Before Disaster Strikes, Be Prepared!

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. After being out of town last week for my uncle’s funeral, it is so nice to be home. Today is my first job as a substitute after leaving my school job during the summer. I have also decided to work as a part-time secretary for our church. Sometimes I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. Whatever your plans are for this weekend, I hope that each day will be fabulous.

Quote of the Week: “Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” –Kin Hubbard

Movie of the Week: I don’t normally like disaster films, but I did enjoy the 1996 movie Night of the Twisters, starring John Schneider and Devon Sawa. They play a father and stepson with a rocky relationship. One night in their small town, a series of deadly tornadoes wreaks havoc. They must band together to save the town and perhaps also salvage their relationship.

Joke of the Week: Why did the lightning get into trouble? It didn’t know how to conduct itself.

Nugget of the Wisdom: I couldn’t decide if this was a nugget of wisdom or more of an organizational tip, but in light of all the recent summer storms, I want to talk about disaster preparedness. Dangerous weather can appear suddenly, so you need to have a plan.

The first thing you need to do is collect in advance the essential supplies, in case of power outages. Keep a full stock of candles, flashlights with extra batteries, nonperishable foods (especially ones you can eat without cooking, if power goes out), a handheld can opener, and plenty of water or other drinks. If city water service is disrupted, you may also need extra jugs of water to flush toilets.

Next, having several charged block chargers might be a good idea to keep cellular phones working. I carry two of them, one in my purse and the other in my bag for school. These will keep you from relying on your vehicle to charge your cell phones.

Creating a safety/escape plan, in case your home is damaged and you need to evacuate, is also vitally important. Decide on a place for your family to meet should you all get separated. When we were foster parents, we set the driveway of our neighbors’ home next door as the place we all would meet if we had a house disaster. Have a family text group to relay important information to everyone at once.

Recipe of the Week: One of the best desserts I have ever encountered was this Banana Split Brownie Pizza, a recipe I got when I sold items for The Pampered Chef. This has been a party favorite for me for years. My colleagues at school love it, as well. Yum!

What you’ll need:

1 box of your favorite brownie mix

1 8-oz. block of cream cheese, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

1-2 bananas, sliced

5-6 strawberries, sliced

1 small can crushed pineapple, well-drained

Hershey’s syrup

Chopped nuts (optional)

In a 9”x13” pan, bake brownies as directed. Let cool completely. Mix softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over brownies as you would put tomato sauce on a pizza crust. Next, place sliced bananas as if they were pieces of pepperoni. Then, repeat with the sliced strawberries. Next, be sure to drain the crushed pineapple extremely well (to avoid making the brownie soggy) and sprinkle pineapple over the brownie according to your taste. Take the Hershey’s syrup and drizzle until covered. Sprinkle the nuts, if desired. Enjoy!

Shout Out of the Week: This week, I want to shout out to the people who work in disaster relief and help clean up after major storms. Your aid to people in distress is so appreciated. Thank you for your expertise and service!

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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