This past week has been interesting, exciting, stressful, and tiring. I have loved having so much time with my family. I’m finding it’s not just that we’re spending time together, but it’s quality time together. We’re having actual conversations without technology in our hands, going on scavenger hunts throughout the neighborhood, and reminiscing about past memories. We’re even talking to friends and family who live far away more than ever. We’ve always had the ability to FaceTime with them, we just never do. Maybe this experience is helping all of us value the really important things, like the people in our lives. I hope so.
But as nice as it is being together, I (and I’m sure you are too) am looking forward to getting back to normal. Because, while there are nice aspects to being forced to stay within the confines of our own homes and avoid being in close proximity with other people, there are stresses and frustrations that come along with it too. Thinking about going to the grocery store now causes anxiety to bubble up in my chest and my heart to beat a little faster. Keeping a constant mental inventory of the things we have, and the things we are running low on is draining. Wondering why the baby didn’t finish her milk and worrying about pouring the leftovers down the drain because there might not be milk at the store when I go, is a daily stressor now. The things we typically take for granted; we no longer can.
There are a lot of lessons many of us going to learn from this experience. For me, the biggest lesson is that we’re not prepared. If there was ever an emergency that truly stopped the world in its tracks, the ASM household would not survive. I don’t even have a box of pasta or rice in my pantry right now. My stock of non-perishable items is pathetic. I need to do better.
So, I have set a goal for myself. For the remainder of this year, I am going to work on gathering the things my family would need in case of a real emergency.
Ready.gov has a great list of things that people might need in case of an emergency. Here are some of the most important things they say you need:
- 1 Gallon of water per person per day (3-day supply)
- Non-perishable foods (3-day supply)
- Battery-powered radio
- First-aid kit
- Whistle to call for help
- Moist Towelettes
- Dust Mask
It’s also important that you update your kit every year to replace expired food and supplies and reevaluate your family’s needs.
The American Red Cross website also has a ton of great resources including this disaster plan template which asks you to think about what types of emergencies might occur where you live, how to escape out of your house in an emergency and to designate a meeting place for the family just in case you are not together when a disaster occurs.
We always think nothing bad will happen to us, and hopefully, that is the case. But the truth is we live in uncertain times, in an uncertain world, and it’s better to take a little time to prepare for the just in case than to not be ready for the OMG!
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