Prepared?

Are you prepared? - Photo J. C. Coon

Many of us were just trying to stay cool. A few of my Facebook buddies kept saying a storm was heading our way with high winds.   Okay, I said, and went on with my day.

About two o’clock, a sudden gale of winds came whipping through the trees. Flicker, flicker and then the power went off.

Before dark, Hubby had put batteries into his very old radio (it still plays cassettes.) We found the candles and matches, and settled down to watch the setting sun and prepare to spend the time trying to catch a cooling breeze on the front porch.  My cell phone was dying, lights were still out, portable phones not working.

At around 10:00 pm I called the power company on the land line phone that we had, beige  colored with push buttons, curly pig tail cord  forever getting tangled, remember those?

Report from the automated recording – lights would be on by 11:00 pm.

Click.

This all gives me pause for thought.   How prepared am I for an emergency?

The Merriam-Webester dictionary defines an emergency as “an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action.” Yet, there I sat, waiting for the power company to do something.

I did not spring to ‘immediate action’.   If only I had gone searching for dry ice? If only I had purchased that generator last winter? If only I had picked up a case of water the last time it went on sale? If only I had recharged my cellphone when I noticed that it was at half power in the morning?   If only I had filled up the bath tub with water when I heard a storm was on its way?

Or, as my great aunt used to say, “If only a frog had wings it would not bump its ‘tush’ on the ground every time he went to jump.” (Okay, great aunt did not use the term ‘tush’).

By its very definition, an emergency is ‘an unforeseen’ event.     Life is full of unforeseen events! With the advent of modern weather science and radar the media is able to pinpoint, fairly well, almost the hour when ‘some weather’ will occur.

Have we become numb to these reports?   Do we think that we are invincible and that we cannot be affected by disasters?   Do we believe that it will only happen to others in the news and not to us?  That no matter what happens, that we will be safe?

Then the moment comes when we cannot see to find the flashlight or matches for the candle. No water comes out of the faucet  or (ouwee) we cannot flush the toilet, watch TV or play video games.   What next?

Okay, somehow we managed to survive for 32 hours without power.   We survived the January 2010 winter storms.   So are we (you, me, those who we care about, those who we care for) prepared to survive and thrive through the next ‘emergency’.

Not to be one of doom and gloom… but it might be a good time to take an inventory of how prepared you really are.

Remember the Aesop Tale about the Ant and the Grasshopper? Are you the “Ant” or the “Grasshopper”?

Websites for Ants:

http://www.vdem.state.va.us/prepare/

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/poweroutage/needtoknow.asp