Consider the amount of time that you’re out of your home and in an office or work environment. Some of you are “work-a-holics.” You go into work extra early and/or come home past rush hour. On top of this, consider the time in which you’re in your car. Now how about the time you’re in another location other than your home…family visit, the mall, grocery shopping, church, the doctors, etc. OK. Now look at an average week and add up all of the time in which you are AWAY from your home and the preparedness supplies you have located there. I did this just this week and realized that even though I work intensely from my home, I am still gone over a third of the total hours of my week! In your case, if you work outside the home or are a stay at home mom, you may be surprised to see how much of a chunk of your time during the week puts you in a vulnerable position—vulnerable in the event that a catastrophic event may hit. So, in the name of being prepared and peaceful, instead of panicked, let’s make sure we do our best to get you back safely to your family and the majority of your supplies.
Decide on a family meeting place. tulsapartners.org
First of all, educate your family members. Make sure that everyone knows where they are supposed to go when “it” happens…whatever “it” is.
Next, make sure that you have survival materials for your kids at school, in your car, and at your place of work. The chances of something happening when you’re away from your home is significant. So be prepared for it.
In your car you need blankets, flashlights, water, a first aid kit, and some no-cook, easily accessible rations like granola bars, etc. Think of these supplies as another 72 hour kit. You also need a pair of walking shoes. Ladies, we occasionally leave the house in heels. Wouldn’t it STINK if the trumpet sounded and we had to hike 2 miles in those same heels? Simply be prepared with an alternative pair of shoes in the car so you can always be as stylish as you want. This is also the reason why I suggest that you never let your gas tank to go below half. A spare gas container, anti-freeze, and windshield washer is a great idea to have as well.
I recommend a Concealed Firearm Permit and having your firearm with you at all times. Photo c/o http://www.buzzle.com
A scenario such as this is also just one more reason I believe that folks need to get their concealed firearm permit and have a firearm with them at all times. I know, I know. Some of you are a long ways away from accepting that one… If so, just ignore and read on to the rest of the stuff. :) (By the way, my husband is teaching a UT Concealed Firearm Permit class this Saturday morning (10/31) in Orem if any of you are interested. It’s only $50 and includes the fingerprints and photo. No, I’m not teaching it, I have a baby shower to be to at. Babies or guns… that’s a tough call for me. Hee hee)
The same needs to be said for having a 72-hour kit at your workplace. It wouldn’t kill you to experiment with how you would get home if your public transportation or automobile were unavailable either. I know some people have a LONG commute everyday. Let’s be realistic. You’ll be far ahead of the game and much more safe if you’ve mapped out a walking trek home from work rather than be a part of the mass of mediocrity who have no plan or believe they are going to panic and try to walk across the freeway.
I usually have 2 granola bars in my purse and some water with me at all times, “just in case,” obviously. I’m also trying to be better about carrying a little bit of cash on me. (Considering I once had to write a check for thirty-five cents at a toll-booth in Maine, you may appreciate just how tough that is for me to get in the habit of.)
Dwight's sword: one of many weapons from his personal arsenal
I’m also very realistic when it comes to the need for self-defense everyday and during a time of disaster. I have my pepper spray, knife, asp, and handgun along with the skills and fortitude necessary to use any of the above. (Now that I write this, I feel a little bit like Dwight from “The Office”—emptying out my purse would be a little bit like him emptying out his desk. *belly laugh*)
One thing more you should be aware of. Being truly prepared for such a scenario will naturally put you in a position of leadership. During a disaster, everyone is running around with their umbilical cords hanging out desperately looking for somewhere to plug it in. When you are prepared you will stick out like a Babe Ruth in a swimming pool. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that scene recall from “Caddyshack.”) Your confidence and sense of direction will be very noticeable. So plan on having to give orders, guidance and direction. It’s just part of the territory. I tell you this so that you can take a few minutes now to not only be very clear on what your plan is when all heck breaks loose when you’re not at home, but also so that you are competently able to verbalize appropriate plans and directions for others.
Let’s do a better job of planning for preparedness away from the home as well as in the home so all your bases are covered.
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