Between the local crisis of the knife fight and the national crisis of the Fort Hood shooting, I've been thinking about the fact that I have no emergency plan.

Back when I was still married and we all lived together and worked on the same island and I was at home, our emergency plan was pretty direct and clear.

But we're divorced now, and I work on a different land mass than my kids go to school in, and their dad works a good 5 miles away from both of their schools, and we have no emergency plan anymore. If their dad does, I don't know what it is.

That has to change.

I am putting this up to force myself to come up with a solid, concrete plan and then work on it with my kids' dad to make sure it works for all of us. And also to force you all to reevaluate your plans, or make them if you never did.

What if something happened at your workplace? Your spouse's workplace? Your children's schools? Your city? How would you communicate? Where would you meet? What records would you have with you?

What other questions do we need to ask ourselves?

If anyone has good plans, would you post them (obviously take out specific locations) so the rest of us can get an idea of how you work it? Thank you.

My first task is to figure out how I could walk from Long Island City to Manhattan…

60 thoughts on “Plans”

  1. Thanks for the kick in the pants. Just last week I discovered I still had canned food leftover from (wait for it) Y2K. Yick. And we had water in jugs in case Katrina or Ike decided to whack us. Time for a new strategy, there. Not only for us, but for the DOGS. (What would they survive on with no kibble? they would curl up and die a whimpery death.) We do have a pool, so we have a good source of water and chemicals to treat the water if/when needed. Not sure what would cause me to want to drink pool water, but if it came to that, we conceivably could.All of our important papers are in a fireproof safe (the ‘lockbox,’ as we refer to it in an Al Gore voice). Most of our photos are archived in two different places online, which is not foolproof but what else do we do?
    We have no pre-packed clothes, basic medication, first-aid, shoes, blankets, or other necessities. No quick access to batteries. We have a couple of good flashlights and a manual-charge radio/flashlight combo.
    Where to meet? How to contact one another? No idea. Quite spooky, indeed.
    Oh, and lest I forget – now is a good time to put the paperwork for our stored frozen embryos into the lockbox. Until now, even though it is considered sacred, it is in a file folder. Bad, bad, bad. Off to the lockbox it goes.

  2. I’m a big worrier about emergencies and what ifs. I read books about it all the time. My most recent was The Zombie Survival Guide. Okay – so I didn’t say I was practical or realistic.I have huge plans – but I’ll just cover a couple of my keys:
    1. We’ve included the nanny in the plans – chances are that the boy would be with her if there was an emergency. We have three local meet-up points (in order of priority and dependent on access).
    2. I read that local phone lines would likely be overwhelmed in the event of an emergency, so we’ve agreed on an out of province contact who we can telephone to relay messages to one another in the event that we can’t reach each other.
    3. We have one weeks worth of food and water. Plus extra water purification tablets and protein bars and a comprehensive first aid kit in the house. My husband and I also keep protein bars, water purification tablets, blankets, a flashlight, and a first aid kit in each of our cars. There are lots of resources online about what to have in an emergency kit – some things we have in our household kit include: flashlights, candles (with matches and lighter in waterproof container), toiletries, basic tools, a whistle (to attract attention) and a small camping stove and fuel, and sleeping bags.
    4. I have a binder in the house with certified true copies of all of our important identifying information (birth certificates, marriage certificate etc) as well as copies of all of our insurance paper work, and an emergency checklist. The checklist lists all the things that would need to be done if we had to evacuate- and one adult can do them in about 10 mins. We’ve actually done a practice run which I think is a good idea. The list includes things like shut off utilities, unplug electricals, items to pack in a suitcase etc – of course, these are only things to do if there is time.
    One last tip I actually got out of the Zombie book (don’t laugh!) is that if there is an emergency but its recommended that you stay put until help arrives, if you have a bathtub, go put the plug in and then fill the tub so you know you have a supply of clean water in case the mains get shut down.

