Way back in another lifetime, I was in the Brownies for a year or two, but never advanced into the Girl Scouts, and I certainly wasn’t in the Boy Scouts. And yet, somewhere I inherited the “be prepared” idea. Having just watched Hurricane Ian plow through Florida and South Carolina makes me wonder if I am prepared enough.

About 10 years ago, the apartment community in which I lived had a water line break, and we were without water for about 30 hours. Since that event, I have stored away two gallons of potable water, though I would still boil it before consuming it. I also read recently that, in extended times of no water, you can tape a garbage-sized bag under your toilet seat so that anything you excrete goes right into the bag, and it can be removed and disposed of when it is appropriate. While it’s not what we would choose to do, it certainly is an alternative to filling the toilet bowl and then having to somehow scoop it out, I guess!

Because I am a coffeeholic, I also have on hand some of those dunkable single-serving coffee bags (they work like tea bags) in case we lose electric. I have a battery-operated can opener (I actually like it and use it more than my electric one anymore). I’m lucky to have gas radiator heat so that shouldn’t be an issue. But since my stove is electric, there is an issue of how to heat up water to make that dunkable cup of coffee. I remember, many years ago now, that my dad and his wife lost electric to their place in Florida, and his wife was a person like me who needed her morning coffee, so they ended up going out and buying a one-burner gas cooktop for any future needs. I’m thinking about that now, and I can get one plus 4 cans of fuel for under $50 on Amazon. I haven’t bit the bullet on doing so, and my head tells me I will probably never need it, but that level of preparedness has me thinking that way.

Some people would say I’m over-reactive in my need/want to be prepared for my friend, Justin Case, but I am very much a creature of comfort and want at least the bare necessities (and yes, coffee comes into that category). I mean, I have the sleeping bag in my car in case I’m ever stranded somewhere (I’m considering giving that up since 99% of the places I drive to are 1-2 miles from home and the other 1% are less than 10 miles from home). I have a decent first aid kit in my car, also Justin Case. I did recently go through and toss out bottles of things like transmission fluid and oil that I’d had, Justin Case, for longer than I can remember.

My brother continues to encourage me to downsize and simplify my life, and I’m making pretty good strides at that, although it’s ongoing. And I hear my friend, Marnette’s, voice when I remember reading her words that “It’s only stuff”. I can’t decide if getting that single burner gas stove (can be used indoors, but away from flammable objects) is over-the-top. And if it is over-the-top, is it still worth getting it if it gives me an additional layer of peace of mind? I mean, I’ve got plenty of candles and a good flashlight, and I can survive without food (or learn to eat things cold from the can), but not having coffee may be a deal-breaker.

I hate making this kind of decision, and wish someone would tell me that they think it’s a great investment Justin Case, and especially if it calms my anxiety!