from Ellie…

Preparedness = Less Stress

We’ve spent over two years dealing with the Covid Virus. Today we struggle with the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Over the last decade, we’ve seen ever-rising numbers of natural disasters! It’s all frightening. Add the continuous updates from the media and social media, and we’re feeling overwhelmed. Gas prices are rising. Inflation is affecting everything from our budgets to our shopping, which in turn affects businesses and the economy. Too many are feeling helpless.

backpacks, water bottle, preparedness

What can we do? Is there an action we can take? Most certainly we can pray, donate, and maybe even be better neighbors. But are we learning anything? No, I’m not talking about running out to buy toilet paper and milk before the storm, or even worse, just after the storm! That’s been the point for Sam and me to work on this blog. It’s about thinking ahead a wee bit. And no, I’m not talking about doomsday preppers though I appreciate their efforts and philosophy as well.

With the virus, we watched in tears as families were unable to communicate with one another. We saw fear in the eyes of the sick and worry in those who love them. With the war in Ukraine, we’re watching millions of families running to safer locations while bombing and shooting occur around them.

What would you do if you had to run on a moment’s notice? Are you ready?

little one with his/her own backpackWhy do we watch these scenarios play out in real life and do nothing? Do we really believe “it can’t happen here?” If we do, then our worry is for naught. Even when we know that natural disasters such as fires and hurricanes are headed our way, we somehow believe the worst can’t happen to us. Oh, yes, we worry ourselves sick. But then, we wait.

Seriously, if someone knocked on your door and said, “You have 60 seconds to leave,” would you be ready? The majority of us would not be ready and would immediately be panicked and helpless. Why is that? We’ve been forewarned just by seeing what’s happening in our country and around the world. What do we need to think beyond the rush to buy toilet paper and milk? Seriously?

Is there an action we can take? Is there any way to be prepared?

Consider a day of prepping for your own welfare and security. As an older woman, I’ve pondered this a number of times. I don’t have a car so I would either need to head out on foot or hitch a ride. Of course, I have family and friends nearby so I’m sure I’d get a ride. But what’s my responsibility? What can I do to be prepared? What do I have prepared that I can grab in 60 seconds?

Bugout or Go-Bag Suggestions

Everyone – from infants to seniors – should have a bugout bag. Simply put, it’s a backpack or duffle bag that you grab that has the very basic items you’ll need if you have to leave your home and don’t know how soon you’ll be back. And you can prepare it over a weekend. It may just save your life. At the very least, it will make the threat of an emergency that might require a bugout bag less stressful.

  1. Copies of important papers in a waterproof container for all family members (Soc. Sec. card, driver’s license or ID, Passport if you have one, medical information, insurance info, bank info, possibly passwords to accounts, contacts)
  2. Medicines for at least a week, ideally 30 days.
  3. Body wipes to keep clean until you can have a bath/shower.
  4. Cash – you’ll need this to buy things when you get to safety.
  5. Change of clothes or two
  6. Personal needs: toothpaste, toothbrush, sanitary items, etc. Travel sizes would work in this scenario.
  7. Phone and Charger
  8. Possibly a few family photos in a waterproof container
  9. If you have children, you might consider a small item for comfort and maybe a game that can easily be put in a backpack and played quietly. A kindle filled with stories for kids and adults may also help. Of course, you’ll want to be sure to take the charger.
  10. Water – in a moment’s notice you can’t carry a lot, but add a few bottles
  11. Munchies – granola bars, etc that will keep everyone going until you find help
  12. Flashlight and batteries
  13. An emergency radio is something we don’t often think about. But if you’re in a situation where you can’t get information, a radio that has the NOAA channel for weather will help keep you aware of what’s happening. Ideally, along with battery backup, it can also be hand-cranked or solar-powered. Quite often the radio has the ability to charge a phone, etc.
  14. Any items specific to a family member’s needs.
  15. Let’s not forget our furry friends. Dog/Cat dish, food, water, leash or carrier, etc.

Most certainly there are many more items that come to mind. But we’re talking survival when you must run! NOW!

You’ll need to look at your own lifestyle and special needs and determine what absolutely MUST be in that backpack or bug-out bag. But do it now. Don’t wait until you have to run! There’s a wonderful post for those with elderly or disabled members of the family. READ IT HERE

3 youth with backpacks

We’ve seen enough in the last decade to know that yes, it can happen to us. Stop watching the screen as if you are removed from such tragedy. Stop worrying about “what if?”

Start preparing. You can even have a bag ready in your car or where you work. Silly? Possibly. But will it be silly the moment you need it? Absolutely not!

Stop passively watching and worrying. Take action today. Make those copies of important papers should you have to leave your home at a moment’s notice. Know where you can immediately grab those medicines to toss in the bag on your way out the door. Have a list on your refrigerator or cupboard to remind you of the last-minute items to throw in each Bugout Bag.

There’s a ton of solid information, just do your research. You’ll find sites that will review items to give you best choices and why. There are sites that will highlight specific needs. There’s no need to be crazy about it. Just go through a day and see what you use. EX: I brush my teeth – need toothpaste and a toothbrush. I take my meds. Pack some or put it on your list to grab when you run. I use a specific cream for my baby. PUt one in his/her go-bag. An afternoon of preparation may be the difference between being totally lost and having enough to get to a safe location with the information and needs that will help you survive.

Preparedness = Less Stress

One last thought. When you leave, think ahead. Don’t drink up all the water and eat on the munchies as if you’ll find the nearest convenience store in the next hour or two! Be smart. Stay alert and realize that the safe zone may take a while to get there. What’s in your Bugout Bag may need to last a bit longer than you planned. Be smart! Be prepared! Be calm.

And go “Beyond TP and Milk” – you’ll feel much calmer in the midst of the chaos! Here’s to your safety!

Appreciating the Small Things
Changing for Good - a Positive 2022