  3. our main emergency to plan for is a hurricane & the no-electricity aftermath.i live with my mama & my son, and she has a list of things to do if one is coming. move the cars to a field, charge cell phones, tie down boats, tie down stuff in the basement, open the basement doors, fill bathtubs & stockpots with water… plus she has many (many!) gallon jugs of water that she empties & replenishes every 6 months to a year. when grandmama was living, the list also included making sure her wheelchair was charged and her electric recliner & beds were in a neutral position. she updates afterwards to change / add anything that came up.
    great idea for a post!

  4. I meant to add that I think a lot of emergency planning is dependent upon what the real risks are – I live in Vancouver, B.C. so I think for us its the risk of major earthquake.

  5. I do not have an emergency plan. I don’t know if this is naive, but I do not envisage anything disasterous happening here in the town, or in the vicinity of, where I live.In case we get snowed in ( which is the only realistic ’emergency’ we might have), we have a basement full of food and bottled water, which should last at least a week or so. Not to mention our store of red wine, which would outlast our food store.

  6. Good idea, Moxie. My sister was caught up in the lockdown following the Orlando shooting – if it had gone on longer, there would have been some real problems for people trying to get their kids from school, etc.A question to add to your list is – what is the emergency plan of whoever has your kids for the day? I know in CA daycare providers have to have a written plan of their various meeting places and how they would get there. Worth asking to know what would happen if, for example, a grass fire start approaching the caregiver’s house the first week your infant is in her care. Just throwing that out as a random example (because it happened to ME!!! and I FREAKED!!!) It was good to know where should would go if she needed to leave.
    We’ve been playing it fast and loose lately with the preparations, even though we’ve been through 2 evacs due to huge wildfires. I would say having a LIST of what you would need to have in an evacuation and a reasonable grasp on where those things are is more important than physically setting those items aside ahead of time. I know, I’m going to get hit by tomatoes, but a lot of the most important things are the things you’re using everyday anyways (medicines, bottles, cell phone chargers, etc). But having a list so you don’t have to think about it, just grab and go, takes a lot of the stress off.

  7. My cousin was killed in a car accident on Friday, leaving behind 4 biological children and 3 step-children. I have no emergency plans of any type with my husband and child, but you had better believe that I will now.As an aside, I am really struggling with this. Not only is this a tragedy in itself, but my aunt and uncle also lost a son 17 years ago in a car accident. They now have no children. How can this happen to the same family again?

  8. Our most important plans for “The Bad Unforseen” are in the form of documents: 1) our comprehensive estate plan, which was drawn up by an experienced trusts & estates attorney in our state, and 2) disability insurance (& of secondary importance, life insurance).This includes guardianship nominations (so our kids will have somebodies and back-up somebodies willing to raise them & the funds to do it should we die or become incapacitated), along with health care powers of attorney, and durable powers of attorney. And a simple list of all of our assets, all titled to the correct beneficiaries.
    As far as practical things go, we always keep at least a half of a tank of gas in the car… in case we have to make a quick escape from zombies (hi there @Jac!)

  9. Wow. I thought we were pretty together but I am clearly mistaken.We have a strongbox in our home with all the originals of the important papers. Our lawyer has two copies of them also: one at her office and one at her home. (My FIL is a lawyer and she’s part of his firm, so we get a little extra courtesy there.)
    My husband’s family has a house in the mountains far enough from where we all live that we know it’s a rally point in case of evacuations. I’m home with kids and live 10 min from where hubby works so that part isn’t as challenging for us.
    The most critical thing, I think, is to know in your mind. We had an awful situation several years ago when a family member snapped and another family member had to remove children to safety. Several family members whined that they didn’t know where the kids were either but I thought it was the smartest, bravest thing to do–we can’t tell what we don’t know.
    @Angela–I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. How are parents (or other family members) supposed to deal with such a thing? My condolences to you and to your extended family.

  10. Angela, I am so sorry for your loss. It is unimaginable what her family is going through. I also wonder why some families get hit with tragedy more often than others. You and the rest of your family will be in my thoughts today.

