Got Fat? Get Motivated! Emergency Preparedness with Sharon Messier

Storm Fact:  The "Winter" Storm (ironically during Fall) that took place on 10/29/11 was the first time it snowed a significant amount since 1861 ~ The Civil War!

Emergency Preparedness with Sharon Messier

Millions of individuals in the North-Eastern area were without power for days due to the storm that took place on 10/29/11.  It was also extremely dangerous to go outdoors; many trees literally cracked in half, limbs fell, and some trees were uprooted.  Fortunately, my family and I were safe and warm, however, many friends and family members in the local area had no power including Ms. Messier who has some great tips on how to survive and be prepared for emergencies.  NY Times October Snow-Storm

Sharon's Thoughts, Ideas, and Experience with Emergency Preparedness

Everything happens for a reason and there are no coincidences in life! Everything I've experienced makes me who I am today. Trials, tribulations? BRING 'EM ON! At almost 56 years old I've had my share and I know how to handle myself and take care of myself, thank you.

I've endured the scare and threat of the millennium! Y2K... most people have forgotten. 9/ one will ever forget 9/11. NYC certainly will never forget! I will never forget and the families of those lost will never forget.

My own self  emergency preparedness began in about the year 2000. At Church there were more and more talks of emergency preparedness and I started to listen. At Church we learned about provident living, emergency preparedness and much more. We were offered the opportunity to start or add to whatever emergency preparedness kits we already had for our families.

Even though I thought that I couldn't financially afford it at the time I thought it was important enough to at least start building an emergency preparedness kit for my family members and myself.  I remember buying the 100 hour candles and the glow sticks, whistles, flashlights, batteries, first aid items needed. Then I stopped.

I've lived through earthquakes and they don't really scare me.  In fact, I thought I was getting this emergency preparedness kit ready for "The Big One!" I thought if ever I had to use my kit it would be because of a devastating earthquake. Not so!

In 2003, living in San Diego County, CA we almost lost our home to the Cedar Fires that swept through the county causing so much devastation. Those flames came within a mile of our home from all three sides.  There was no where to go. I found out that the only items I cared to rescue from my home were my family members, my pets, photo albums, photos from the walls, important documents and our emergency preparedness kit.

Our car was packed and we were ready for evacuation when the wind suddenly changed and we were saved. Many were not so fortunate! As I unpacked my car and put all my belongings away I made special note of where my emergency preparedness kit would now reside....a place that it is easy to get at!  And, I made note to get one ready to put in the trunk of my car.

Our family moved from San Diego, CA to Emmaus, PA late in 2006. I never even thought of my kit again until August 2011. While at work one day I felt the unmistakable tremor of an earthquake. My co-workers at Home Depot told me I was crazy.  That all I really felt was a little vibration from a delivery truck as it drove to the back of the store to our receiving department. HA! Wrong!  We had an on the East coast!

I thought of my emergency preparedness kit that day and realized that since we moved I had no idea where to locate it. My husband said he knew where it was and not to worry because we would not need it.  A few days later we were threatened by a hurricane! My husband kept telling me we had nothing to worry about and that he was going to go down the shore and leave me here alone. I forbid him to go for the first time in our 25 years of marriage. Mainly because I had no idea how to survive a hurricane and I had no earthly idea where to find my emergency preparedness kit!  Wild fires, yes, earthquakes, yes. Hurricane? NO!

The next day, August 27, the hurricane arrived on my husband's birthday! We woke up to major flooding of our basement, another  thing I have never encountered in my lifetime up to that point. Major anxiety set in  as I realized that if my family and I were to ever survive any kind of emergency it would have to be up to me to make sure we were prepared.

That Sunday as we were baling water out of our basement the power went out. That meant no sump pump. Hmmm. WHERE'S our emergency preparedness kit? My husband found it and carefully unpacked it. Somehow the only things remaining in the emergency preparedness kit were the 100 hour candles and some glow sticks. Seems the boys have gone through that box pilfering through everything whenever they felt the need for a flashlight or batteries or gauze or surgical tape or antibacterial cream.

I dusted off the 100 hour candles and we had light! I snapped a glow stick and we had more light. My son Sean and his family were without power for about eight hours, we were without power for only two hours. Sean brought their food to our house to put in our refrigerator and they used our stove and their gas grill to cook so they could eat.

