Monday, October 29, 2012

Motivational Monday #70 - The Storm is Coming!

I woke up this morning to the local news telling me hundreds of thousands of people had evacuated.  Pictures showed train stations and airports empty.  Power was already out in some areas, they are expecting water surges of eleven feet, and the storm is still a few hundred miles off the coast.

I think it is safe to say this will be a bad day for a lot of people...

Every time I see a big evacuation like this I wonder how well these people are prepared.  Of course it is my business (literally) to think about it, but I also wonder from a warm fuzzy human aspect as well.  It must be scary to pick up and depart your home, not knowing what you will find when you get back.  A home is where your comfort zone is.  It is familiar and safe.  To leave your home because it isn't safe anymore must be emotionally difficult.

When evacuations are ordered I also think about logistics.  I wonder where people will go, how they will travel, and what they will take with them.  I worry a little bit that they will find themselves away from home and family and without the things they need.  I am concerned that in their haste they will walk away without the basics.  These thought are not unfounded, as history has shown us time and again that people leave without the things they need.

It is a fact that in moments of crisis, stress or uncomfortable decisions, people's normal thinking patterns change.  I know of a woman who was asked to leave her home because of wildfires.  Her husband packed the kids, food, clothes and the family pictures.  She packed her makeup.  She wasn't a shallow woman, in fact quite the opposite, but when it came down to it, she froze.

Obviously I think a family's documentation is important, but there are so many other "essentials" that need to be included in an evacuation plan.  Here are a few of my top items.
  1. Living things - This includes family, pets and neighbors that may need assistance.
  2. Things to Sustain Life - This includes food, water, medication and cash.  It also includes clothes, blankets and medical supplies.  It may also include fuel and camping supplies, depending on the situation.
  3. Things to Simplify Life - This includes things like identification, financial and insurance information, evacuation plans and contact lists.
  4. Things to Make Life Pleasant - This includes activities, electronics (and chargers), games, books, and creature comforts.  It also include sentimental items such as family pictures and heirlooms.
So what would you put on your list to take?  Do you have a formal list made?  Do you have 72 hour kits already in place? What have you done to prepare?

Most of us will never have a nasty hurricane forcing us to evacuate, but with floods, wildfires, ice storms and earthquakes, just to name a few natural disasters, many of us live in areas that require preparation.  So go pick one thing, and get started.  There is no time like now.

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