  11. Hush brings up my main dilemma. Who has guardianship of the children should the zombies get both DH and I?We have the options of DH’s sister, my brother, and DH’s parents. There are pros and cons to each, and the cons always hang me up. Sister is single, in a big city (we live in the country), and sort of distractable. My brother is in the states, which is very far away from where we are now. I dislike their lifestyle, and worry that daughter would adopt that lifestyle (she’s only 3, so there are a lot of formative years ahead of her). DH’s parents are 66 and 71, so though they’re healthy, not that young. And they really don’t have the energy to raise another child.
    Like Paola says, the likelihood of anything happening where I am is also very close to nil. Not an earthquake or hurricane zone, too wet for grass fires, etc. We have food stored, water in our well, and cows up the driveway if we get desperate for milk.

  12. @hush, I’m so distracted by thoughts of zombies, that I forgot to talk about an estate plan! powers of attorney! guardianship!Which is laughable since I am sitting at work right now drafting a will. Yes, I am a wills and estates lawyer. Who clearly needs practice at seeing an opportunity to discuss the importance of what I do.
    @Claudia – I am seeing more and more people select non-family members to be guardians. We chose close friends with small children our son’s age – so I know they would be in the right place in their life to take on the burden. Remember, that the decision you make now doesn’t have to last forever – distractable sister sould settle down in a couple of years – or your brother could move. You can always change the guardian appointment. The person you choose now for your toddler, may not be the best person for your teenager 10 years from now. All estate documents are fluid things which should be reviewed and updated regularly. But it is better to have someone picked, than no one at all – a lot of people get paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision so don’t make any decision. Just accept as your starting point that everyone is going to have cons (because they are not you!).
    Boy, I am chatty today. Sorry!

  13. Those I tease my husband about how much he worries and over-plans (and how many zombie survival guides he reads), I’m actually really grateful because we have indepth plans. Living in the DC area, he has multi-tiered contingencies for things that could truly happen in this area. He has it all written out and in a binder, including maps with directions.For local, short-term emergencies or lockdowns (e.g., major outbreak of horrible disease): Our storage room has enough food, water and first aid supplies to last us a good while. This includes dog food and cat food. We could shut ourselves in there and be fine for a while.
    For longer-term emergencies (e.g., disease is turning some people into zombies): Our plan is for me to get the kids and animals and drive to my cousin’s house in the country. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive, which I can do on less than a tank of gas. He would meet up with me later, since he works in Virgina (we live in Maryland) and has to take another route to the house. He used to keep our fly-away kit (with spare clothes and some food and water) in his car, but now it’s in the house for me to grab when I get the kids and animals.
    For very long-term emergencies (e.g. zombies are taking over!): We would go from my cousin’s house to his parents, who live in the country further south, have farm land and lots of jarred food.
    We have yet to make out the official plans for if one or both of us are turned into zombies, but we have talked it out. We need to meet with our lawyer friend and write it up, though.
    @Angela – I’m so very sorry to hear about your loss. That’s just terrible. I wish I had words of wisdom or comfort, but all I can say is that I will have your family in my prayers.
    @Claudia – We debated for a couple of years who would be our children’s gaurdians. No one seemed just exactly right. Then we realized that no one is exactly right because we are the right ones. That’s what makes it so tough. For us, it boiled down to who had the energy for our kids (since my daughter is so spirited, we weren’t sure if some people would have the energy) and who had the ethics and morals that we wanted to instill. We considered friends in addition to family. It wasn’t easy, but we finally did decide the best option. We also kept in mind that the best option for them at this age may not be the best option later, but you can always change the guardianship to someone else later. Good luck to you. It was very hard for us.

  14. @Angela, I’m so sorry.I’m mostly with Paola and Hush. We don’t have an emergency plan and are at relatively low risk for needing one; we don’t live in a large metro area or depend much on public transport. If my way home were blocked (ditto DH) by a wildfire (?) I know 6 other ways I could go to get there, including foot routes, though it would be a long walk. If DH vanished or were in an accident, there are 2 large local hospitals I’d start with, and a few that fan out from here.
    We do have up-to-date estate plans, including guardianship. We also have documents — and this reminds me, I need to file them with our pediatrician and hospital — that allow the 2 principal family caregivers for DS permission to authorized medical treatment for DS, something that can (otherwise) be an issue within the US.
    If we lost power and water, we’ve got enough wood to heat the house for at least a week and enough camping fuel to boil (and purify) water for a bit. The chances of either of these things being needed with zero warning are slim, so the bathtub suggestion is a good one (a great one, from experience, for anyone on well water where no power = no water. Just FYI).
    Being in the South, naturally if snow is predicted we will immediately run out and stock up on toilet paper, bread, eggs, and milk, because you just can’t be too careful.

