The Colorado wildfires – like every disaster from earthquakes to hurricanes – make a parents' preparedness antennas bristle. How prepared a parent are you? How prepared do you need to be?
There are a number of news topics that I read differently now that I am a parent. War stories that involve children are unbearable. Tidbits about work-life balance get extra attention, as opposed to (I’ll admit it) the occasional eye rolls of pre-baby life. And natural disasters of the sort that we’re seeing in Colorado, where fires have displaced tens of thousands of people, are of extra concern – and a bit guilt inducing.
Because I’m an American mom, that’s why. And when I start thinking about what I would do if disaster struck, well, I’m afraid FEMA would give me an F.
The other day, inspired by the wildfires of Colorado (and imagining parents trying to frantically pack up clothes and children and loveys and diapers, not to mention cell phones and vital documents and flashlights that actually have working batteries) I Googled “emergency preparation for families.”
There is no shortage of information on this subject, I tell you.
And none of it made me feel any better.
See, according to everyone from Red Cross to the Centers for Disease Control to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, my family should have an emergency action plan. What if we’re not all in the same place when disaster strikes? What if communication systems are down? How will we find each other?