Self-Care Challenge (Day 288): Preparing for Emergencies

Black Diamond headlamp

As an avid planner, I love the preparation process. I enjoy considering “what if” scenarios and pulling together resources that can be accessed quickly in a pinch. Perhaps all of my years working on contingency plans for long-term care facilities has played a part in that, but there is a certain comfort that comes with feeling well-prepared to handle whatever blows your way. And in the case of Seattle’s recent weather forecast, wind was exactly what we were expecting to blow our way.

Being prepared enough to sit back and go with the flow in the event of a utility outage is a serious act of self-care for me. I would much rather expect the worst and celebrate the not-so-bad when things don’t turn out to be so tragic.

In this case, preparing involved ensuring access to easily prepared foods, having extra drinking water on hand (although our well is equipped with a generator, you just never know), and having a source of light and heat.

Growing up in the Midwest, it wasn’t uncommon for us to have power outages in the middle of the brutally cold winter months, which meant that it was imperative to have a backup source of heat and food. Likewise, weathering my share of hurricanes while living in Florida taught me to prepare for slightly different scenarios.

So, in preparation for a this particular weather emergency, we pulled out some of our camping gear, filled our kerosene heater, readied the generator in case we needed to keep the fridge running, made sure our water containers were full, and made sure we had some easy-to-prep meals on hand. While I’m perfectly happy with PB&J every now and then, my camping experience over the years has expanded my options. (My husband and I once made short ribs, risotto, and chocolate chip cookies using our camping gear during a power outage.)

While there’s no way to predict or prepare for every scenario, covering the basics doesn’t hurt. And it sure makes things a lot less stressful.

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