Nothing says relaxation like planning for the worst case scenario

You know those little projects that hang over you until you get them done. Those "I really should but don't want to" type of projects? I'm finally getting some of those taken care of. First, I just refinanced my house and I'm buying new cabinets for my kitchen and doing some remodeling in the bathroom (yeah that's singular...all the more reason to remodel). I took today off to go to Home Depot (without the weekend crowds) and get started on the process.

When I went over to my dad's house this weekend (our regular football watching ritual). I noticed a radio with a crank on it sitting on the counter. Something he just bought online for disaster/emergency preparedness (the crank means it doesn't need supply the power). Well, this led to a conversation about having an "emergency kit". If you are like me, you have cut articles out of newspapers or magazines about what you need to have on-hand in case of an emergency. My mind goes to earthquake naturally (a combination of the factors: having lived in Southern Cal and experienced some as well as that one about 5 years ago that scared the dickens out of some of us...guess I didn't expect it up here). No matter where you live, you have something to be concerned about; or at least be prepared for.

Thinking about that kind of stuff isn't fun (yipee....the worst case scenario has arrived!), but I knew it was something that I needed to do to make sure that Jonas and I are ready if something bad happens. So I wanted to get it over with. I spent some time in Target's camping section and then made sure the gal checking out my goods knew that I wasn't setting up a bunker or something; because we all know that you can look at me and tell I am not a camper. When you think about it, there's a lot of stuff that you use everyday and don't think much about that would be hard to live without even for a couple of days. And evidently, duct tape has a lot of uses and you never know what you might need a tarp for.

I ended up having to jump online and order the radio and battery-free flashlights, so my kit isn't done yet. But I do have to admit that I am a little relieved to have gotten most of it together, just in case. No, it wasn't relaxing to do it, but it helps me relax a tiny bit more now that it's done.

Comments (14)

  1. Margo says:

    I totally know the feeling. I feel like that with things like food. I always need to make sure I have “worst case scenario” food items prepared in case I am somewhere where I can’t eat a thing. Being celiac kind of does that to you.

    Props to you on the kit, you should post the items you included! Don’t forget the first aid items!

    For Y2k my dad went nuts getting things just in case. One thing he snagged that none of us ever thought of were lots of bottles of multi-vitamins. “Just in case you end up with the tins of spam every morning,” he said. Rounding out the diet I suppose. Hahaha

  2. Lauren Smith says:

    When Julian was born, we went to Costco (here in Japan) and bought a disaster preparation bag. It has rope, bottled water, canned bread (!), and blankets, and a first aid kit. We added some powdered milk and a baby bottle, but I think it may be better to take those out soon. He’s not drinking formula anymore, so it doesn’t really make much sense.

    We live close enough to a supermarket that if something bad really did happen I think I could make it over there and ‘find’ some necessities.

    It’s a little piece of mind when things start shaking here.

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Margo- re: medical supplies, that part was easy. I just bought a first aid kit. I did’t put in vitamins but included ibuprofen and aspirin and things for digestive issues (the details of which we won’t go into).

    Lauren-I think you could leave the formula in. If it’s a disaster, you’ll probably eat anything. My kit sounds like it may be the deluxe edition. : )

  4. Vicki says:

    Living in a hurricane hotspot, my emergency must-haves include a generator, a grill (with a side burner that initially my husband was dead-set against until he needed coffee on the morning after the storm and still no electricity), and lots of MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). The MRE’s for us are easy to come by since hubby is an Army pilot, but civilians can get them wherever camping supplies are sold. (Wow – that sounded like a TV spot… “must be 18 years old to enter. Member FDIC.”).
    Good thing to have a first aid kit as well as some matches (for us, it is the multi-weatherable type so if they get wet, they’ll still work).
    I got a ton of supplies – hope I never have to use most of them… Thanks for reminding me that I need to do a quick check on the battery situation though!

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, my dad and step mom are ex-Navy so they had some of those MREs. I bought a bunch of canned food and some food bar things (I guess the idea is that they are a compact energy source).

  6. John says:

    DHS runs a website – – which contains some helpful advice for individuals on developing personal emergency plans and kits. They even have some reccomendations for people with pets.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Thanks John…good to know. I was wondering if I was going to have to pretend I didn’t see the recommendation to list out what I gathered or find a source somewhere else. This is awesome.

  8. Martin Snyder says:

    Heather this may meet with objections from some, but if you really take preparedness seriously, you need a small handgun or several of them (.22 is likely best), some harcore pain meds and cipro, breathing gear, and a backpack with a month’s freeze dried food or MRE’s. and as much water as you can carry. You may need to survive fire or airborne hazards, defend yourself or others, survive injury, negotiate for help or shelter, and walk far out of a damged area to safety, or if its a nuke, sit tight for a few days underground.

    If you have to crank your radio for very long, things may fall apart; the guns will be a most valuable means of exchange, and cash might not mean much.

    To me, the other rational approach is to do nothing and wing it at the time; having half of what you really need would be cold comfort anyway- why not work from scratch ?

    On the other hand, buying a safer car is probably the best thing you could do to avoid a real bad time someday, statisticially speaking.

    Ain’t the fear game fun ?

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Martin- yeah, fun! Luckily for me, I am walking distance from family. They can have some of that stuff. I did purchase food rations (I thought I should plan for the scenario where I’ve already worked through my Chunky Soup supply), but not a month’s worth. I guess there are different degrees of bad things that can happen. Sounds like yours get closer to the true "worst case". So maybe I planned for the not-quite worst case.

    I have not yet figured out yet how to prepare for the alien invasion. Has anyone got that one figured out? I’m guessing that flirting with the aliens isn’t going to be a good survival tactic.

  10. Lauren Smith says:

    As for aliens, I suspect that I can probably steal one of their spaceships, fly up to the mothership, use my Mac to download a virus to their systems, and detonate an atomic bomb.

    I saw it on TV once. It didn’t look terribly difficult.

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    OK, Lauren, so then we’ll know where you’ll be if the aliens arrive. I feel better now that we have a plan.

  12. Steve G says:

    It’s good you got a radio and a flashlights and batteries (I’d get the costco-size package.)

    Funny thing about radios and disasters is that they may not be immediately useful. I was in the Loma Prieta earthquake in California. For the first day or two many of the radio stations were knocked off the air (antennas don’t do well with shaking earth). It took a day or so but they did come back on the air.

    I’d also get water, some canned food, a blanket or sleeping bag. Skip the gun I assure you, right after the earthquake, crime is W-A-Y down. You’re probably safe unless your’re packing twinkies in your food kit. 🙂

  13. HeatherLeigh says:

    Steve G-I actually didn’t get batteries. The electronics have batteries needed. And it seems I got all that other stuff. I think I’m in pretty good shape!

  14. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oh, and no chance of me having twinkies in my food kit. I’d sooner eat tree bark.

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