When a "Watch" has been issued in our area, I run around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off and gather the items I want to have with me. We sit in a deep closet on stools. In a large bag I gather our check books and extra checks, at least a gallon of water, crackers and peanut butter, a plastic knife, a container of Wipes, toothbrushes and paste, tinted moisturizer, comb/brush, and basic jewelry that means something to me (not necessarily expensive) and my computer discs. I subscribe to Carbonite, so I don't worry about my computer files.
The latest online issue of This Old House adds the following: fishing line(for tying back doors to stay open), a solar fan, heavy gloves, vinyl tablecloths (cheaper and more useful in their sizes). These can already be packaged and in your favorite hidey hole.These items come in handy whether or not you have a house standing.
The rising of the Mississippi River reminds me of the time the Delaware River rose and we were unaware of this when we returned from Maine at night into Milford, Pennsylvania to return to Barryville, NY on the other side of the Delaware. There are more bridges in the area than one realizes. We got as far as the last bridge on the PA side and were met with policemen directing us to an elementary school for the night.
I recall the cafeteria workers on duty baking cookies and making sandwiches for all of us stranded folk. We had little to do to while away the hours. Then the Red Cross brought in cots that had been stored since World War II by the smell of them, but we lay down and snuggled under those thin, wool blankets that reminded us of being a soldier in a war. Terribly uncomfortable, warm. Just as we fell asleep we were awakened stating the roads were clear of high water. The time was 2 A. M.
Returning to the same bridge only a few miles away we were again rerouted on roads that at night time made our short trip a long one. We had to travel north some 25 miles and circle through state and county roads to arrive a familiar roadway running south that took us into Barryville. By then it was nearing 5 P. M. We had left Maine at noon, driving seven hours. The length of travel imprinted on our minds was not the difficulty, but what happens when flooding affects an area and the tremendous help given those stranded.