Hurricaine Preparedness is no joke
Written by
Virginia Russell
September 2011
Written by
Virginia Russell
September 2011

I’m not sure the recent earthquake and hurricane that hit the east coast was a message from God “to get the attention of politicians” as claimed by Michelle Bachman. However, I do know that severe weather is no joke and must be taken seriously. Regardless of the source or mission of a hurricane, preparedness is essential.

When Hurricane Irene first showed up on the radar, I went to the store for extra milk just in case the storm veered my way. There were at least 500 other people at the store with the same idea. Inside the store, grocery carts slowly weaved down the aisles as shoppers anxiously pressed forward grasping for the last bottle of water. I went directly for the ‘baking items’ aisle - the one aisle I thought would be traffic free (who bakes in a hurricane?) giving me swift and direct access to the refrigerated section. Before I knew it, I was caught in grocery cart gridlock. A dispute had broken out over bread flour. I looked at the shelves and the baking powder was decimated, the yeast was almost gone. Before I could stop myself I blurted out incredulously, “Are you really going to bake bread during a hurricane?” One of the ladies glared at me and shoved her cart to the side allowing my cart to pass. It was obvious she did not think I belonged in the baking aisle.

I understand that in the event of a significant Hurricane, the drinking water may run low, but will all of our food stuffs run so low that we need to start baking our own bread? If so, my family is in big trouble.

I’ve tried baking bread and it’s impossible. I even bought a bread maker which purportedly bakes bread all by itself. I was inspired by my friend Courtney who bakes bread almost daily. Her bread smells wonderful, looks tantalizing and tastes delicious.

I went to Courtney's house one afternoon and she was just preparing to bake some whole wheat bread. As if we were on a cooking show, I watched her quickly toss ingredients into her bread maker and by the end of our visit, fresh baked bread miraculously appeared. Courtney convinced me that I too, could easily perform the magic of bread maker bread baking. I made a cursory effort with my calculator and concluded that I would actually save money by baking my own bread. I sold myself on the purchase of a bread maker by listing off the health benefits of homemade bread.

My husband told me he would be impressed if I used the bread maker more than three times. He did have some facts to substantiate his obnoxious comments because I received a (requested) juice maker for my birthday and used it exactly one time. The juice maker then literally gathered dust on the floor of the pantry. I generously gave it to my friend who has an orange tree. I promise you would have done the same thing. The juice maker was big, heavy and a hassle to clean.

In response to my husband's obnoxious bread maker comment, I began baking bread. I was determined to prove him wrong. I baked five loaves of bread in two days. I made white bread, two loaves of oatmeal bread, whole wheat bread and whole wheat buttermilk bread (didn't know that flavor existed). I was like Jesus with the loaves of bread and fish, only no fish. The problem was, not one of those five loaves resembled bread.

My understanding of the bread maker is that it is fool proof, meaning any fool can use it and produce bread. Let me tell you right now, I am no fool. I gave the bread maker to a friend of mine whose child is allergic to almost everything that tastes good. I suggested she try making hypo-allergenic bread.

Even in a hurricane the bread maker would be useless since the electricity would surely go out. For that matter, the electric oven would also be useless. That is why I simply cannot understand what the shoppers at the grocery store are going to bake with their flour in the event of a hurricane. Perhaps the outdoor grill might work for baking Indian pappadum or naan? I think my family would be doomed to starvation since I can’t even master a loaf of white bread in a bread maker, much less pappadum on an outdoor grill.

In my opinion hurricane preparedness should never be taken lightly. The required emergency supplies include water, batteries and many loaves of pre-made, store-bought bread.

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