Monday, January 25, 2010

Prepared ?

This Haiti thing has me quite unsettled. Combined with some time spent last week reading Sharon Astyk, and Mr. Quimby's absence over the next few days, I've felt a pull to sort of get things in order.

Our food storage is in pretty good shape - a good balance between allocating a reasonable amount of space to food storage but still having some extras on hand. There's no way that we could make it three months, but I think we could make it long enough to get the hell out of the over-crowded close in suburb where we live. I'm trying to save money by doing hyper-careful grocery shopping these days, but we still have extras.

One of the things I did today was survey our car. In the front in a hard to reach area in a plastic box, I've got a flashlight, extra batteries, matches, and a couple granola bars. In the back of the car, I've got water and granola bars stored in some available spaces in some compartments that are accessed by lifting up the floorboard in the back, but that's a few years old so I need to switch it out. In a milk crate in the back of the car, I've got my trusty maya sling in case I need to carry a child anywhere, a couple things that could be used as ponchos, some toilet paper, a roll of paper towels, some rags, the car's sun shields, a couple bunjee cords, and some trashbags. I should really add a tarp and some rope back there. We take that crate out if we need space or if we're doing a big Costco run, but in general, it stays in the back of the car. I also have a "diaper bag" for the girls. I took that inside the house today, added a change of clothes for each girl, and checked the lightweight jackets and winter hats that are in there. I also checked the medicine to see if it was expired yet (tylenol, decongestant, ibuprofen) and added some little bottles of water and some granola bars. I want to add in some adult tylenol and ibuprofen.

I should prepare a bag to leave in the house to grab - this would contain more water, more matches and maybe some kindling, some candy to keep kids (and adults) on a sugar high ;-), an extra pair of shoes for each child and adult, and a jacket, hat, and gloves for each adult, some first aid supplies and some cash. I also need to get a five gallon gas can to keep in our garage and then, most importantly, actually keep some gas in it.

While I was checking through the diaper bag, I told Mr. Quimby that I knew it was unlikely, but that it made me feel reassured to be prepared. He said that while a natural disaster is unlikely but possible, it could be something more benign that would make us want to leave town - another 9/11 type thing, god forbid, might just make us want to run for the hills. It wouldn't be that we were in immediate danger, but more that we would want the reassurance of family. We mapped out a destination to the north, west, and south (Rochester, NY; Ottawa, IL; and Birmingham, AL). We have family in each place and there's at least 2-3 major routes to get to each location. Each of these locations has some fresh water source and working farms nearby. Of course, I've watched enough 24 to know that Mr. Quimby could really be a super secret spy of some sort, and we also might have to flee if the bad guys want to come after him ! (Kidding - if Mr. Quimby really is a spy, he's so deep undercover that even he doesn't know it !)

To be sure, there are all sorts of holes in my plan - if there is a disaster we will most likely have to shelter in place, not make a run for it. Nothing in our car or emergency bag is going to save us for more than a couple days, and this is way less than we'll need should a disaster happen, but I do figure we could last with what is in our car for a couple days. It will be difficult to get gas for the car, which is precisely why we should shelter in place.

Even with my imperfect plan, it just feels good to have any plan - I pray we'll never need it.


Rachel et Natalie said...

that's quite impressive

AwwwTrouble said...

reading this makes me anxious.

Snork Maiden said...

I want to do this too - my car is stocked with a lot of stuff like rope and MRE's, because I camp a lot. But I don't have a set of stuff that always stays in it.
Haiti made me think about the giant earthquake the discovery channel keeps talking about for California, and how I don't have any water in my vehicle if I was to run for the hills (after shaking has stopped)

The Lowe said...


Ryaanne said...

Thanks for posting this. I think about having stuff ready for an emergency but other things always seem to get done first. I am going to move this up to the top of my list.

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