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My mind was going a million miles a minute, with thoughts such as:
Don't forget the motrin, in case one of the children gets sick.
Do I have diapers and wipes? Enough to last who-knows-how-long? I wish I had cloth diapers in case it is indefinitely.
What about food? Will I need food or will that be provided for me?
I should take a game or book or small toy to help keep the boys happy. Maybe some crayons and paper?
I ought to get the 1st-Aid Kit out of the car. And some blankets.
Shhh...don't cry, baby. Mommy will pick you up in a second. Please don't cry.
Our scrapbooks! Our pictures! Our memories! Why didn't I put together a CD of our favorite pictures so all I'd have to grab was that!???
Money! Will I need money?
Where is Brett? How will I contact him? How will he know where I've gone? (For some reason I knew that where we were going I could not use cell phones.)
Thank heavens I bought this mini-Book of Mormon.
Where is our address book? I'll need to contact family.
When I finally thought I had the bag packed, the final thing I had to do was dress the boys. Wyatt just had on a t-shirt and underwear and socks, and Carson had on only his pj's and a diaper that desperately needed attention (sadly, this is not too far from reality some days at our house). I told the policeman I was almost ready, that I just had to change my boys. He shouts at me, you don't have time. You'll have to grab their clothes and change them when you get there! My stress level is sky-high because I'm feeling like in even everyday tasks, such as fully-clothing my children in pants and shoes, or a clean diaper, I have failed! And then this is when I wake up.
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It's actually a children's book (for older children, obviously) that I bought at Halle's book fair. It fits in my glove compartment and whenever I am waiting in the car, like at the bus stop, I like to get it out and read a few pages. This powerful work relates the story of Syvia Perlmutter, one of only 12 Jewish children to survive the Lodz ghetto in Poland during WWII. I'd highly recommend it, although be aware of dreams that may follow. Because I know that is where my subconscious got the idea of a policeman coming to our home and giving us a short time of preparation to leave. That's what Syvia's family experienced before being led into "captivity" in the Jewish ghetto. They had to be very careful and thoughtful when choosing what valuable possessions they would take with them, because they were limited on luggage as well as time. In many ways, their family suffered even more unnecessarily because some vital items were left behind.
Of course, they weren't as blessed as we are in this new century.
I'm sure they didn't have the idea of a 72-hour kit. Or the idea of having your important documents scanned onto a CD that can be grabbed in a moment of panic. Can you imagine if they'd had the convenience and technology of things like "Lifepills", pills that claim they can sustain your life in a time of food-depravity. I couldn't help but think of what a situation like that would be like. Similar to the tragedies some experienced after Hurricane Katrina. To be a refugee. Having only yourself to turn to, really, in the care of your family.
Brett and I have been talking a lot about how this is the year. This is the year we are going to make our families prepared for an emergency. The task can be overwhelming...stocking a year's supply, even 6-months of food storage is a bit daunting and takes time and planning. Preparing your documents and papers so that everything is in order. Ensuring you have a good water supply, as well as backpacks or a 72-hour kit available to grab on the go.
This dream only hit home to me how sweet it's going to feel when the burden of "I need to get this done" is removed and I have the relief of knowing my family is ready for anything. I need to get our 72-hour kits done. I need to scan our important documents and save our favorite family pictures to a CD, so that even by packing just that one, I have preserved our visual memories. Brett and I need to designate a meeting place should we ever be separated. I told Brett that for my birthday in May I want a backpack like the one below.
It's done by LifeGear. I know I can make our own 72-hour kits, but this backpack is designed to hold so much and give complete protection, including shelter and blankets, for a family of four. Wouldn't it be great to have something like this in addition to 1 or 2 backpacks other family members could carry?
I am curious about your ideas. What kinds of things have you done to better prepare your family in the event of an emergency? Maybe you've done something I haven't thought of that I could implement in our own emergency-plan.