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Storm Prepping {Large Family Edition}

How to survive a storm even when your family is puking its guts out.

Post contains affiliate linksStorm Prepping: How to survive, thrive and stay alive. Large family edition

Storm Prepping. Has a nice ring, wouldn’t you say? Who wouldn’t want the time and warning to prep for a massive storm?  Well, apparently I am surrounded by some rather misguided citizens who are upset that the storm didn’t culminate into the vicious weapon of mass destruction that was predicted. What the heck? This is good news, people. But I digress.

It was a Vicious Weapon of Mass Destruction over here in our house and as I type the wind is blowing like crazy threatening to take out our electricity once again. So I’d better type fast.

Thursday morning, once my little cherubs were off to school, I headed off to do a bit of shopping. A few years back we were left without electricity for four days and it was horrible. Last year we were out for 62 hours. I really hate to admit how much no electricity throws us. I mean, we camp for a week at a time in the summer, but then we are prepared. So this time, I decided to do a bit of storm prepping. I gathered all of the flashlights and batteries in one place and planned some of the meals we make when camping. Then I headed to the store to stock up.

Once I was home I set right work prepping. I boiled angel hair pasta for Asian salad, I chopped cucumbers and peppers. I cooked up beef for cheese steaks and ground beef for tacos. I purchased paper plates and bowls and cereal and yogurt for easy no-cook breakfasts.  All was going well. I had this storm prepping thing down. Send me the Storm Prepping Mom of the Year Award now. Seriously.

Then the phone rang.

I needed to pick up a certain junior high student who puked during band class. Yeah, I’m now the proud mom of that kid. So I picked up my musical vomiter and headed right back to my storm prepping.


And then the phone rang. 

I needed to pick up a certain elementary schooler who puked in the bathroom (unfortunately on the floor, not in the toilet. The one stall was occupied by a kindergarten who was then trapped in the stall by cascades of liquid puke flowing in waves under the stall door like a small regurgitated tsunami.)

Yes, I’m also the proud mom of that kid.

Storm Prepping 2016: How to survive, thrive and stay alive.


By now,  prepping food sounds like a bad idea…but I’m already in the middle of it, so what’s a mom to do? I finished prepping the food I had out, picked up my healthy kids from school and continued with our evening.

Sometime around dinner, my stomach felt a little upset, but being the Sacrificial Loving Mother that I am, I served my family dinner and put in a movie (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2– head’s up, there are many more sexual innuendoes in this than the first. You have been forewarned if you decide to show it to your kids).

By the time the movie was over I was vomiting and ready to book my stay at Dignitas.

Tucker’s 11th birthday party was scheduled for the next day, so we had to call every single kid’s family and let them know the party was canceled. I was way too sick at this point to make the calls so I recruited Kalina who was healthy. Tucker was lying in a miserable heap in the hallway right outside of the bathroom. Kalina sat next to him while he weakly told her the name of every kid invited. While she made the calls I offered realistic sound effects as I ran down the hall to the bathroom violently vomiting into a bowl while Kalina explained that we were sick. So, yes, the kids will be switching schools, we will now be moving out of state and entering the witness protection program.

By noon on Friday, our electricity was out. Thankfully the most violent puking from the highest number of people took place while we still had our modern conveniences. Unfortunately, the plague was still making its way through the family.  Have you every puked by flashlight? Cleaned up puke by flashlight?

It’s actually surprisingly rare that everyone in our family  gets sick. Usually 40% or so survive unscathed. This time? Enoch is the last man standing, literally and figuratively.

Suffice it to stay, the Big Storm of 2016 left us:

without electricity

with a puking family

no way to do laundry

and miserable, sick, cranky kids in the dark.

Yeah, the storm of 2016 was big and bad enough for us.

Now I’m off to buy a hazmat suit, a respirator, and a new house.

ETA: After this little *ahem* experience I did some research on the norovirus. One of the few cleaners known to kill the norovirus is Hydrogen Peroxide 3% solution. I now keep this spray cleaner on hand and also these wipes. Both are proven to kill norovirus and lots of other NASTIES. I also now use this spray after working with raw meat. I will wipe the counter, spray with the hydrogen peroxide solution, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. 



  1. Rosie

    And here I have been waiting for your posts while recovering from the same bug myself. Well, except I got it while visiting family we have not seen for almost four years, in another state, without my husband. I even had the thought, “This sounds like a Renee story.”. 🙂 At least I mopped their laundry room for them while there…I didn’t make it to the bathroom in time. Only once, thankfully.

    Hope you all start to feel back to normal soon.

    • Renee

      I am so sorry! I would’t wish this on anyone! And I’m not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed that you thought is sounded like a Renee story…I’m gonna go with proud.

  2. Pamela Bruesehoff

    I’m with you on being happy that the storm wasn’t anywhere near as bad as predicted! It did provide that last little push that I needed to get my emergency supplies ordered and stocked up though…. thank goodness for Amazon!

    • Renee

      Amazon is my best friend. I recently hit a new level of shopping efficiency. I ordered from Amazon while waiting in line to buy stuff at Walmart. Go me!

  3. corinne gonz

    Wow what a storm. here in Florida some of us were really lucky and I say that as without electricity here the toilets don’s flush either and as sick as you were that wouldn’t go..

    • Renee

      Many of our friends don’t have water when the electricity is out and we didn’t at our last house. That is certainly one thing to be thankful for!

  4. Heather TenKley

    Oh dear the stomach bug is going through our house too. My 9 year old is home from school after having a writhing night with stomach cramps and vomiting. Today just a stomach ache for him. Husband has had the stomach ache for days. Myself as I sit here typing am feeling a bit funky in the stomach area. My 14 year old son is the “Last Man Standing” at our house.

  5. Laura

    After a particularly nasty bout of food poisoning last year, I discovered that Amazon sells those disposable barf bags like they have at the ER, and they’re not too spendy either. I made this discovery too late to save me next time, but never again will I have to drag myself to the bathroom, too weak to even stand, just to clean out a puke bucket. Worth. Every. Penny.

  6. Tracy

    Somehow your story of misery left me laughing hysterically! You are a talented writer, and have a way of find in the humor in everything. Thanks for blogging!

  7. bemis

    Soooo, I just got back from visiting Washington state for the first time in 25 years. And my three kids all got nasty colds…and one also got your stomach bug and ended up puking all over the guest house where we were staying. Amazingly (and thankfully) she was the only one who got it. I was wondering where we got it from. Apparently our plane flew directly over your house while landing. Thanks.

    Oh, and it rained all but two of the ten days we were there. I was told that it never really rains in the part of Washington where we ended up…Ha!

    But it was still a nice visit, and goodness gracious, what a gorgeous state!

    Oh, and my best joke: What is gastroentomology?

    …The study of stomach bugs.

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