Last year, on October 29th, less than 2 hours away from where we live, Hurricane Sandy hit the coast of New Jersey. It hit and it took with it many pieces of the lives of so many New Jersey and New York residents (honestly, it was more widespread than that). I remember this as an extremely horrific experience. We are just about 2 hours inland and winds much faster than we had experienced in our time here were going to hit. I was driving home from work on I-76 just minutes before they closed the road and I felt the gusts. Our home has many tall trees in its backyard and so that night we spent the night as a family huddled in one of the rooms furthest away from them. Ben’s 86 year old grandmother who was visiting with us at the time spent the night in the other room farthest away. As I walked in our home just as people’s lives were being destroyed, I was thankful that I was home with my family. I was also anxious. I had a 1 year old, 4 year old, 5 year old, and 86 year old to care for and worry about. What if we lost power for an extreme amount of time? What if we couldn’t get food from the grocery? What if Ben’s grandmother or my children needed something medically? A feeling of unpreparedness and anxiety fled over me.
The Save the Children Get Ready.Get Safe initiative in part is dedicated to helping communities prepare for the worst and getting emergency plans in place for some of the most vulnerable people. It is scary to me that more than half of US states lack emergency preparedness plans. It is one of those things that as parents we just assume is in place. Is your state ready?
This is major food for thought. Make sure that you know whether or not your school or childcare center has a plan in place. If they don’t, suggest one. If your state is one of those that does not require it? Start writing. Write to your representatives and remind them how important it is for us to be prepared.
And…make your family plan BEFORE there is an emergency!
Do you already have one? What inspired you to create it? What does it consist of?