Saturday, October 10, 2009

Emergency Preparedness

Twice a year we refresh our 72-hour backpacks, a love/hate project. Refreshing them requires me to go to Sam’s Club in advance of the designated day for refreshing for a list of items I have finally written down on a piece of paper and put in a place where I will remember to look in six months. So last week I got out the list and took it with me when I went shopping. I was feeling quite organized as I put the items on the ping pong table. I asked, okay—ordered, Phil to bring in all the backpacks from the garage where they are hanging on hooks ready to be thrown in a car or onto a back in case of an emergency. You can almost always count on Phil to carry through with an assignment. Five of us assembled around the ping pong table to take out the old and put in the new. My job was to take the six-month old items (peanut butter, hot chocolate, packets of oatmeal, individually-wrapped beef jerky, gum, Crystal Light, etc.) and issue newly-purchased items to each person. It sounds so simple as I type this but this project has never been executed in a simple manner. Attention spans for some of us are not very long and so we tend to lose interest and wander. And it is chaotic and the table cluttered. One person can always be heard to say “Why is it I always have to do everything?” And I am not the one. Enthusiasm drains quickly and tempers flare but we can’t leave our ping pong table littered with food and other emergency items so we grit our teeth and get the job done. Just as we finished zipping up the last backpack one of us remembered that the seizure (and headache) medication had not yet been done. That too sounds simple but it is always deceiving. Six months will be here before we know it and we will have forgotten most of the negative details. Meanwhile, it is a great feeling to know that we are prepared.

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