I thought a lot about whether or not to write this post. Because it’s quite embarrassing…especially since I don’t want to lose my credibility. But I think when it comes down to it, we’re all human. So here we go…

I grew up around power tools, as my family has owned this power tool company for over 40 years. I learned how to use a scroll saw when I was eight-years-old. I know which tools and accessories to use for most applications.

And I’ve got my own…just the essentials for around-the-house stuff.

So you would think as Hurricane Matthew made its way towards us, prepping my house would be easy, right?

Wrong.

My husband and I learned how to put up shutters earlier this week. But we were on a time crunch as the storm neared, and all of our tool knowledge seemed to slip our minds.

I couldn’t think straight with all of the “what if’s” bogging down my brain. Our neighbors probably thought we were first-time tool users, which is kind of funny in hindsight.

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Here’s primarily what we used, mostly out of availability (apparently we need to organize our garage, because we couldn’t find half of what we own, which made everything more difficult…):

We grabbed the tools we had available, and didn’t give a second thought to the way we were using them. Our goal was to get the job done as quickly as possible. But if we’d actually taken the time to think clearly, we would have saved ourselves a lot of time and energy!

I’m not going to go into detail with the mistakes we made, because that’s where it gets embarrassing.

But here’s one example, to give you an idea…

I started by drilling holes into the top rails of the shutters. I started with a bit made for wood (!), realized what I was doing, and switched to a titanium drill bit. Obviously, that made all the difference!

Some things I learned or remembered during this process, many of which are obvious:

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for a hurricane.
  2. During a time of panic, it’s really easy to forget even the most natural and obvious things. So stop, take a breath and analyze what you’re doing before getting to work. Every tool and each accessory has a purpose…if you use them the way they’re meant to be used and for the type of material they’re made for, you’re going to have a lot more luck.
  3. SAFETY GEAR…Again, something so obvious. When you’re racing to get as much done as possible before the sun sets, taking the 10 seconds to grab your safety goggles and ear plugs and gloves is worth it.
  4. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a good tool belt!
  5. Don’t forget to keep your batteries charged…

This was quite the experience. It’s crazy how all of my knowledge went right out the door when it was time to get to work. I am the daughter of a tool store owner, and boy did I do some stupid things.

After jogging my memory by actually putting my knowledge to use, maybe now I’ll look to refinish the dining room table I’ve been meaning to get to for the last three years…

But first, I’m going to make another purchase. I wish we’d had this…it would have made putting up shutters in the middle of the night much easier!

Please feel free to share your own embarrassing tool experiences!

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