10 Minutes

21 04 2009

Ethan made up an inappropriate song about his pen*s and thinks it’s HILARIOUS to bust it out (the song, that is) in the, of course, most inappropriate places at the, OF COURSE, most inappropriate times.

The reason I’m telling you this is because I tried and rejected 70 other different openers, all of which mentioned my extended, unintentional absence from my blog for 2 1/2 weeks, and all of which were boring and dumb. Ethan’s little song, while having nothing whatsoever to do with that extended, unintentional absence, is, while inappropriate, actually quite funny (although I would never admit this to him, not while hissing through clenched teeth at him to STOPITRIGHTNOW), and so I thought I’d share that with you instead.

And with that, I have returned to my neglected blog. And to talk about what I’d do if disaster/crisis/the unthinkable were to strike, no less. Whitney of the Rookie Moms posed the question, “What would you do if you had to evacuate the house in 10 minutes?” And while I’d like to say that I’d grab my children, my already (thoroughly) packed disaster preparedness backpack, and a few (easy to find) precious mementos and then get the heck out of there, well… I can’t. Only one of those things would actually happen at this point in time. (I’m referring to the children-grabbing here.)

I don’t have a disaster preparedness backpack. I don’t even have a disaster preparedness tote bag. And my precious mementos? Like, the boys’ hospital bracelets from when they were born, my marriage certificate (I don’t think this is something we’d be able to replace, as we got married in Denmark… it’s possible, but I’m very lazy and I don’t travel, nor do I like making phone calls to people I know, people I like, let alone strangers in other countries) and the video of us saying our I do’s, and the box full of notes Jeff wrote to me in high school and in the years following…? All those things? (As well as a few others, if I sat here and thought about it much longer…) Are not exactly locate-able at the moment. My marriage certificate would probably be the easiest to find (filing cabinet, I think.. which filing cabinet, which file even, is unknown), followed by the boys’ birth bracelets (which are in separate boxes, along with all their other pregnancy/birth/babyhood-related unreplaceables) that are… somewhere. In the laundry room/office, I think. The video and the notes… unknown. It would take me days to find them, probably.

I need some sort of disaster preparedness kit. Whether it be in a backpack, a tote bag, a freaking grocery bag, for Pete’s sake. Pete would certainly be ashamed of me if he were to find out that I am completely unprepared for what could EASILY happen. I do live minutes outside our nation’s capital, you know. Which is not to say that bad things only happen in big and/or important cities, I know that’s not true. But here in NoVA, we don’t really have to worry about things like floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. What would be more likely to happen, I suspect, would be a crisis of the national security variety. And given that such an event is realistically possible, I have no excuse to be as unprepared as I am.

Which is why I plan to start putting one together immediately. Things to put in this kit include a hand-crank-powered flash light, cash in small bills, a change of clothes for each person, some diapers for those of who are still in diapers (AHEM youknowwhoyouare AHEM), medications and general medicines, a few general toiletries, as well as high protein snacks and plenty of water. I really liked Wendolonia‘s suggestion that you keep this all in a rolling suitcase, making it that much more portable. I tend to overpack for a two-night stay in a hotel, so you can bet that in packing for CRISIS I will not pack lightly, in which case the easier mobility will be appreciated.

In addition to packing my disaster preparedness rolling suitcase, I will also locate all my most important documents/mementos, and store them together in the same file cabinet, clearly marked. I must say, though, that if I lost any of those things I mentioned (the marriage certificate, hospital bracelets, etc.), I wouldn’t freak out. They are just things, after all. I wouldn’t shed a tear over them, I don’t think. But having the option of being able to quickly locate them should the need arise is nice.

Which finally brings me to my answer to Whitney’s question (sheesh, only 80 paragraphs later, what a TALKER). In 10 minutes, I would grab my children, shove them in their car seats and strap them in, and I think I could do this in less than 3 minutes (that’s big talk, isn’t it? I really think I could though; perhaps I will time myself and see if I really could) (if I were to go through the whole process of getting them bundled up, shoes on, favorite toy, etc., then it’d take closer to 15 minutes, as it normally does, which is why I would simply grab them as they are, whether they be fully clothed or just in their underpants, socks, and pirate eye patch, as it is not unusual to find Ethan some days, and stick them in the car as is). Then add another 30 seconds for me to snatch up any items of clothing/shoes they might be lacking.

I would then toss my thoroughly and well-stocked disaster preparedness rolling suitcase into the trunk- another 7 seconds? (I’ll keep it in the laundry room, the door to which opens a mere 2 feet from where I park my car, so I think this is reasonable.) Then a minute to pull out that file containing the previously mentioned documents/mementos. Now I’ve got 5 minutes 23 seconds to go back in the house and grab my cell phone, my purse, my Mac, my glasses and my camera. This could take me up to 3 or 4 minutes to do, since I’m notorious for losing all of these things, all of the time (with the exception of my Mac, I don’t think I’ve ever lost that. Yet.). With my last minute or so, I would run frantically through the house picking things up and tossing them back down in a state of UTTER PANIC and CONFUSION and ultimately return to the car empty-handed because I already have the kit and the boys and really, that’s all I’ll need.

How about you? What would YOU grab in a 10-minute evacuation?

Edited to add: I just discussed this with Jeff (who is away AGAIN) on the phone, and he brought up some good points: if I were evacuating the house in the night because of something like a fire, would I stop and find clothes for myself? And also, what about evacuation due to zombies, which would actually be more of a running-for-our-lives-to-escape-the-flesh-eaters situation than a simple evacuation? In that case, I said I’d also want to have a gun. Jeff told me that no, a gun is not what I would want. Zombies would require a machete, he says. He is so wise, my husband.



10 responses

22 04 2009
Disaster time: what to grab in ten minutes — RookieMoms Blog

[…] Ten Minutes to Go Ready, Set, Go! 10 Minutes […]

22 04 2009
RookieMom Whitney

I hope Ethan is wearing his eye patch when the disaster strikes so that he is easy to identify in the shelter that houses you.

“That white kid with the eye patch who is singing the pen*s song,” they’ll say.

22 04 2009

It is a great idea to keep some cash in your disaster kit. I’m definitely going to have to add that to mine.


22 04 2009
Stephanie of Stopbouncing

I was starting to wonder what happened to you… and now I know… you’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

22 04 2009

I have read all about disaster kits but haven’t done anything about it. I do have my important documents in my fire safe box. Also I bought the Life.doc binder from Target. It has copies of most of my documents and other important stuff. You could probably keep some of your kit in the car so that you wouldn’t have to remember it.

Good luck and let us know if you make one.

23 04 2009

you forgot to mention WHY the machete is the tool of choice.

24 04 2009
Snap-crackle-squish « Sublime Bedlam

[…] very important decision to make: do I go on a spider hunt, or grab my boys and my nearly-completed disaster preparedness rolling suitcase (which will henceforth be known as my DPRS, pronounced “diapers,” because that title is […]

29 04 2009

I would grab the kids and dogs and, hopefully, the cat, and whatever I could out of the pantry, my purse, my scripts from the bathroom, and cell phone, and leave. Realistically, the entire nation probably would not be shut down, so I would drive until I was away, and then deal with food and water and clothes when I was safely away. If for some reason the entire nation was shut down, I don’t think a few days’ worth of stuff would do us much good one way or the other, anyway. Really, anything can be replaced other than the people and pets, so I don’t care about any of it.

2 11 2009

Good afternoon, Happy late Halowen(: !

13 12 2013
Disaster time: what to grab in ten minutes

[…] Ten Minutes to Go Ready, Set, Go! 10 Minutes […]

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