  15. Count us among those who need better plans for all these things. We did have a minor emergency a couple weeks ago when I was on a business trip and a flash flood (in San Francisco! wtf!) shut down the main public transit artery. But between Mr. C’s soggy feet and online coordination with friends, we managed to get Mouse picked up and home.We do have an earthquake kit (normally the biggest risk here) with first aid, crankable radio, some extra food, etc. All schools here are required to have earthquake/disaster plans as well. We’re still working on life insurance/guardianship stuff. The guardianship choice would be so hard. All of the grandparents adore her but are difficult for different reasons. My sister is not well equipped to raise a child; Mr. C has no sibs. Possibly friends would be best, but we’d need to set up trusts, etc.
    A reminder. Thank you.

  16. In addition to those things mentioned above, DH and I also have files on each others computers containing log-in information for online accounts. That way, if something horrible happens, the person not in charge of the account can find out its status easily. My parents have the same thing and all of us kids know about it so that if something happened to them, we could easily figure out where their lockbox/important info is.

  17. I’m with @Hush- the most important part of our plan is the legal/financial one. After Pumpkin was born an we bought a house, we set up a will, trust, guardianship, etc. with the help of a lawyer. It isn’t actually that expensive, and some big companies include discounted lawyer services in their benefits. Then we bought life insurance and long term disability insurance. It is weird to spend so much time thinking about bad things happening, but it feels great to have it done. (Well, I’m still working on transferring assets into the trust, 1 year after it was set up. I’m very close now… If Petunia naps well this week, I may even finish this week!)We have to think about earthquakes and wildfires. We keep a couple of water bottles in the guest room and a couple in the garage, and have a stash of emergency food. I have a”go bag” with some basics and a couple of diapers and emergency snacks and water in each car. Also on my to do list: updating those now that Petunia has joined us.
    One trick I have: to keep our emergency food from all being expired if I ever need it, I rotate it every holiday season. I donate the old cans (all with at least a year left before expiration) to a holiday food drive, and then buy new stuff.
    Where our plans completely fall apart- what we’d actually do if an emergency struck while we’re both at work. We have vaguely agreed we’d try to meet at day care (which is reasonably close to both of our work places), but getting any additional contingency plans in place has been impossible, because it would require getting my “she’ll be right, mate” spouse to talk about it….

  18. I’m in Indiana, so the natural thought would be snow or a tornado and would you believe the worst thing was a flood. It was the aftermath of some hurricane coupled with regular rain from the west. We got 11″ of rain in a few hours. There was flash flooding, street flooding, the interstate (I-80 and I-65) were closed. All north-south roads were closed as we a few east-west. There were roads that weren’t flooded that were closed to keep rerouted trucks out of neighborhoods. My 25-minute drive from work took 2 hours. It was insane. They kept the interstate closed for a week. Work was on the other side of the river/interstate. It was nightmarish. I still had to go to work.I am just very glad that power held because the sump pump was on almost non-stop.
    So, we have some plans (and a will and guardians and that was hard…we ended up with a guardian and a trustee for the money…one from each of our families because I was just more comfortable that way), but some things are just unexpected and almost impossible.
    I am just so glad Chicago didn’t get the Olympics because the thought of the traffic had me in fear after the flood.
    And our day care was evacuated after a faulty furnace incident (in the middle of a subzero cold snap). They cannot take infants on the small buses and it was too cold to stand outside for more than a minute to wait for anything, so they endedup walking to the office building next door (where the wife of one of the firemen worked) and took over their conference toom and watched PBS Kids for a couple hours until they got the all-clear. I have no idea what they did with no diapers or bottles for a couple of hours but my kids was older and thought it was AWESOME to have firemen and TV in the same day. THey did have emergency contact info had they needed us to come get the kids from the office building, but it eded up OK.

