Over the weekend I received a message from one of our readers. As usual, I will not share the name of the writer nor specific details about their location, but I felt strongly that this would be a great opportunity to remind us all of a couple of very important aspects of living a peaceful life of preparedness.
Her message was as follows:
“Aug 13th, 12:59pm
There were horrible storms in our area yesterday. Winds clocked at about 75 mph, rain and lots of thunder and lightning. I try to be prepared but have never been in any type of situation that I really HAD to be prepared. I was home...the kids, our poodle and our cat and me...hubby had gone to his office because a window had broken out.
Anyways…I was sitting on the couch giving the baby his bottle when a bolt of lightning struck...I could have sworn it hit our house. It sounded like a bomb went off...then there was a bright pink flash of light. I grabbed the kids and dog...and ran outside. It was my first instinct. I didn't have anything...the clothes on our back...the slightly wet diaper on baby's rump. Right about the same time my husband drove up and I told him what happened. We didn't see smoke around our house but could smell it. He called the fire dept. right away and before they arrived we saw smoke coming from the house next door (thankfully a vacant home for sale). We put the kids in the car and I ran in our house to grab a few things.
We had no electricity because of the storm but I just grabbed a few things and stuffed them in a bag. I was so lucky to have a chance to go back into our house. Our house was fine...the lightning struck the house next door and it is a complete loss. It’s amazing how fast things happen...when you think you are prepared for things...but when they happen.
I look at this experience as a slap in the face trial run. Now I know! We are so beyond grateful that we are all ok and that we still have our home!”
First of all, I'm SO grateful that you're OK as well!
Secondly, I want to thank you for sharing this experience with me as I think it will serve as a great reminder to ALL of us. To that end, I wanted to share a couple of suggestions for some key lessons that we all need to learn and remember from something like this.
#1: Have a bug-out-bag ready to grab--include things that you discovered in this trial run that you wish you had had. (diapers, wet wipes, a burner phone, cash, spare clothes, medications, pet food with collapsible dishes, spare leashes, copy of rabies shot verification for pets, etc.)
#2: Then PRACTICE evacuating your home as quickly as you had to do in this instance with grabbing the BOB as a part of that practice. When we are jarred by something as sudden as this, unless we actually have provided the brain with something to "recall" then we'll miss out on doing the steps we need to keep us safe--regardless of how much "stuff" we've stocked up on. The physical act of PRACTICING will help to cement these proactive things in your mind so that they will become instinctive in the midst of a sudden event like you experienced. So PRACTICE so that if something like this were to happen again, you will instinctively have what you need and not be so vulnerable again. The practice will not only create "muscle memory", but mental fortitude as well.
Going through the physical practice will also manifest the flaws in your plan to you. I’m a big believer that there are some flaws that can ONLY be found via practice runs. For example, you may discover that perhaps the collars worn by your pets makes it difficult for you to manage them outside, so that might need to be altered. Or perhaps you'll discover that your dog doesn't mind well and as such could actually make a bad scenario worse by worrying you when it runs off scared. These are just a couple of examples that come to my mind immediately as I read of your experience. Regardless, the physical practice will definitely be a great teacher.
The best benefit of practicing though is that you will find that you now possess a great deal of peace—peace before and DURING a crisis—as a result of your newfound skills and supplies. You simply can't put a price on the value of having a level head and a peaceful heart in the midst of a crisis.
Thanks again for sharing your experience with us!!!
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