Thursday, May 26, 2011

Get the Kit

I cannot know your pain. You do not know me, but I hurt for you. Our paths will never meet, but I hold you in my heart. I cannot get there to help, but I am thankful for those who can. I cannot know your pain.....but I am here. I care.

Towns gone. Houses leveled. Dogs, family, rescue units and neighbors searching. Oh, God, let them be found. Please let them be found.

A child ripped from a mother's arms. A grandparent gone. Pets scattered. Food, bank cards, personal documents, medications gone. Stripped of lives. I cannot know their pain.

"We need an emergency kit," I told my daughter.

"Why? We don't have tornadoes," she replied.

"It might not be a tornado. We need a kit."

Years ago I had a kit. Life moved on and I got complacent about keeping it up. As time went on, the flashlight left the kit. The batteries for the radio were old. The water needed to be used before it was outdated. The kit was lost to daily living. I was kitless.

No, we don't have tornadoes. They are about as rare at St. Helens erupting. We have experienced a handful of earthquakes. Nothing major. We live far from the coast so no tsunami danger. The forests are on the outskirts of this place of rivers and streams. Emergency kit?

The human kind of threat frightens me. We have no preparedness for an attack. We have no preparedness should the silent nuclear plants foul the water and land. We have nothing to help us should the unexpected find us. A kit. What can be wrong with having one?!

"I'm making up a kit," I told my daughter.

"Whatever, " she replied.

Where there are no basements, a kit would be blown away. Where there is no place to hide from a major event, plans must be discussed.

"If anything happens while you are at school, stay there," I told Sydney.

"What about you and Mommy? Who will watch over Gabby?"

"Honey, whatever happens, you worry about yourself, so we don't need to worry about you. The school will protect you. We will find you."

The storms back east worry my granddaughters. TV makes is a very real. Their fear is real. As a responsible adult, I need to listen, answer their questions and help them handle their fears in a positive way.

"Where would we hide if we had a tornado and you weren't here?" Syd continues.

Our townhouse is on a slab. Looking at the damage on the television screen, I realize that no place in this house is safe should we have the same. Next to the washer and dryer? Under the table? Obviously, the tub thing didn't work for many people. Under the stairs? In the pantry? Where????

This weekend my daughter and I are going to talk over plans for our family should an emergency rise. We will plan as best we can for the unknown in order to give the girls an action plan. Phone numbers will be added to their phones in case they can't reach us. Hospital numbers, police numbers and fire department numbers will be added. We can do what we can to prepare. In fact, it is all we can do.

I cannot know the pain of such tragedy, but I can learn from it. I hope you will work with your family in preparing your own emergency plan. Even you single people, be prepared! You might not think it matters, but it does to those who love you.

Emergency Kit:  www.ready.gov/america/getakit/index.html

Maybe a gift that will save your family.

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