1.  CHARGE ZERO ONE AND ALL ELECTRIC LANTERNS CELL PHONES LAPTOPS IPADS AND COMPUTERS ( The computer devices are a great source of light when electric goes out. If you need a brighter light go to email. That page is white n provides brighter light. If you lose landline you’ll be happy your cell was fully charged. Need it to call for medical or other help. High winds and so much rain cause car accidents that sometimes disturb telephone poles and electric poles causing interruption of service sometimes for long hours.

2.  PLACE POTTED PLANTS IN A LOW, SAFE LOCATION ( Like under a lanai table thats against a corner or wall) TO PREVENT THEM FROM BECOMING MISSILES  IN HIGH WIND THAT CAN BREAK YOUR WINDOWS. Can put in garage but that’s too much work. This works well.

3. SCRUB TUB WITH BLEACH AND FILL WITH WATER.  If a sinkhole occurs from ground saturation that disrupts water supply or tornadoes which are many times spawned, or stop the water supply, you will  have water to flush toilets and that can be used to bathe in your sink or even boil for coffee and do laundry if lights are still on. When water mains break oftentimes the initial next day after the repair water is contaminated too. DO ALL LAUNDRY before the lights have potential to go out.

4. WATER ALL YOUR PLANTS  that are indoor plants so you don’t need to waste emergency water.

  5. GET TWO OLD GALLON MILK JUGS AND FILL WITH WATER. Keep them all year in the freezer. When the lights go out take one gallon jug and stick it in the center of the refrigerator. It will keep your food cold for many days. I have used this successfully many, many times.

6. MAKE SURE ALL FLASHLIGHTS AND SMOKE ALARMS HAVE GOOD BATTERIES. have replacement batteries of all sizes on hand in case you need them.

7. UNPLUG ALL LAMPS, COFFEE POTS, ANSWERING MACHINES anything you don’t use to prevent them from getting zapped and ruined by lightning. Chances are you will not be driving in hurricane winds and rain so you’ll be home and won’t need the answering machine anyhow. BEATS buying new things. I’ve lost two answering machines from lightning. Surge protector bars for computers do work. There are many kinds that are for different things. Be sure to check before you buy. It’s a great investment n usually a one time purchase.

8. RENEW YOUR MEDICATIONS BEFORE THE STORM IS GOING TO MAKE LANDFALL. once the Governor issues a state of emergency it is the law that you can renew your medications early. Be sure to have aspirin and Tylenol and bandaids, whatever you might need if you’re stuck indoors due to the storm or flooding and get sick or injured from say for example tripping in the dark, spraining an ankle etc.

9.  HAVE CANDLES . good to burn in a glass in a sink with a little water in it to reduce risk of fire.  During the day you can open your blinds and utilize the light from outside.

10. HAVE ENOUGH FOOD AND WATER FOR YOU AND YOUR PETS Manual can openers are necessary. If the lights go out your electric can openers will be useless.

11. FINE CHINA ( paper plates, utensils and cups) so you don’t have to use emergency water. Plus, lol no dishes to do! LESS WORK IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING. 

12. CHARGE BATTERY POWERED TOOLS  to ensure they have full charge so that if after the storm there is no electricity you can still do clean up or repairs.

13.STERNO CANS AND ALUMINUM PANS. these come in handy to cook if you have no electric.

14. HAVE CHARCOAL OR FULL PROPANE TANK FOR BARBECUE If when the rain stops electric hasn’t been restored you can cook. Because of flooding, sinkholes trees down, you may not be able to get to the store.

15. POWDERED MILK ( there is a brand called NIDO ) you can get it in supermarkets. It’s the very best tasting and vitamin enriched powdered milk I’ve ever tasted in my life. It’s the only one I’ll buy since I discovered it.

16. PROTEIN SHAKES like Atkins, ENSURE, GLUCERNA ( for diabetics) These do not have to be refrigerated and can be used in place of a meal.

17. SECURING YOUR GARAGE DOOR . I have a wide aluminum door. If it starts rattling, I take tall pieces of plywood n place it against the door from top to bottom in the center area of the door and gently roll my car backwards to press against the wood. I believe the sturdiness of the wood and the weight of the car against it, will stop it from blowing in.

18. NOAA RADIO or other emergency radio. They are inexpensive and could save your life. I keep mine plugged in all year. I went on line and found the codes for each county n programmed it to only alert me for tornados etc in My county and the nearby counties. The first night  It was going off all night because it was telling you things in oklahoma etc. it has a backup battery too like answering machines do, and you’ll wake up to some beeps and people voices telling you what’s coming and where it is. Once you program the codes into it, it will only sound for the counties you asked it to warn you about.