  19. Huh, I think my comment got eaten. And it was brilliant and insightful, let me tell you.So the short version is: we have the legal docs and the insurance (life and long term disability) mostly set.
    We have to plan for earthquakes and wildfires. We keep extra water and canned food on hand. I have a “go bag” in the guest room and some basic supplies in each car (so far, we’ve used the diapers and wipes for more mundane emergencies, like forgetting to restock the diaper bag…)
    Finishing off the funding of our trust and updating our go bag and car supplies to include Petunia are both on my “to do while out on maternity leave” list. Fun times.
    My one innovation (which a lot of people probably also do)- I rotate the canned food every November/December. We give the old stuff (all with at least one year left before expiring) to a holiday food drive and buy new. That way we won’t be stuck eating 10 year old soup when the big earthquake finally strikes.
    Our plan falls apart when it comes to what we’d actually do if a disaster struck while we are at work. We have a vague agreement to head towards day care (which is close to both of our workplaces) and try to make cell phone contact- but I can’t get any true contingency planning done because that would require my “she’ll be right, mate” spouse to agree to talk about this stuff.

  20. I really like the idea of donating the canned food, @Cloud. We have wills, we have a lockbox, we have designated who would take care of our kids (for now it’s my parents–we flipped a coin between my parents and my husband’s, since both would do a great job–as they get older we will probably have to revisit that).If something happens to our house, we are supposed to meet at our friends’ house nearby. If something happens to our town, we are supposed to meet at one of our parents’ in a town 45 minutes away. Not sure how we would get there. Beyond that we haven’t thought much about it. I want one of those crank radios for Christmas.

  21. Wills, life insurance, guardian, check.Probably can’t get out of town (DC area) if we needed to. Then again, probably hosed either way if such a need should arise.
    Daycare and school have shelter-in-place plans.
    Side note: The principal at our elementary school said that on 9/11, one student whose parents left him there to finish out the school day said, “Gee, mom, you wouldn’t believe how many kids had dentist appointments today!”

  22. @Angela I am so sorry. I would recommend “When Bad Things Happen To Good People” if you really do want to explore the whys. I found it helpful after my daughter died.To the question – I think if I lived in NYC after 9/11 I would feel differently but overall I try not to give *too* much brainspace to disaster planning.
    We have food and water and tablets and potassium iodine pills at home (we’re at the outer edge of the nuclear reactor red zone). We have baby wills (not quite official) and we have insurance.
    But in terms of daycare pickup the best thing we really have managed is to choose a daycare where I know the staff and particularly the owner would take really good care of our son until we could be reunited. When my parents are in town they also could drive there but they are away a lot lately.

  23. @Angela: So, so sorry about your loss and your family’s. I cannot begin to imagine the pain…As for the more general concern of this post, geez, it is laughable how unprepared for… ANYTHING we are. Well, we have a first aid kit. But I’m not sure some bandages, tweezers and a thermometer is going to cut it. We live in a large metropolitan city with no earthquake, tornado or fire threats nearby and I haven’t thought of any contingency plan for any real disaster (hell, I haven’t even bought a new snow shovel which we’ll probably be needing, given it’s Canada). I think we have a flashlight or two and I have tons of candles, you know, for mood lighting, but otherwise we are sorely ill-prepared for anything but maybe a big, impromptu dinner party (lots of wine, musical instruments, some lovely kale and smoked sausages…and canned smoked oysters). It’s rather awful to say, but if anything ever happened to my husband, the general running of the house and kids wouldn’t probably be that different (OF COURSE, I would be distraught and so would the kids, but the pragmatics would still all be in place). I suppose I should make some plans for something happening to me, but wow, I really have never thought of it.
    How strange is that? Seriously, do the majority of Moxie readers have this all figured out? I have these moments where something hits me in the head and I realize I’m SUPPOSED to have been the adult in a given situation and I’m still completely functioning as an adolescent (at best).

