Tuesday afternoon I finally made my way back to Hawaii after being on the Mainland for a month. I can’t even describe my relief. Not only was I happy to finally come home, but I was also happy to have gotten there without delay. Leading up to takeoff, I found myself constantly checking the weather along with web-sites tracking flight statuses. Nearly every flight I checked the day before was canceled because of Flossie.

My new brother-in-law mentioned how often these warnings and watches come and how often they result in “nothing.” I couldn’t help but think of how dangerous that type of perspective could be. I found myself thinking how much better prepared I was because I didn’t think that way. Unfortunately, when I got back and checked on our stock of disaster-kit essentials, I found that I wasn’t so prepared after all. Now I’m learning that letting go of certain habits may help me stock up, starting with some basics.


• Non-perishable food.


This is when my healthy-eating approach doesn’t serve me well. Yes, going for fresh foods whenever possible is usually the right way. However, if we were ever left with just the food in our cupboards to survive, we’d have only un-popped popcorn, crackers and tomato soup. Now I’m re-stocking and will start with protein-packed canned goods, along with veggies such as carrots and green beans. I’ll even sneak in some splurges that would otherwise throw off my healthy eating: Spam, SpaghettiOs and clam chowder.

• Bottled water. Although we try to be eco-friendly and resist purchasing bottled water, in this case, it doesn’t help. The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) recommends having at least one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days on hand.

• Plastic bags and baby wipes. We have next to no plastic bags in our condo, thanks to the reusable bag with a permanent home in my purse. However, if disaster struck and plumbing went out, how would we stay clean? FEMA recommends keeping plastic bags and moist towelettes on hand for personal sanitation.

Flossie may not have hit us very hard, but it did strike a chord with me. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t always have to come with restrictions. Sometimes, it means letting go of certain rules (i.e. no processed food, no bottled water, etc.) for the sake of survival.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefix isin-hawaii@gmail.com.