Recently, I have been seeing ads by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. These ads encourage you to assemble an emergency kit to be prepared for the first 72 hours of an emergency. This is the window of time when emergency workers help those in urgent need and may not be able to help your family.
Being the type of person that I am, I make haste and get over to the website. They have an Emergency Preparedness Guide you can download and after going through it I am concerned. There are three steps: Know the risks, Make a Plan and Prepare a Kit. Sounds simple, right? It is in many ways, but I think the underlying feeling I got was - the worst is coming you had better get ready. This is not meant to sound flip, it is just a general feeling I got while visiting the site and contemplating what would lead us to such a scenario.
I love being prepared don't get me wrong. I am the mom who packs a spare outfit for when the spare outfit is dirty. I am the person our friends come to for an Advil, pad, bib, etc. when we are traveling or on an outing. I thrive on preparedness, take pride it even. This however, pushes the envelope even for me. Not the entire concept, just some of the material contained in the guide.
Step 1 is to Know the Risks, Know your Region. Below is from the guide.
How on earth are we supposed to know if our region is at risk for acts of terrorism, an infectious disease breakout, or a blackout? I realize that urban areas are more likely targets for some disasters, but more and more there really are no safe areas. If there are safe areas I want to move there. The blackout in August 2003 not only effected several provinces it effected two countries. I agree that there are some disasters you can prepare for based on where you live, but I think it is naive and misleading to think we can simply put all these items in a box and be prepared. Is this supposed to make me feel better?
I live in fear everyday since becoming a parent. My heart clutches when you hear stories like Kati Kim and her children. I wonder how I would have coped, would I have been able to keep my family alive in such a situation? I pray that is never tested. I think about all the families in countries at war, how do mothers make their children feel better when they live their life in a state of emergency?
There really is nothing wrong with having some basic supplies in your home so you are prepared if your power goes out or there is a blizzard or flood. I was eight months pregnant with Rosebud when we had the blackout in August 2003, and was thankful we had water and food at home and managed quite fine for our 24 hours without power. A friend delivered her baby that day in a hospital running on auxiliary power. It is good to be prepared, no doubt.
We live in a world rife with fear. Turning on our radios, televisions and computers bring scary stories to us every day. I choose not to let fear control my life. I don't think we can ever really be fully prepared for an emergency, but I have faith that I would rise to the occasion and would fight hard to keep my family safe no matter what the situation.
We do this everyday without even realizing it. We make decisions that effect the health and well-being of our family and in a way this is about being prepared. We read books, search the Internet for answers, solicit advice from other parents and seek out people facing the same problems in their families.
Am I prepared for everything? No, certainly not. What I am prepared for, is trying to do the best by my family everyday, no matter what the situation, for the rest of my life.