Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Lessons from the flood

by heather

Sunday afternoon we had a pretty intense hail/rain storm. I heard that we got 2 1/2″ of rain in 20 minutes, and then it kept raining. Apparently St George hasn’t had a storm this bad in about a hundred years. We looked out the window at the river flowing past our backyard, were grateful that we had cut out early on our camping trip and continued with our Sunday routine.

The next morning I started making a crockpot meal for a friend who was having a miscarriage. I needed a can of diced tomatoes, so I went to grab one from the basement. That’s when I discovered the large puddle in the corner. I wasn’t thrilled about the leak in the basement, but grateful that I found it. If I hadn’t needed a can of tomatoes, who knows when I would have discovered that my food storage cans had rusted and my books had gotten moldy. So I was literally blessed because I was serving others.

In attending food storage classes I had heard many times that you should never store your food storage directly on the concrete. It needs to be on shelves or pallets or something. I always thought, yeah, yeah when I get to it. I’ve heard crazy things like “your food storage will absorb toxins from the concrete”. Baloney. What may actually happen is that the cardboard boxes will absorb the water and fall apart, and the cans may get rusty, compromising their integrity and how long the food will last in them. And boxes of pasta may become a soggy mess. Next time around, shelves will be a higher priority.

I also discovered that I had a lot of stuff that I didn’t care enough about to try to salvage. If it holds so little value, why am I letting it clutter up my basement anyway? So when looking at stuff, I now think “Is this really, really worth it?” If I wouldn’t save it from a flood, do I really need to have it in my house?

In cleaning up the mess, I found that 15 minutes with a shop-vac and 24 hours with some strong fans cleared up any noticeable damage. Although I still have the fans going, will reseal the window and have it inspected to make sure that everything is ok. Thank goodness we have friends with a shop-vac. Also, seriously rethinking the idea of having a basement.

In going through boxes of wet books, some of them (some that I loved, tear) had to be tossed out. But I’m ok. They’re just things. (And our problems are nothing compared to everyone else I know in the area who has a basement. I’ve heard some terrible stories from friends.) My family is safe, nothing was lost that can’t be replaced. And that’s what really matters.

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