When I joyfully told a woman at my church that I'd be getting my children Radiation Sickness Pills for Christmas, she asked me, " . . . um, . . . What exactly does that mean?"
That's when I realized that maybe I'd gone a little bit to an extreme. Again.
|Is this a gingerbread owl?|
L-daughter went to town on this cookie.
Backing up a bit: after the terrible hurricanes of this past summer and California fires that continue even now, I decided it made sense for me to double-check our own household emergency preparedness. I got really into Erica Strauss's series over at NorthWest Edible. In particular, she reminded people that they don't realistically have to prepare for every disaster, but they should prepare for emergencies that are eventually likely in their region, so they don't become a burden on emergency responders.
Now, I'm super happy to be living in a place that is generally safe. We're far enough from large bodies of water that flooding means wet basements, but not helicopters pulling people off of rooftops. We aren't at the juncture of large faults that are likely to cause earthquakes big enough to disrupt traffic or electricity. We're far from the paths of most hurricanes. We're not in a forest fire zone; tornadoes are a true rarity here. So many of the disasters we read about in the news are unlikely here -- not impossible, I know, but very unlikely.
|So proud of the cookie, we're taking selfies with it!|
My husband and I have had enough run-ins with cars knocking us down or bikes flipping over that we know medical emergencies are something to be ready for. We have lists of people to call in case one of us is out-of-commission for a while; we have photos of health insurance cards; we use LastPass to share important passwords. We also photocopy everything in our wallets once a year, in case one of us loses a wallet -- that practice has made our lives easier once or twice in the past.
But in addition, our home happens to sit between two large nuclear reactors, one of which was once the site of worst nuclear plant accident in US history. Between that and the saber-rattling over in Kim Jong-un's neck of the woods, I figured that having potassium iodide at-the-ready seemed like a prudent idea.
Odd fact: local drugstores don't stock potassium iodide; the only way for us to get it was to order it on-line. The directions say that you're supposed to take the pill within three hours of exposure to radiation . . . so that makes me even more convinced that having these in our cabinets just-in-case is a wise idea.Oog. This post is much longer than I meant it to be --- which is kind of the point of the present. Putting together an emergency plan with information and supplies takes a bunch of time, and once I'd done it for myself, it wasn't that much harder to get a skeleton of an emergency kit together for each of my kids.
|Does the "!" mean emergency? Or party? Maybe it means both.|
Each of my kids got a "Grab-and-go" bag pre-loaded with a few things they might need if they had to flee their own homes: a first aid kit, a water filtration straw, a hook for a spare car key. Also, each kid got an emergency book that I'd started for them, with places they could fill in their own additional information.
1. Getting Help Emergency Contact numbers (professional help)
People in my life to contact in case of my emergency
2. Grab and go
"to go" bag (contents, location) maps: local area and state
3. Shelter locally
4. First Aid & Medical
health insurance doctor info & medication list Potassium Iodide with usage information
5. Family & friends
Family numbers and addresses Family photos Important family dates
6. Personal recovery info
Photocopies of wallet contents Passports & Social Security Cards (photocopies) Car registration/insurance cards Appliance list
7. Animal information Vet, med, photos, chip numbers
8. If something bad happens Location of important papers How to get passwords
|Gingerbread person, |
soon to be consumed
When I told my sisters about Christmas day and about the intense gingerbread decorating that took place, thought they'd prefer the gingerbread and eggnog to the potassium iodide pills.
Me, too. Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy new year.