07 November, 2012

Preparing to prepare

I read part of an article in Newsweek yesterday about how travelling nurses and other health professionals have stepped up to help people in NY and NJ who have been affected by the storm.

One part was about a nurse who got a call from a man who can’t inject himself with his medicine. She drives miles to get to him, walks through flooded streets, climbs twelve flights of stairs, to find this man in a cold, dark apartment with no electricity, gas, batteries, food, or water. So she gives him the injection and then starts helping him figure out a plan for what to do next.

And that’s when the top of my head blew off with a sort of puzzled, frustrated rage. Because, as sad as it is to read about the destruction that Sandy brought, I keep thinking, “Y’all, we had lots and lots of warning that things were going to be bad. If you couldn’t or wouldn’t leave, why didn’t you at least prepare?” 

If you are older, or ill, wouldn’t it make sense to get out of the area, to somewhere the power won’t fail on you? A hotel a hundred miles inland? To visit friends or family in a non-twelve story building where you won’t be stranded with no elevator?

If you just can’t leave your home because…I don’t know why, because you have agoraphobia and all your relatives live a million miles away, couldn’t you get some batteries and a wad of cash, stock some non-perishable food, fill all your pitchers with water, and at least buy yourself some time to figure out what comes next before your situation becomes dire?

Why do so many people have a plan that consists of:
1.     Believing that nothing bad is going to happen.
2.     If something bad happens, I have a six pack of water and some soda crackers around here somewhere.
3.     I am not evacuating, because I don’t want to and you can’t make me, and besides, nothing bad is going to happen.
4.     Something really bad is happening, and I am scared, so I better call the cops or the fire department and tell them to come get me.
5.     Something really bad happened. I don’t know how to contact my family, or my insurance agent. I don’t know my policy numbers. The shelter won’t let me stay here with my dogs because I don’t have their rabies papers, so I am going to have to stay in my car with the dogs, or just turn the dogs loose and hope for the best. I never thought anything like this could happen to me!

This has made me decide that Thomas and I need to come up with an emergency plan, a better one than hoping nothing bad happens. I want the important papers in one place, for us to have an emergency kit and a dog-emergency kit with their papers/some food, to have “go-bags” with some basics packed in case we needed to grab the puppers and go. I want to know that if we were without power and gas for a few days, we could survive, if not in comfort, then with the basics covered until we could go somewhere else or get things fixed at home.

Going without a plan and hoping for the best is really not the best idea ever.


1 comment:

  1. I think we all get caught unprepared at times so perhaps best not to judge. What blows my mind is what that nurse did for a complete stranger. There are angels among us.