Zombies Are Not the Biggest Problem
Most people hear the term “being prepared” and automatically it insights a little fear. This past year, with an increase of natural disasters, preparedness paints pictures of apocalyptic damage, empty grocery stores, and scenes from The Walking Dead. It doesn’t need to, especially as parents. Being prepared can be a lot simpler, and just as important as being prepared for zombies.
Life of a Worrier
I will let you know right now, I am an over-thinker, a worrier of sorts. I have smoke detectors all over my home, fire extinguishers in random places, CO2 detectors galore, and some water and supplies stashed away. Of all these things, I have one more item stashed away, that I hold above all physical preparedness items, and that is knowledge.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Now, you’re thinking, knowledge, what are you talking about? Of course, none of us know when the next big disaster will strike, but that doesn’t mean your family cannot be ready. The basic knowledge of where your closest hospitals and police stations are, or teaching your children to call 911 in case of emergency on a landline and your cell phone is a way to be prepared. Having a plan and sharing that plan with your family in case of a fire, that is a way to be prepared. Keeping important documents in a fire safe and ensuring a close friend or family member knows how to get them in case of tragedy, that is preparedness. Having a plan in case something happens to you or your spouse/partner, or both, in place for your children, that’s preparedness. The American Red Cross teaches that incident preparedness can be as easy as 1,2,3:
1. With your family or household members, discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
2. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and how you will work together as a team.
3. Practice as many elements of your plan as possible.
The American Red Cross also provides free printables for your emergency binder (“Make a Plan”).
Saving a Life? Just Breath
Lastly, the absolute most important piece of knowledge you can have, the knowledge of how to perform CPR, First Aid, and use an AED on an adult, child, and an infant. This is knowledge that can save your life and the lives of others, including your children. The American Heart Association states that 88% of cardiac arrest occurs near the home and out of the hospital. They also report that the use of CPR can double or triple their chance of survival (“CPR Statistics”, 2014). Sitting at the dinner table or a family holiday gathering is not a time to understand that this is information you should have known.
The best way to be prepared is to plan. This takes time and coordination, but this is little to ask when it comes to the safety of our families. At no point will I ever have the money to build my own mega preppers den, that goes to more useful things like food and utilities; however, I know that I am prepared if an emergency is to arise while sitting at the dinner table with my family. How are you prepared?
CPR Statistics. (2014, September 3). Retrieved January 16, 2018, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/Whatis%20CPR/CPRFactsandStats/CPR-Statistics_UCM_307542_Article.jsp#.Wl5G2JM-fOQ
“Make a Plan.” American Red Cross, www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/make-a-plan.