You know you’ve hit middle age when you make a disaster preparedness kit for your loved one for their birthday. I mean, really. That’s what I gave my husband for his 37th birthday. And like all birthday gifts, I gave him what I’d really been wanting for myself.
The other hallmark of middle age and probably also of parenthood is waking up in a cold sweat at 3am from a nightmare where your kid dies. It’s not always from a disaster–and there’s nothing you can do about those dreams–but I always wake up from them puzzling through what I could do to make our lives more secure. Here in Los Angeles, where billboards constantly advertise our celluloid apocalypse fantasies, the big earthquate/ tsunami/ nuclear meltdown always feels like it’s around the corner. And it’s hard not to think about how grim things could get with this many people and so little water or food.
Being who I am, the exercise of creating a disaster preparedness kit was at risk of sending me down the ‘doomsday prepper’ pipeline with no possibility of return. You get started thinking about various scenarios, and it’s a bit hard to stop. Fortunately, there’s a pretty wide gulf between thinking and doing–and creating these kits actually takes a fair amount of time, work, and unless you have Walter White-style engineering skills to fall back on–money. I was actually grateful to FEMA’s website Ready.gov for establishing some ground rule guidelines to help me reign in the crazy, while actually getting the project done.
In honor of the Great American Shakeout (scheduled for tomorrow, Oct. 15, 2015), I’m going to a few blog posts in series about my recent dip into doomsday prep.
And I hate to say it, but we are all only as ‘prepared’ as our neighbors (walking around with a gun is where the average doomsday prepper and I part ways), s I hope you will consider getting excited about this project, and posting some pictures of your emergency preparedness kits right along with me. All together now!