Monday, September 8, 2008

Is Your Bag Packed?

It appears some people are just never happy. It appears no matter what 'they' can get for free, no matter what other people will sacrifice of themselves to see that 'they' have at least the basic necessities of life, 'they' want more.

In reading the comments of some, and I am sure not all, who were evacuated from the path of Gustav I just have to shake my head.:

1. The showers were too cold. (Did you take a short one, or use as much hot water as you could?)
2. We had to wait in line to take a shower and they were just 'thrown together'. (Be thankful you had a shower to use. You will not die without a hot shower daily.)
3. We had to wait in line for the bathroom. (You could have been using a bush. Did you leave a clean bathroom behind you?)
4. We got sandwiches a lot of the time to eat. (You had food of some kind.)
5. We had to sleep on a cot in a room full of people. (You had someplace to sleep that provided you a roof over your head out of the bad weather. When I volunteered for Katrina we called it the 'snore pit'. I used a walkman with headphones.))
6. I was alone and have an 18 month old baby. I was afraid to let her out of my sight. (And you would leave her out of your sight any other time?)
7. We had to wait in line for a bus/train, etc. ride. (You were evacuated on my dime. No people were seen every day on FOX/CNN/MSNBC sitting on rooftops, etc waiting for a rescue. No school buses sitting on a flooded parking lot. YOU GOT OUT SAFELY!)
8. The lines in the gas stations were long.(Did you fill your tank as soon as you knew this was a possibility?)

When will 'they' become responsible for themselves? The answer to that is never, as long as the government and the rest of us continue to race to their rescue. This does not apply to just the evacuation of hurricane prone areas, but those of areas that are prone to any natural disaster. I guess that would take up most of the country since any one of us could suffer the effects of a fire, tornado, flood, hurricane, earthquake, blizzard, etc.

We have been told to 'be prepared' for a disaster, especially if you live in an area that is prone to 'whatever'. Get yourself and everyone in your family a backpack or bag of some kind that is easily found for a quick 'get outta Dodge' event. In this bag keep what you will need for at least a week of being away from home and the pleasures you feel you should be 'entitled and cannot live without'.

1. Clean underwear and maybe a couple of changes of clothes, wash cloth, towel, 'shower shoes'.
2. A small bottle of Frebreeze just in case your stay is longer!
3. Your own toiletries..shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, toothbrush/paste, floss, razor, shaving cream, soap, lotion, hand sanitizer, etc.(Either use sample bottles or fill your own.)
4. Baby wipes or something of that nature to 'bathe'.
5. Small bottle of laundry detergent.
6. Feminine products.
7. A list of current medications with allergies listed, major medical concerns. Keep in ziplock bag or have laminated.
8. Any over-the-counter medications you use on a daily basis.
9. Copy of a photo ID with emergency contacts. Include all family members in case you should get seperated. How about one for each of your kids on either a string for around the neck or with a pin to attach to their clothes. Keep in ziplock bag or have laminated.
10. Extra cell phone charger.
11. Flashlight with new batteries.
12. A couple bottles of water/snacks.

For children add:

1. Add a small toy or 2 they have been made familiar with, colors/books.
2. Favorite snacks/juice boxes
3. Diapers/powered formula & bottles water/baby food/bottle
4. Baby wipes
5. Small flashlight with new batteries.
6. Be sure older children have plenty of batteries for thier iPods, Game Boys, etc.

I travel back/forth to work 60 miles round trip. During the winter I keep in my vehicle extra blankets, candy bars, a large emergency candle with matches in a ziplock bag and cell phone charger just in case I go off the road into a snow bank. I live in the country and part of my route includes county roads that are hilly and twisty. I also keep a bag with a change of clothes and toiletries just in case I get stuck at work for an extra shift. This not only applies to winter, but after the floods this spring I can see it could be a year round thing!

So, stop the whining and be thankful for what you have. Someone who left their home and family to help you in your time of need is just as displaced as you. The only diference is that they came prepared.

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