7 Reasons You’re Probably Not Ready: Home Safety Week

The series I’m hosting this week is a little out of the ordinary for this space.

It’s certainly not like the series I typically host.

But honestly…I think it may be one of the most important blog topics I ever write about.  Albeit, not the sexiest.

You know those things that you know you NEED to do?  You really gotta get around to it.  It nags at you in the middle of the night. Little thought bubbles pop up en route to school drop off.  You keep putting it off, but you start feeling realllllly guilty that you still don’t have your act together.

The monkey screeches louder.

Living in California, the images coming out of Haiti after that giant earthquake, made me realize that if there were ever a major disaster, we would not be ready.  AT ALL.  Like, seriously at all.  It would be bad.

But I kept putting it off.  And off.  And off. I’d do it next week.  After things calmed down.  Once I got through (fill in the blank)…

Can I tell you something?…THE EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI WAS THREE YEARS AGO!!!!!

And I still hadn’t gotten my act together.  I was toying fate.  For sure.  “Next Week” my lily white arse.

Eventually (like, last month…), I decided enough was enough, I HAD to muster up the energy to be prepared.  This was ridiculous, and I’d never forgive myself if I “missed the deadline”.  As I started researching what we needed, I realized that there were probably lots of of other families out there just like us.

I want to encourage you to get that monkey off your back.  To check it off your mental to-do list.  To sleep a little better at night knowing you’ve at least done your part.  We have so very little control over these sorts of things…

And then there was the devastation in Moore, OK.  And all I could think of were the faces of my children and how absolutely HORRID I would feel if we were in a serious emergency, and they would look up at me telling me they were hungry, and I’d be like “Well, I didn’t have time to put together an emergency kit, but I did paint our coffee table a cool color!”  Gah.

I’ve brainstormed the top 7 reasons (I can think of) that families aren’t emergency ready, even when they know that it’s one of the most important things they can do:

homesafetyday1 copy

1.  I’m Busy/I’ll Do It Next Week-itis

Putting together all of the elements for an emergency preparedness kit/supply can be time consuming.  It’s a pretty long list of stuff, and let’s face it: Life is BUSY.  We keep thinking it will slow down…just after we get through end of school…after soccer season…once we muddle through the holidays…but the truth is that life never slows down, it just changes course.  You have got to carve out the time…the time you seriously do. not. have…for this.  Because natural disasters, fires, and zombie apocalypses do not care that you were busy and were planning on knocking this out next week.

2.  It’s Expensive/We Can’t Afford It

Money is the worst.  I hate money.  And this is one of those real life things that is a tangible issue.  Products cost money and sometimes there really are only so many dollars in the bank account and that’s all there is to it.  I get it.  Truly.  But this is serious.  You can find ways to cut your costs (and we’ll talk about them later in the week), but honestly…if you were truly in a devastating situation, what would you say to your babies when they told you they were thirsty?  Money sucks, but in a time like that, those $200 (or whatever it ends up being) would be worth EVERY COPPER PENNY and then some.  This is seriously one of those “you just gotta bite the bullet things”.  There really is no other way to put it.  Picture your babies.

3.  It’s Overwhelming

You’re telling me!  As I researched for this series, I almost threw in the towel myself (again).  Google “emergency preparedness list” and you’ll run away from your computer crying hysterically.  It can be a lot.  Too much.  And then you start freaking out about numbers 1 and 2 up there and it gets ugly real quick.  Lucky for you, I soldiered through and will have manageable lists you can print out and use as a resource.  They may not be exhaustive, but I culled it down to the essentials.  Don’t stress.  I got your back.  We’ll do this in small chunks every day.

4.  “Well, we’re kinda ready…”

I have gauze and antibiotic ointment and bandages in my house already.  There are plenty of granola bars in the pantry.  I mean, the gauze is in the upstairs bathroom…the bandages are in the kitchen cupboard…I think the ointment might be in the junk drawer…or is it in the kids’ bathroom?…wait…who ate the last Clif bar?!

You might be tempted to check something off the list because you technically own most of the supplies already…but unless it’s all in one, easily accessible spot (and isn’t three quarters empty because you’ve been using it)…I don’t think that counts as being emergency ready.  If you can’t find it quickly when your son scrapes his knee, you’re sure as heck not gonna find it when everything is upside down.  (Or is that just our house?)

5.  It’s Boring

I know.  It’s SO tempting to scroll right through every post I publish this week.  I can think of about a million other things I’d rather spend my day doing.  But…you know.  To help make it less boring, I’ve made printable lists for you.  That are colorful.  And use pretty fonts.  Problem solved.