  24. Here in FL, our most likely disaster would be a hurricane. We have plenty of notice for those. We aren’t on the coast, so we don’t evacuate. We ride it out.In addition to the obvious, I keep cleaning materials on hand. Lysol wipes, bleach. Yes, I’m a germ freak anyway. But if we have a bad storm, there could be a mess. And paper plates, paper towels, etc. Extra trash bags.
    We followed the advice to fill up the bathtubs with water. But it all leaked out overnite. Better place– fill up the washing machine. You’ll need the water to flush the toilets.
    Most of us here have grills, so be sure the propane tank is full. Our biggest thing, is the possibility of no electricity for awhile. Of course, lots of candles!
    We both work at home and dd is homeschooled. So we would “probably” be home together in the event of an emergency.

  25. Not prepared at all. I don’t even have the sick day kit mentioned in a previous topic. This has all given me a lot to add to my to-do list.Most of the important papers are at home – but I’m not exactly sure where. I’ve sort of let that not be my job – I can see now that’s a bad way to handle things since there’s just more than myself to think about now.

  26. Wow. I suck. Thank god we live in CO where the worst thing (natural disaster-wise) that can happen is an epic snowstorm, which seems to happen every year and we’ve survived on what we have in house. I’m a SAHM and DH works 10 minutes from here. We could walk to his office if we needed to and we have a good 30 or so friends and family within 20 miles of us.DH laughs at my “Great Depression” mentality, but when you grow up poor and don’t always have food, sometimes you end up like me, with enough food for a couple of weeks in your pantry alone (not to mention the food I have squirreled away in the basement.) And like @Paola, we have what’s really important – enough red wine to keep us warm and happy. I do need to get a few bottles of water, though. On my list. Wouldn’t want to brush my teeth with Malbec.
    As far as the animals go, I’m pretty sure my husband would take the opportunity to mercifully end our cat’s life. I can hear his argument already – it would be really, really hard to outrun zombies with a cat carrier containing 20+lbs worth of crying cat banging against your leg.
    @Jac – Any advice for finding a lawyer? Your comment really hit home. Since B’s arrival, I’ve been plagued with the hormone-induced “something terrible could happen!” thoughts and I need to capitalize on them and let them provide the impetus for finally assigning guardians, etc. It’s just that like everyone else, we are having a really hard time choosing. Really hard time.
    Last thought – this reminds me of a conversation we had at a dinner party one time. It turned into an impromptu game – we tried to determine who could survive zombies. We lost because our fireplace is gas, but we were contenders right up until the end. I’m a regular Bear Grylls.

  27. @nej – advice for finding a lawyer? Ask your mommy/daddy friends – chances one of them have set up an estate plan involving a guardian and could refer you to their lawyer. Personal referrals are best. If that doesn’t work, in Canada, you can go to the Canadian Bar Association website – which can refer you to lawyers in your area within a specific practice area (i.e. wills and estates). I think the American Bar Association has something (

  28. Huh, so my comment was just delayed, not eaten. And even when I’m being brief, I’m wordy!@Bella- we sound like we have things way together than they really are. I’ve been working on funding the trust for literally a year. The clothes and diapers in my go bag and emergency car stashes are usually at least one size too small.
    And we’re woefully unprepared for an impromptu dinner party! Unless our guests want to eat canned food.

  29. Another suggestion for finding a lawyer would be – they have searches by region and specialty. Not as good as a personal recommendation, but better than the phone book. 🙂 A lot of employee assistance programs have legal referrals as well.

  30. Well, depending on where you are, you can walk over the Queensborough Bridge (I did that last time the subways got rained out). You can also walk from Roosevelt Island to the LIC/Astoria area, although I don’t think you can walk from RI to Manhattan, so that only works if the tram or the subway is running.

  31. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Moxie. All of this stuff has been on my to do list since DS was born (and a little before). We’ve actually been able to decide on a guardian, should something happen to us both (friend, for the record). But we still have to get it written up by a notary.Considering DH’s medical issues, we should really have more ‘what if’ plans in place, especially if something happened quickly. And, like @Bella, I keep thinking that we need to also plan for the possibility of something unexpected happening to me.
    I’ve given us a deadline of end of the year to get everything together. So far, we’ve got the extra water done (thanks to loosing our water one night due to a faulty kitchen tap). But clearly, there is a lot more to do!
    @Lindz, love the idea of having files on each other’s computers. Will definitely be using that.
    @Cloud, at least I know I’m not alone – DH doesn’t like to talk too much about all this stuff so it makes it harder to get it done. No excuses though. 🙂

  32. And if you DO walk across the 59th street bridge, you need to sing, “Slow down, you move too fast…” while you do it.We have a will that mentions our first child, but not the second (who is now approaching 3.5). Oops. And we have enough food in the house that we could probably eat for a week. And after that, we’d start on the squirrels.

