Don't assume "they" have got it covered!

 Photo: Jeremiah Beck
When other people know that you enjoy something, it's so easy to share that thing with you.  A short list of words (bacon, wine, pirates, beer, science, pumpkins, and penguins) creates an instant picture in my mind of the faces of family and friends that go with each of those items.  I am the disaster/safety/weather person in my social circles.  So, a friend sent me this photo that they took of a fire escape.

Would you want to depend on this fire escape to save your life?  In a hurry, who knows what might happen when you hit those rickety rusted-through steps.

I love this real life reminder that we are each responsible for our own safety and for our own provision and for our neighbor's safety as well.  Sure, there are building codes, safety laws, and security personnel, and they are there to protect us.  But it only takes a few minutes to assess your own situation, to walk through a couple of safety routines, and to address any problems you discover.

Know your risks and likely hazards.  Know how to stay safe wherever you are.  And make sure you do your part, in case someone else hasn't done theirs.

I'd give up my toothbrush, my pillow and clean socks for _______.

I'd give up my toothbrush, my pillow and clean socks for _______.

How would you fill in the blank? For this discussion, we'll assume you and your family are safe and sound, merely displaced or stranded temporarily from the disaster that blew past your home.  What would you crave?  What would calm you in the midst of chaos?  What yearning would grow in the hours as you wait for things to return to normal?  What one thing could "make everything bearable?"

Chewing gum?  Hot coffee? A ponytail holder? Some hand lotion? Chocolate? A deck of cards? A bible?

Now... how would the rest of your family fill in the black?

A blankie? A teddy bear? Fruit snacks? A video game? A good book? Their music? Candyland? A box of Legos?

For most of us, surviving a disaster will not be a life and death ordeal, but how we feel in uncertain times will certainly be remembered.  You can take steps today to ensure that your heart and mind stay safe after an emergency by adding a few items to your Disaster Kit that will bring hope and warmth and smiles to difficult circumstances.