Disclaimer ~ This post will be equally humorous and serious. This is how I deal with emergency situations ~ take each moment incredibly seriously, while trying to maintain a healthy sense of humor as well. If anyone has a better way of dealing with crisis, please enlighten us!
My husband Rich and I have lived through our fair share of emergencies and natural disasters. I grew up on the Jersey Shore and saw hurricanes and nor’easters rip up our precious coast line. Later on, Rich and I moved into NYC and lived through 9/11. We were living and working in Manhattan during that unprecedented time and got very good at stocking up on vital supplies and staying in touch with loved ones.
Two years after 9/11, many parts of the Eastern Seaboard lost power, including much of Manhattan. We went without electricity for close to a week. Imagine looking at the Empire State Building and seeing total darkness. That’s what we experienced. We would walk the streets of the city and take ice cream from the Bodega owners who were passing it out. Better to eat it for free than to have it melt all over the other merchandise. When the lights finally came back on, we could hear applause up and down our neighborhood. It was quite a moment.
We’ve had hurricanes, nor’easters, blackouts, terrorist attacks, snow storms … all of us have lived through our own share of unexpected and chaotic events. They bring out our true selves. Can we live through the crisis? Will we thrive, or will we crash under the pressure? I know for Rich and I, we are always ready, willing, and able to laugh our way through any issue that life may bring us.
So now with Hurricane Sandy beating upon the eastern seaboard as I write this, my crisis preparedness mode is in full effect. One huge difference now is that we have our 6 year old daughter Mia to prepare as well. Having a child adds a whole new level of mindfulness and humor during times like this. We can’t tell her too much or she will freak out, but we have to tell her something in case it does get as bad as the forecasters are saying. Plus, we also need to keep her occupied and distracted enough so that she is happy and not too scared. Such a delicate balance.
This is especially difficult since there are some real threats with this storm. We currently live right in the path of this destructive storm. Plus, my heart will always remain on the Jersey Shore, and there are some major concerns with the already vulnerable Jersey Coast Line. The ocean is amazingly powerful and intense. Even on seemingly calm days, the waves can be destructive. My thoughts and prayers are with the shore. I truly hope that this storm does minimal damage.
My heart and thoughts are also with the thousands of residents living in the path of this destruction. Especially those who are already struggling with life day to day, outside the added threat of a natural disaster. Those who are always in a heightened sense of crisis because they may not know where their next meal is coming from, if they will be able to adequately care for their children. So many of us take our ability to prepare for a crisis like this for granted. We have the means to stock up on food and water. We have adequate shelter to protect us. We can find a way to evacuate if we need to. There are so many of our fellow neighbors who are unable to do this at any level. My thoughts are with them. May they be safe and keep their children warm, dry, and content.
My hope is that we all come together to help our fellow neighbors during this time. Even to reach out to others to offer support and a good laugh to lighten the pressure. Share supplies with those who need them. Offer to assist those who need to evacuate with you. Our sense of community needs to be heightened ~ we are all in this together.
Using our fine-tuned sense of humor is so vital to this entire process. Thankfully Mia has a hearty sense of humor as well. While she may be a little scared, we can easily distract her with some fun and games, silly style. Case in point ~ She is now “playing” with her cousin via Facetime. Oh, how I bow to the Gods of Social Media at times like this! Now let’s hope the power doesn’t go out …
There are some vital components to surviving any disaster/crisis/emergency situation. Given that we’ve had some extensive practice in this area, we have fine-tuned this list, and love to share our ideas with anyone who is interested! Here is our step by step guide to ensuring all goes well during this Frankenstorm ~
Ensure coffee is made before the power goes out.
Ensure there is plenty of alcohol.
In regard to the above, also make sure all bottle openers are in a place you can easily get to.
Now is the time to make use of all of those annoying light up toys. If the power does go out, you can entertain the kiddies for hours with a light show.
Also essential if the power goes out ~ Glow Sticks. Just as effective as candles, but way more fun.
And yes, candles are necessary as well. Make sure you know where your lighters/matches are.
Be mindful of charging all laptops, phones, ipods, ipads … not only will this help you stay in contact with loved ones, it will also ensure that you remain connected to Social Media. Which is essential. (or is this just essential to me?!)
Make sure there is some sort of battery operated source of music, or a fully charged computer/phone that can play a party mix. Turn those glow sticks and light up toys into a mini-rave! Well, a kid-friendly rave anyway.
Throw out all rules about eating candy and junk food. Please, now is not the time to be strict about food, or bedtimes, or really anything. In fact, now is the best time to have your little ones jacked up on sugar. Trust me, it will make all of your lives easier.
Plus, if the power goes out, you will need to eat all the ice cream in your freezer before it melts. So you and your kids may as well get a head start!
Please, everyone stay safe and dry. We are all in this together. Through our love of our fellow neighbor, and our use of humor, we will get through this and any emergency that comes our way.