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:
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.)