We got to use our emergency preparedness kit again this October, when the snow storm hit our area. We were without power for two and a half days. It was very cold out. This time in addition to our 100 hour candles and the glow sticks we found our little portable propane heater and our propane camp stove for cooking and keeping our home warm. I put our perishable food in a cooler and packed it with snow (while many people lost theirs). My husband took a chainsaw to all the broken tree branches surrounding our property.  At least next year we will have plenty of wood to burn should we be without heat, hot water, electricity.

As many people fled their homes to stay with friends or family members who still had power  in the long power outage and as people combed stores like Home Depot to find flashlights, batteries, propane, candles, lighters, matches and generators I declined offers to flee my home for more comfortable surroundings and instead I stayed home alone to clean my bedroom and rearrange my closet. All I needed were my 100 hour candles, my little propane heater and my corn broom, which by the way, cleans my hardwood floors and my area rugs better than any my vacuum cleaner I've ever had, plus gives me more exercise!

My advice to women everywhere, don't depend on anyone but yourself to keep you and your family safe in an emergency! Know what you need should the lights go out. Learn how to rough it! If your idea of camping is spending the weekend at the Marriott and using hotel shampoo and conditioner then you really need to start researching how to survive in the event of an emergency.

Check out the article and this great website: Be Prepared

Everyone on my holiday shopping list is going to receive a 100 hour emergency candle this year and a few glow sticks. Check out the website, it has a lot of great articles and recipes and information about food storage.

I was taught a long time ago to be self reliant and to have a one year supply of storage, something we should all take heed to...What would you do in these economically challenging times if you found yourself without the resources to buy food for yourself and your family?

My son nearly missed being hit by a tree branch.   He heard a branch crack and crash down to the driveway right where he had been standing. He raced back to his car, jumped in and did not even bother to brush the snow from the windows as he moved his car to a clearing and parked it.

I braved the storm to go to the mall to get my haircut and colored. My neighborhood looked like a war zone with all the downed tree branches and everything covered in snow. I got to the mall and went inside to find children in Halloween costumes acting confused.  The power at the mall had just gone out and store employees weren't quite sure what to do.

I knew immediately what to do. I went to Wendy's which was also in darkness. I knocked on the locked door and asked if my son Robert was still at work. I was picking him up. The manager came to the door and told me the store was closed because they had no power. REALLY? I told her who I was and that I just wanted to pick Robert up. She told him he could go. It was funny to see the reaction of the other employees and of the manager when they realized he couldn't punch out! Of course, he couldn't punch out. Make note of the time he left and that should serve as a time clock punch, no? Geez, what did we do before power?

Robert was hungry so we drove to a Wendy's that still had power...only the roads were really treacherous, street lights don't work with no power...luckily driver's were being courteous! Trees that had branches covering streets were too scary for me so I dashed down side streets to avoid having to drive under tree branches..which is no easy feat here in PA!

We got to the second Wendy's and their power had just gone out as well.  Robert and I headed home where we still had some power and then suddenly we saw a POOF of sparks in our back yard as a tree branch fell on to the power lines in our backyard.   All the transformers blew..sparks were flying everywhere all the way down into the next town. You could see the transformers blow!

So here we sat without any power. That meant that we did not have any electricity and our home is powered entirely by electricity. Without electricity we had no stove to cook on, no refrigerator to keep our food cold, no heat, no hot water, no lights to see. No computer, no TV, no music? Can't charge our cell phone?  OH my!

It's a good thing my husband always wanted me to be independent.  Growing up with brothers and being the youngest and only girl I was pretty much protected and didn't really ever have to fend for myself.  My first marriage was pretty much the same. I had two sons and a husband that looked out for me. I was very dependent.  Not anymore!  ~ S. Messier

Here are some pictures from outside  S. Messier's house in PA:

Pretty scary! My cousin in NJ, also had a scare, her husband was away on business and during the night of the storm a tree caught on fire across the street from her home!  You can never be too careful, Ms. Messier knows what she is talking about make your kit ASAP! 

Enjoy the weekend ahead.  Stay Safe! 

 Determined D. xo

Please visit Sharon @  Great Products!
S. Messier also made the donation of first prize to our contest: Step into Sexy. Winners will be announced on November 17th!


  1. You are motivation to be more independent although I was blessed with a husband who u can depend on. In an emergency tho I want to know I can go it alone. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Hi are an inspiration to me!


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