week 2.5: emergency preparedness

This one warranted a mid-week post.

Yesterday I went to turn on my faucet and no water came out. Not even a drop. Strange.

So, I checked additional faucets, they didn’t work either. So…I wandered outside to my neighbors to see if their water wasn’t working too. 3 doors later, no one was home. What next? Well then I went downstairs to check my water and investigate my utility room. I walked down the stairs, turned the corner, hit the laundry room and simultaneously hit wet feet. Soaked feet. The hall? Soaked. The utility room (fortunately concrete)? Soaked. The spare bedroom? SOAKED. The closet in the spare bedroom? Also soaked. I think my first thought was…wow, for the first time in my life…this is MY problem. Welcome to home ownership. Wah-wah-wah…

So like any girl in distress? I called my dad. I don’t even know how our conversation went down, I can’t remember. Its all a blur. But it ended in the fact that I needed to talk to a neighbor or someone in my HOA. Problem? I have been a terrible neighbor and don’t really know any of them! The ones I’ve known recently moved, and I know I have a neighborhood contact list somewhere but I couldn’t find it. So I called the only other people whose contact info I had, the sweet couple who lives at the far end of the street. I’ve never been so grateful for a sweet “Well hello Erin” response on the other end of the line. I told them I wished it had been a happier call but that I was in a bit of a moment of crisis. I told them what had happened and they said they’d come right over and check it out with me.

And so, five minutes later, they were at my door. And with dinner. Before long, we had determined it was likely coming from my neighbors house and seeping through the walls. Then began the night and the parade of people and vacuums. The water boots and the shop-vacs. I met neighbors I’d only waved at. I programmed numbers into my phone. I facebook stalked people to try to figure out how to get in the neighbors house. I entertained the neighbors children. I pulled carpet, ripped up padding, vacuumed water with the help of my neighbors, dad, a friend from the ward and my roommate. My neighbor two doors down just started working on getting me water unannounced to me. He ran a hose from his house to my house. Told my dad what adaptor I needed from home depot after he called a few people to see if they happened to have one.

At the end of the day, the wet carpet was out, the water was mostly gone, the fan was going (and is still going and will be going for a long while), I had running water in my house (thanks to my neighbor since I have no water coming to my house from the usual line) and I had met a lot of my neighbors!

Lessons learned:

  • never take water for granted
  • don’t put off washing your hair 
  • don’t put off doing laundry or washing dishes
  • know your neighbors
  • put your neighbors numbers in your phone
  • own a shopvac
  • rubber boots were a good investment (for outside puddles and inside puddles alike)
  • the impression to buy water–was a good one to heed
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