Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Be Prepared

This past week my work participated in the Great Utah Shakeout and though we joked, laughed, and snapped photos throughout the process it was a good reminder that we do live in an earthquake zone and really should be mindful about personal preparedness.

Pansa on the left cracks me up. She can fit under the desk so easily. Amy on the right is the one who has dubbed me "EverReady" and I'm ok with it. :)

It's kind of funny because one of my co-workers has decided my nickname is "EverReady". Kind of like the battery and people who are really ready for most every scenario. I do tend to think worst case scenario about most everything in my life which can be very gloom and doom but it can also be really helpful when there is an emergency or something doesn't go quite as planned.

Of course I wouldn't be flashing peace signs in a real emergency but at least we got under the desks. #stayinalive

I like to think that it's not all gloom and doom but more learning from my mistakes and becoming more and more prepared for all that life throws at me. Becoming a Mom definitely supported my sense of preparedness because now I really feel I need to bring all sorts of things along with me "just in case". Moms, you know what I'm saying. When your diaper bag weighs more than the weights at the gym, you know you're prepared for anything. HA HA HA!

Hold on tight! P.S. I have already thought about the ways I can escape from our 3rd floor offices.

I try to walk the line between being over prepared and being reasonably prepared for most typical emergencies. Here are some things I've done for myself and that we've done around the house to make sure we'd be prepared for most scenarios:
  1. We have escape ladders on both the second and third floors. Granted our ladders are all only meant for two story escapes but I figured my chances of living if I could climb down to the first floor and jump are better than having no escape. Or if I could at least make it to the second floor I'd be good to go. 
  2. We have a fire extinguisher in our kitchen. Yeah, you never think you'll need it but it really only takes moments for something to go from burning just a little to being completely on fire. From there if you make one mistake or something flammable touches the fire and suddenly you're in serious trouble. I have to hope we never need it but it's nice to have.
  3. We have first aid kits in multiple locations. We've got assorted band-aids upstairs, a couple first aid kits on the second floor, I have a couple first aid kits in the car, we have one in Joe's truck... We're never far from basic medical supplies, just in case.
  4. I keep an assortment of warm clothes and blankets in my trunk as well as a 72 hour kit. You never know when you might get stranded in a winter snow storm and if I ever had little Russell with me I'd want to make sure he could stay warm and toasty and would have food to eat. Maybe I never need this stuff but at least it's there.
  5. I have an E-Tool in my trunk. I don't know that I would have known what one of these was but Joe was in the military and told me it was a good multipurpose tool to keep in my car. I can use it to dig holes, chop stuff, hammer things, and oh so much more. Why? Because honestly you never know when you need something like this and it folds up so it takes up hardly any space anyway.
Now, these few things don't equate to a full scale emergency preparedness plan. The things I want to get to in the next few months/years include:
  1. 72 hour kits in the house for each of us. I'm going to have to figure out what Russell friendly foods are available. 
  2. Have one emergency box with things like family photos, emergency information, medical information, irreplaceable personal items, etc. all in one spot so if we ever had to evacuate our home we could know that we were at least taking the most valuable things with us. This might not be as much of a worry if we were in our own home but I live in a town home and there are neighbors on two sides of us. You want to think everyone is as careful and smart about things as you but I'm sure most of us have seen those news reports where one person leaves the stove on and the whole building burns up in a matter of minutes. If we had to leave in a hurry I want to know that we could get the family out, the cats out, and one or two boxes of essentials and be on our way.
  3. A finalized emergency plan for our family to be safe if something like a big earthquake were to hit or something else caused all typical forms of communication to go down. I'd want to know that we were all heading for the same place so we wouldn't have to worry about going to find each other regardless of where we were each coming from. 
  4. A couple weeks/months worth of food and water. Yeah, you could think this is totally crazy but I think this is smart even if you're not thinking disaster preparedness. If I lost my job and we had a few weeks or months worth of food then I might be able to get by and pay the rent without worrying we'd starve until someone found a new job. Plus there are always times when some unexpected repair (you need to replace a tire or two) or expense (registering two cars with the DMV in the same month) comes up and if you know you have food in the house it will be a whole lot less stressful waiting for your next paycheck. 
  5. Have flashlights with batteries and/or emergency candles for the house. Sometimes a power outage is an inconvenience but then there are times when it's serious. If we had a major winter storm and couldn't leave I'd want to know we could fumble around our house and keep warm. You would be shocked just how much heat a few good emergency candles can put off if you were indeed in an emergency. With the right things I know I could keep my family safe and warm.
So, all this being said, what is your preparedness plan? Do you lean more towards the "I'll get to it someday" camp or are you more on the side of a "doomsday" prepper? I like to think of myself somewhere in the middle where I work to have things I might actually need and use without going too crazy and digging out a bomb shelter in the basement. (Not saying that's a terrible idea if you have the time/money/interest in that sort of thing.)

Tell me, what is part of your families preparedness plan? Do you have certain things you keep ready for your kids and pets? How long would you and your family survive if you could only live off the things in your home? What about in your car if you were stranded away from home?

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