I actually forgot about it and last month in the middle of the night it went off. In crystal river there was a funnel cloud spotted by the water. You just turn it off when you want it off like a snooze button on your alarm clock n next time it has an announcement it’ll come on again but it doesnt repeat the same alert.you can listen to NOAA officials talking for as long as you want. I love it. Home depot and Walmart sell them. 19. GAS UP YOUR VEHICLES  AND HAVE CASH BEFORE THE STORM. If you have to get out of Dodge and flee to safer ground and electric is off the gas pumps won’t work nor will the ATMS . Stay safe. Jeanette

“JAXY CAT ” a story of “fat”, a story of “fate”

JaxyCat Ken is a man who recently retired from the U.S. Navy. He attends college full time, works an internship job, speaks on the radio each Saturday, does Bible Studies, Sunday worship service and during the week, prayer meetings. He is understandably, a very busy man. The last thing he needed was more responsibility. And you might agree, that he certainly didn’t need to be adopted by a stray, pregnant cat! However, God had other plans for Ken and Jaxy and so, that is exactly what happened.

One day, Ken came home and unlocked his door as he usually does, but this day was different! As he stepped  over the threshold into his apartment,  something bolted past him at lightening-fast speed in the dark. As he turned on the light, he saw it was a cat. Surprised, but smiling, Ken said, “Hi! ” Ken put down his books and leaned over to pet the cat. She was so friendly and clean, Ken thought that certainly this cat must  belong to someone in the building. However, as time would tell, that was not the case.

He didnt know if the cat was hungry. He fed  her some chicken that he had in the refrigerator,  then let her out. A week or so later, Ken’s mother came to visit him for a few days. He did  not tell her about the cat . The day she came to visit, as Ken lugged his mothers luggage up the stairs, the cat appeared at the top of the steps. She looked very much like T.J.,  the cat Ken’s  mother had for 13 years, who had, not that long ago,  passed away.

” Hey baby! ” Ken’s  mother said, as she extended her hand to pet the cat. Ken told his mother how the cat first appeared. As Ken opened the door, she bolted inside. Ken said, ” As soon as I open the door it runs in”. Kens mother said, ” You know she’s pregnant right?”. Ken answered, “I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. I thought it was just fat.  I try to feed her chicken and she’s really not hungry. She looks like she belongs to someone because she’s definitely domesticated and clean.  I asked around and nobody knows whose cat it is.” Ken and his mother agreed that someone had dumped her. Most proably because she was pregnant.

Ken gave her some chicken . She looked excited about it and meowed when Ken asked, ” You wanna eat?”.  However, she would not eat it. Kens mother broke it into teeny pieces and she ate some. Ken’s mother said, “Yes, she is probably used to eating cat food. She’s definitely not feral or she would have eaten this . Ken and his mother decided that  because of her condition, and Ken’s inability to find the owner, that they should buy some cat food. After all, she was at his house every day. When they arrived back to Ken’s apartment, she was waiting for him. They let her in and opened a can of cat food. She ate like she was starving. Surprisingly, she would not drink water though.

The cat looked to be in overall good condition. They thought her legs looked swollen. Her coat was on the dull side with a large area of brownish hue to her black coat. After researching some things on the computer, they read this could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency. This made sense since she was pregnant and any nutrition she did obtain was going to her kittens. She was an odd looking cat too. For starters, she had no left eyebrow hairs . More oddly,  she was missing her tail. Just a little stub on the hind end with no apparent injury. She looked like a bunny from behind. Ken’s mother lovingly called her ” Bunny butt” and said, ” What do you call her?”. Ken hadn’t named her so his mom asked, ” How about Maya?”.

In a little while, after she ate, she looked up at Ken and softly meowed and he opened the door. She left and returned in a few minutes, pawing at Ken’s apartment door. We assume she meows when she wants to leave to do her business as she has never urinated in the house. He let her in again and Ken’s mom checked her ears and gums. Her ears were clean and her gums were nice and moist and pink. She had no fleas. They played with her and pet her for a while then let her out and went to bed.

The following morning she returned and then several times a day. Ken feeds her, gives her respite from the heat and a safe place to sleep for a few hours. Ken’s mom felt as if she didn’t look like a Maya and talking to the cat,  said, ” You’re  not a Maya, are  you?” and asked Ken,” How about Jaxy?. Jaxy from Jacksonville”. Ken liked it. So, Jaxy it was from that day forward.

A flyer with Jaxy’s photo was placed at the front office by the mailboxes. Sadly, it turned up nothing. Ken and his mother both called many agencies to find Jaxy a home. They wanted a no-kill shelter however, nobody to date, has room. The other ones euthanize. That is not an option that will even be considered by Ken even though he cannot keep her . He doesn’t want her to deliver her kittens outside so he allows her to sometimes spend the night on his patio while he is trying to find her a home. He calls her ” Jaxy cat”.

This union was good for both Jaxy and Ken as well. Jaxy has food and love and is cared for. And Ken has something to look forward to when he comes home besides work, work and more work. He has Jaxy waiting to be fed and he has  her unconditional love . Both have benefitted from this unusual union of fate.