6.  I Feel Like I’m Getting Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse

When you set out to legitimately get your home and family prepared for any emergency, you start to feel really neurotic.  You find yourself running through scenarios…escape routes…plans…and you know what?  That’s a good thing.  Even if it can feel like you are turning into a Doomsday Prepper.

7.  I Don’t Want To Freak Out The Kids

Henry is the kind of kid who will process through stuff for days to the point of freaking himself out.  I get this.  But again, it’s worth it.  We’ll hash out some ways to talk to kids about home safety in a way that hopefully will keep the fear to a minimum.  But if the unthinkable happens, you’ll be glad you talked to them about the Hard Stuff even if it was scary while you did it.  Talking about a plan before you need it is scary.  Having a plan when you need it is empowering.

So there you have it.  Every day this week we will tackle one element of Home Safety (did you know that June is Home Safety Month?  I actually didn’t, but it worked out pretty nicely, didn’t it?!).

Will you commit to doing this with me this week?  Will you FINALLY get it done?  No more putting it off.  No more excuses.  At the risk of being dramatic, I want you to seriously think about what you would say to your kids if you were in a terrible situation.  Would you know right where to go?  Would you have what they needed?  If the answer is “not really”, I want to encourage you…no, URGE you…to do this with me this week.

(Pssst…a couple of high value giveaways later in the week could help get you ready!)

And at the risk of sounding super self-promotional, I would encourage you to ask your friends the same thing.  It’s not about blog traffic…it’s about desperately wanting everyone to have their ducks in a Zombie Apocalypse row.

Are you ready?  If not, why not?  (No, really.  I want to know.)

 

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jeannett
I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.
jeannett
jeannett

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Comments

  1. 1

    This is a VERY important topic. Living in FL, the threat of hurricanes is very real. The official season is six months out of the year, but they have happened outside of that window. We have an emergency kit, and at the start of each season we restock any supplies we may need to ride a storm out. But we had never put together a specific plan in the event of an evacuation. This year, with a young child and aging parents who have issues, my husband and I sat down and talked through a number of different scenarios. We have yet to put it in writing, but we at least do know where we will go, who will need to go with and what we would take. It wasn’t fun to do, but it was necessary. I hope we never have to follow-through on those plans, but it is far better to have them and not need them than the other way around. Great series idea!

  2. 2

    SO excited about this! When we were living in Cyprus, we were smack dab in the middle of the Arab Spring, so our preparedness took on new levels. Resources to evacuate, food in case of invasion, enough medical and cleaning supplies to last awhile. The list went on and on. My friends thought I was crazy with the amount of candles I owned on reserve, but I wouldn’t trade my preparation for anything. It was such a blessing that is now shaping my life back in the States. I’m always buying extra and trying to think ahead as much as possible. This is great! Thank you!
    engquist@see what i sea designs´s last blog post ..whoop whoop!!

  3. 3

    My husband is in the business of emergency preparedness (he’s the safety & security admin for a large school district) so this is totally his thing. He loves doing it! I agree 110%. You will sleep better at night knowing it’s done!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Farm Chicks 2013 :: The VIP Experience

  4. 4

    This is such a timely topic for us. We live right between the areas where the two tornadoes hit in Oklahoma. Being lifelong Oklahomans we just didn’t think much about what we needed to do to prepare. We knew which room was the “go to” room since we don’t have a storm shelter. As we’ve had children, especially one with special needs and medical issues, our thought processes have definitely changed. The day of the May 31st tornadoes we were actually prepared. We’d been warned days in advance of the possibility of an outbreak so we discussed our plan and executed it. We even got in touch with our families to find out their plans. I spent the first half of the day making sure we had batteries, my son’s supplies, packed bags, and made sure my kids were in appropriate clothing. My daughter started freaking out a bit and I explained we were being prepared to be safe. When my husband came home she ran to him and told him we had a “just in case” bag packed. We’re doing even more to prepare and have been put on the waiting list to get a storm shelter. I will definitely be following along with your new series.

  5. 5

    Great topic and an important one. Maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to get this done.

  6. 7

    Funny, I had just put this on my list for this week’s project. Including getting some legal documents more “good to go.” It’s time.

