“A lot of people were taken off guard yesterday.” Those were the first words that I heard when I turned the television on the morning after a big storm. Over 41,000 people were without power for quite a few days in several different counties, mostly affecting the Tooele and Salt Lake counties in Utah. Trees were uprooted and power lines came down. The storm was loud and furious – and it was a fairly short-lived storm, only a day, certainly not weeks like some of the hurricanes that we hear about.
I watched as one woman talked about watching her back fence fly away. She also had a neighbor call her and ask if she knew where her cherry tree was. She had assumed that it was still firmly attached to the terra firma in her back yard, but it wasn’t, it was now her neighbor’s tree – roots and all. I’m sure that most of the downed trees have been cleared away and that the missing shingles are being replaced, and the damage to cars, houses and properties is being fixed. I will also bet that the cities and counties have restored the electricity and other utilities that were disrupted.
Don’t you just love how life can get back to normal so quickly? I do have to admit that when life isn’t acting normally, it can be very scary. Everybody that I talked to about the storm was amazed at how loud and furious it was, but it was just a summer storm. What would we do if we had a week-long storm that was just as fast and furious and scary? Or an earthquake? Or – well, just about anything…
Now would be a good time to go over with your family what they need to do in an emergency. Fortunately, most of the problem with the storm was at night when most family members were at home. But what if your little ones had been at school? What is the family plan? Making one up as you go along isn’t acceptable. You really need to sit down with your family and decide what the best plan is. Remember that little children need even more reassurance, and they need to have more input in the family plan. It will help them understand what they need to do and not be as afraid.
Did you make up a school emergency kit for them to take to school yet? If they had been at school when the power went out, they would have had a flashlight and other items of comfort. They would have also felt more confident and calmer because they had a plan.
Think about how unsettling it is to be in an uncomfortable situation and not have a clue as to what is going on or what needs to be done – now try to imagine that from a seven year old’s perspective – pretty scary. Make a plan.
Let’s not be “taken off guard.” Let’s make a plan and then implement it when the need arises – that is what being prepared is all about.