He wanted to know why. I told him that I had decided we were not leaving. Which was followed by a short "Oh, yes you are." "Oh, no Iím not" argument.

I won by simply telling him that I understood why he wanted to stay but that as far as I was concerned either we left as a family or we stayed as a family and that was that! So we stayed. Thanks to my husbandís preparations we didnít lack for anything. As a matter of fact, we were so well prepared that not only did we take care of ourselves, but we were also able to provide gas for my Grandmotherís generator (45 miles away), gas for my in-laws and even had enough gas to help my sister-in-law evacuate her infant daughter to another state. My niece had just been released from the neonatal intensive care unit the previous day, after being born four months premature, and still had a feeding machine attached to her stomach.

We also had plenty of water for the whole family, including distilled water for the babyís formula. And the battery operated severe weather radio that my grandmother had given us a few years back for a Christmas present and I had responded to with a "Gee, Thanks Grandma" (sigh, roll eyes) and promptly put on the shelf in the back of the closet, Welllll....let me tell ya itís darn hard to find in the dark with just a flashlight, but it sure did come in handy when the electricity was out for over a week. My honey even managed to keep all of my fish alive. He had remembered reading an article at some point that you could re-oxygenate the water. All it took was two old pitchers that I had stuck in the back of a cupboard. (FNV it works, just pour water, taken out of the tank, from one pitcher into the other and back again several times and then pour it back into the tank. None of my fish died.)

We did find out that we had outgrown our tent and that it would no longer hold half-grown kids and us. A second tent is now on our prep list. Never again will I scoff at my husbandís attempts to educate me. I have been reformed. Not only do I wholeheartedly support my husbandís endeavors, I have even begun making my own plans, preps, and suggestions.

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