Sunday, April 21, 2013

Shelter in place...

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This past week has been a very tragic one for many people, particularly for those injured or killed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Because authorities were searching for the second suspect (the first suspect, sadly a sibling, had died), a section of Boston was ordered to "Shelter-in-place".  Public transportation, schools, and business were closed.  Thankfully, the 2nd suspect was apprehended and the city of Boston celebrated and cheered the efforts of law enforcement to bring this sad chapter to a hopeful close.

From a preparedness standpoint, people had to 'live' on the things they had in their homes during this difficult time. 

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Having authorities go from home to home must have been a welcomed, but anxious experience.  The adults surely had a good understanding of what was happening, but the children may not have known why they couldn't go outside or why they had a change in their routine.  Depending upon what you had on your shelves (food and entertainment wise), this time at home could have been welcomed or with a bit of panic.

Have you ever tried to get your children out of the door when you don't have milk in the morning? What would you do if you didn't have milk, cereal, etc while being required to stay at home?  Would you have had things for your children/family to do while you were in this situation?  What if you were asked to Shelter-in-place for days or longer....would you have things in place to do so?  If it were needed, would you be in a position to defend yourself?

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We had the opportunity to 'Grandparent' yesterday for  most of the day.  We had  a sweet toddler boy who came over to captivate our hearts.  He played with the dollhouse and said sweet things like "baby", "Mama", and "Dada" while picking up pieces before tossing them on the floor.

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We also drove cars and trucks all over the living room.

However, when I was just across the room, our little Grandson opened our backdoor for the first time by himself.  Later, when he was in the Garage with Grandpa, he quickly tried to run down the driveway to the street before we caught him. Certainly, in a lock-down situation, our Garage door would not have be opened.  But, in the backdoor situation could have been dangerous and very problematic.

I reflected upon the requirement to 'Shelter-in-place" and taking care of not only him, but siblings at the same time.  It is hard to keep kids entertained, fed, and protected.  It would be important to have precautions in place to manage little one's desires to go outside to play or to spend time with friends in the neighborhood.

As it turned out, we would have been fine if we had locked the doors (which we would have done in a true "Shelter-in-place" scenario).  We could have fed, entertained, and protected ourselves for a long time.  We also would have been in a position to handle hygiene (for the adults), medication needs, communication, and power if need be.  However, this little one is not toilet trained yet and we only had so many diapers.  As I thought about what I would do if we cared for him for a long time, I started looking at our dishtowels and safety pins and tried to think about how I would have had to possibly sew a pair or 'plastic pants' as my family used to call them when my siblings were in cloth diapers.  I had the supplies to do it and could have done so. Overall we would have done just fine.  In fact, we really did have to "Shelter-in-place" for nearly a week following a big natural disaster a few years ago.  We didn't have power, but we had everything else and did just fine.

The following list is from "Backdoor":

Survival Woman’s Shelter-In-Place Checklist
2- 4 mil plastic sheeting
Duct tape
Scissors (to cut the plastic sheeting)
Utility knife
First aid kit
Two week supply of non-perishable food
Paper plates and eating utensils
Can opener
Bottled drinking water (your water barrel will not likely be accessible from your safe room)
Flash Light with a hand crank or extra batteries
Baby items (diapers, formula, wipes)
Pet items (food, potty pads, kitty litter, poo bags)
Wind Up/Battery Radio
Phone that does not require power
Cell phone and charger
Extra pair of glasses and/or contact lens & solution
Emergency Phone Numbers
Candles/Camping Lanterns
Lighters and Matches
Garbage bags & ties
Comfort items (toilet paper, personal wipes, Kleenex)
Entertainment items (paperback books, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, playing cards)
Paper, pens, pencils
Emergency telephone numbers
Take a quick look around your home.  How would you have faired?  If you are lacking, make a plan and address it now.  Who could have foreseen a lock down in Boston even just a few days ago.  Being prepared requires a skill-set and a mindset.  Doing so helps keep calm hearts and cool heads in the face of the unexpected.    

Think about it!

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