Developing an emergency plan. I guess the first thing I should say is, do this before there is one! As we have been stewing in our homes for the past month, I wonder how this could actually be happening. Throughout history, how many people have actually lived through a planet wide lock down? Growing up in Florida I have experienced several hurricanes. I have witnessed the aftermath of a handful of major ones that reduced cities of re-bar and stone to ruble. I recall driving through Miami two weeks after Andrew and being surprised by how the people looked. They seemed to be zombies. Humans that no longer had a purpose. No job to perform or game to attend.
I see the same faces today as I walk around what is left of society here in Seattle. As almost everyone is hunkering down indoors, the people that are still on the streets are, by and large, homeless. Before, they seemed to blend in, being one in ten. Now they are the majority. The primary residents of the street of Seattle. And I see how they remind me of the people that I saw in Miami many years ago. Humans that have no purpose. I am making no judgement here, just observing how one disaster highlights another.
So, if we could wind back the clock and make an emergency plan for this particular disaster, what could we do? How to plan for a real emergency. Start by making a list of what emergencies you might experience in your part of the world. I don’t think many people would have a pandemic on their list before now. Might you experience a hurricane? How about floods or a tsunami? Here in Seattle, earthquakes are a real possibility as are fallout from a volcano. A couple of years ago we had wildfires on three fronts and it was raining ash. Not that we had it anywhere as bad as our neighbors in California.
Let’s begin by making a list of everything that is most important if life as we know it comes to a halt. There are the obvious ones such as food and water. But what if you trapped at your office? Or your car? To be truly prepared we need to have resources wherever we are stuck. You should plan on having whatever you might need to survive for at least 24 hours. Medications, important document such as insurance policies and identification. Bank account information. What if the power grid goes down? Credit cards and ATM’s will do you no good. More on the basic list include: battery powered radio, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, manual can opener and cell phone with a charger and backup battery. This is not everything, but it’s a good start.
And let’s not forget our pets! Do you have a plan if something happens and you are not home? Have you arranged for someone to look in on your pets? What if there is a fire in you apartment building and you are at work? When building your emergency kit, include items that your pet will need to survive. Probably many will be the same for them as for us. Food, water and medications. They might need first aid just like you. A couple of years ago I became concerned of what might happen to my two dogs if something prevented me from coming home. What if I got hit by a car or had a heart attack? I was discussing this with my sisters that live in the the southeast part of the country. They would be happy to take my pups but it could be days before they could work out the logistics. I came up with the idea to ask the dog trainer, that has worked with my boys for years, if she could take them until my sister could make the arrangements. This was when Diane, their trainer and best friend beyond me, said she would be happy to adopt them if it became necessary. This took a huge weight off my shoulders. I encourage everyone to have a backup plan for every possibility.
Until then, be safe be well and know that we will emerge from this. Please let me know what you think about this post.