  33. Super romantic birthday present when I turned 33: we went to the lawyer and wrote up our wills. It was….necessary. And people babysat for us while we were there. I should probably google this, but we don’t have a trust right now that owns the assets. Our will just says in the event of our untimely demise, that there will be a trust with the assets. Since there is no trust now, the benficiaries are actually our kids not the trust. Was I supposed to have a trust created now and then name that the beneficiary? Did I get a bum will?Occasionally, out of nowhere, I will say to my husband: Bobo is allergic to amoxicillin. You need to remember this in case I am not around.
    Someone above said something about how if you’re raised poor, you have a houseful of food, and it is TRUE. True, true, true. Sometimes growing up there was no milk or no bread or no lunch meat (mmmm, butter sandwich). Anyway, if you went into my basement right now, you would decide that in the event of an emergency, you’re coming to my house. It’s all canned tomatoes (at least 15 cans) and cold cereal (30 boxes, maybe), but we could go two weeks easily (and sometimes, if we don’t get to the store, we do, and it’s comical the meals I put togther on week two).

  34. @SarcastiCarrie- we only set up a trust because Hubby is a foreigner. I forget why that mattered, but it did. Something about tax implications if I die first, I think. The other reason to set up a trust is to avoid probate, and I think there is some estate size where that starts to matter and I vaguely remember laughing and thinking it would be great if our estate was worth that much.You can tell I really paid attention and learned this stuff well.
    However, our next door neighbor just had to borrow money from us because he and his mother were living from her checking account and it was frozen for awhile after she died. So it is worth thinking through these things. He felt really terrible having to come ask us for money so that he could buy groceries.

  35. Unfortunately I have been in a tornado-CO, an earthquake-SF, a gas explosion-SF, a major flood-Napa Valley, and a propane explosion-Napa. My family says don’t live by Sharon!I even wrote a book on everything you’d need in an emergency and where to find it. Oops-note to self-update the book-how funny is that!
    Everyone posted has some pretty good plans and one person mentioned something I want to make sure you all heard, A CRANK RADIO. It’s so important. When we went through the flood there was no communication. We needed to know about more rain, road closures, how to help, when the stores were letting people in by candlelight to get food etc. And the kids needed to know we weren’t going to die. They could see the water rising, there was no way to keep that info from them. That’s all I wanted to add, except that emergencies do happen and they happen quickly so any prep is better than no prep. Oh and please remember to swap out the kids clothes, During one disaster we tried to put pants on tall that he had outgrown. He was so upset, he thought I forgot about him!
    @Angela: I’m so sorry for your loss.

  36. What a great nudge topic. We have made the guardian choice (a cousin), and gotten that person’s acceptance of the fact. But not put any of it into a will, set up a trust, etc etc. It’s been on my to do list for, um, a year.Ditto for disaster planning – DH doesn’t even think about it, and my efforts have been in fits and starts. Pretty dumb, considering we live 3 BLOCKS from a major earthquake fault! Our area could be subject to landslides (somewhat unlikely), wildfires (slightly more likely), or fires following an earthquake, thanks to ruptured gas lines, etc. (almost a certainty if ‘the big one” occurs).
    I have the water situation (bottled, pus a purifying system), batteries, candles, and crank radio part covered…need to got the food, baby & dog supplies, multiple copies of important docs stashed in several places, and practical plan for evacuation, meeting up if separated parts done.
    THANKS for the kick in the pants.
    And to Angela. No answers here. Cannot even imagine your aunt and uncle’s pain or grief. I send them – and you, and the children – thoughts of loving kindness. Not much, but it’s what I can do.