  7. 8

    good stuff & very needed over here! excited to see what you have for us this week – pretty fonts and all ;)
    emily hope´s last blog post ..Do Not Worry …

  8. 9

    I’m in the “it’s overwhelming” category FOR SURE! Thanks for this. I will do it since you are!
    Rachael Alsbury´s last blog post ..Five Minute Fridays: Listen

  9. 10

    Thank you for doing this. I NEED a kick in the pants. It’s been on my mind forever. In the Pacific NW we really don’t have any major threats. No hurricanes, Tornados, we are high enough flooding isn’t a major issue either… we are however on a MAJOR fault line, and it’s either going to be the mother of all earth quakes, or a Volcano Eruption… I think about those things yet I do nothing. I have gone as far as to talk to my sons day care provider and one of the moms that I am friends with there because I work across a river with our car. If something were to happen, and a bridge goes out, we wont have a way to get to our son. He is going to a new day care and they want a 48 hour emergency back pack for him before he starts. It kind of made me raise my eye brows and say REALLY? But the more I thought about it the better idea it is. I am SO looking forward to your list. And time thinking I need to break down and buy that bucked of food I wouldn’t eat if you paid me to at winco. (it last’s 25 YEARS!) I guess if I ever needed it I will be glad to have it right? Tell me I am right.
    Ceri´s last blog post ..Baby Shower Cake – "A Star Is Born"

  10. 11

    I’m hoping this will help get my butt in gear on this subject….hubs and I have talked about it but never done anything specific to be ready. And while we usually have plenty of food in the pantry – the water thing is a biggie. We do actually have first aid kits in each car – and all our meds/bandages, etc are all in a portable tool box, so that would be easy to grab and go….but that’s ALL.
    I think we haven’t done it because of almost all the reasons you listed….and then there is ye ole “it’ll never happen to us” – which is just plain idiotic to think and yet, there it is.
    Kirsten´s last blog post ..I blinked

  11. 12

    My husband gave out kits one year for Christmas. They have shelf stable items, first aid kit, small alcohol based burner, poncho for keeping warm, etc. I keep it in a blue Rubbermaid tote in my garage or trunk and have blankets etc. in there. Hard part is potable water, I need to get potable water tabs so I don’t have to constantly change out gallons of water. We have a shakeable flashlight that charges when you shake it and a solar radio. He also keeps a medic kit handy (thank you for that training, US Army). I should probably add some games, color pencils and paper for the kiddo…. And a small travel kit with toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc….

    Good idea and timely column….
    Best,
    Caryl

  12. 13

    I have no excuse. I used to live in an abandoned mill town with no economy, and the infrastructure was quite literally crumbling under our feet. Power would go out for a week at a time (I think this happened 3 times in a winter) and once we had no running water for 6 days.

    We’ve since moved, and I’m lulled into a false sense of security. But things break, and I know how un-fun that can feel. I need to get it together.
    Courtney´s last blog post ..Lyme Disease: What Makes it Tricky

  13. 14

    Oh my goodness this is exactly what I need. A nudge. A kick. Someone to hold my hand and fend off the procrastination! I look forward to this Jeannett. I hope you will also cover preparation specific to Jilly’s needs… This is really something I need to get organized for my daughter!

  14. 15

    Ugh! I am so glad you are doing this. A while ago I was all about this, then started to make a plan, but got so overwhelmed that I just stopped. Fortunately I don’t live in an area that gets hit by too many emergencies, but still. It is important no matter where you live. I’m hoping you can make it less stressful. No pressure or anything. :)
    Anne @ anne b. good´s last blog post ..Privacy Settings & the (Strategic) Bloggy-Blog

  15. 16
    Jen Wells says:

    My husband and I live just outside of Moore, OK. After living thru two F5 tornados in less than 2 weeks, my mind was racing with all the things I needed to do to truly be prepared should something like this happen again. We were the fortunate ones–we didn’t sustain any damage to speak of–we have the chance to learn from this situation. Yet here it is, almost a month later, and my resolve to take all those steps of preparation has already given way to the busyness of summer. Thank you!! Thank you for giving me the kick in the fanny I need to finally DO this! My sister is coming to visit this weekend, and guess what our project is going to be?? (She doesn’t know it yet

  16. 17
    Jen Wells says:

    My husband and I live just outside of Moore, OK. After living thru two F5 tornados in less than 2 weeks, my mind was racing with all the things I needed to do to truly be prepared should something like this happen again. We were the fortunate ones–we didn’t sustain any damage to speak of–we have the chance to learn from this situation. Yet here it is, almost a month later, and my resolve to take all those steps of preparation has already given way to the busyness of summer. Thank you!! Thank you for giving me the kick in the fanny I need to finally DO this! My sister is coming to visit this weekend, and guess what our project is going to be?? (She doesn’t know it yet

  17. 18

    well, since you mentioned the possibility of preparing for a zombie apocalypse i guess i could get started. no guarantees, but i’ll start. i haven’t because we’ve never been without power for more than a few hours, always clean water, no tornadoes, hurricanes nor damaging earthquakes in ohio. the cable was out for a day last week, does that count? :)

  18. 19

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