  37. Ewww, pus is not a purifying system. PLUS is what was meant.BTW, I got the kit at Costco – a whole bunch of useful stuff, including this camping-type purification system, all neatly packed in a backpack, for about $80.

  38. We could conceivably have a tornado or be snowed in. Because there is still little to no warning with a tornado, we just would tuck ourselves in the basement shower and wait it out. Getting snowed in seems pretty unlikely because, unless it happened overnight, we could get to the store for supplies.That being said, we do have all of our paperwork in a safe. All of our pictures and video are backed up and also kept in the safe.

  39. Crank radio! Yes, hubby put one of those in our storage room, too.Also, we put in a camping stove. That way if we are stuck with all the canned goods, we can warm some of it up. Also diapers!
    What we do is stock up a couple shelves in our storage room and when we run out of something in our kitchen, we bring up the backup from the storage room. Then we put it on the grocery list and it will go back into the storage room. This makes sure things don’t get old and expire down there (and also helps with our lack of cabinet space in the kitchen).

  40. Just bought a crank radio off of Amazon (you’re welcome, Moxie 🙂 that is solar-powered and has a hand crank, plus it charges a cell phone or iPod…so should zombies attack, I’ll have music and red wine.Um, I just realized that instead of making my family safer, I’m turning our house into a very appealing destination should the zombies want to party.

  41. I have one of those crank radios (the FR300). And it does have a cell phone charger, which is useless. You have to crank at a very constant (and fast) speed for it to work. I am just not capable of doing it for more than 5 or 6 seconds (and I think it takes minuters to do). You would think that would be an awesome job for a kid to do, but it just doesn’t work.In the event of an actual emergency where I have to charge my cell phone, I am better off charging it in the car (and I could use the radio in the car too). I have an inverter for the car as well, so I could power a small appliance (like a blender to make drinks for the zombies) or the auxilliary sump pump if I ran the car and hooked the inverter up.

  42. @SarcastiCarrie – So the question becomes: Can you make it from your house to your car before the zombies get you? I hope you have an attached garage, or else I have visions of a scene from a movie…@nej – Zombie party at your house! I love it!

  43. I’m picturing me diving under the door of the garage as it’s going down while I cleverly avoid the zombies and replace the jewels with a bag of useless cell phone chargers.Is it just me, or every time you read the word zombies, do you think, “Mmmm, braaaaains”?

  44. I just want to thank who ever started the “zombie” thing. Now it’s part of my conversation and jokes! It’s driving me mad. If the zombies come, oh look it’s not a murderer—it’s a zombie. We had great fun with it last night! Make it stop! LOL!P.S. We just had a great time on MomTV this morning. I hope some of you will join me there and become part of the conversation!

  45. This is making me feel so much better about the way-too-much food we have in the basement!But we have nothing on the guardian, will, trust fronts … yikes.
    Got the first-aid kit! Got batteries, camping gear! Sigh.
    I personally love how the zombie element has lightened what might otherwise be a depressing, if necessary, subject …

  46. @ Angie, my deepest condolences.In terms of a plan, I started mulling this over before I gave birth because my daughter’s father doesn’t want to be involved with us, so if something happened to me, I needed a plan.
    I chose a guardian and back-up outside the family, and discussed it with everyone, knowing that it could all be enormously complicated by her father, if he decided he wanted to be a father.
    There’s a trust, life insurance, etc. I do need to buy a fireproof lockbox.
    We live in Indiana, so our disasters are tornadoes and snow mostly. We seem to lose power sometimes, so we’ve got a fireplace with plenty of wood, candles, etc.
    Amen to being poor and having an obscene amount of food!
    Overall, I’m feeling relatively on top of things, but after reading everyone’s comments, I realize I don’t have very much red wine at all.
    And yes, I’ve been thinking “mmmmmm, brains” every time I read zombies!!

  47. parents made emergency kits (and plans) when they lived near a big slow-burning fire in Santa Barbara. Their best advice for the kit: put the kit supply list on top, in the kit, so you can check it every 6 months and replace the water. Compromise on the kit contents to make it fit in a container you can manage. (Mid-size rolling rigid plastic footlockers in my parents’ case.)

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