Monday, March 28, 2011

My new life calling....

Most of us currently have DISASTER PREPAREDNESS on our minds. I’m sure the number of hits to related websites has been its own sort of tsunami. It takes something like what has happened in Japan, or the like, to remind us…oh yeah…..I keep meaning to do something about that.

But that’s the funny thing about emergencies; they are generally disasters because we aren’t equipped to deal with the consequences.

I spent 6 years volunteering for my local Red Cross Chapter. Part of what got me started there was the fact that, years ago, I took an infant child CPR course, the result of which was that on a very ordinary day in my very ordinary life I saved my daughter’s life using a skill I otherwise would not have known. It made me very committed to the concept of preparedness training.

Disaster planning, or emergency preparedness is an amorphous subject, hard to wrap one’s arms and mind around. WHAT do I plan for? WHICH disasters are most likely to happen to me? WHAT should I buy, do, think about? HOW much do I need? WHERE do I draw the line between reasonable, thoughtful planning and completely obsessive hoarding?

There are a lot of resources on line. You can spend days and days drilling down. For the most part, however, the government and the Red Cross have guidelines, depending on your situation, where you live, the statistical likelihood of a given disaster in your area, etc. from which a reasonable person can derive a reasonable game plan.

There are, of course, certain disasters that fall into the category of “We’re Screwed”….like nuclear holocaust, complete destruction of the ozone, combustion of the planet core….you know, things like that, so there’s really no point in worrying about those things. Better to analyze the greater risks, and just plan, nominally, at least, for those.

Does it still seem daunting? I can see why. Where to start? Wouldn’t it be great if someone could just do it FOR you?

I think this should be my calling. I should be a freelance disaster planning consultant.

Here are my qualifications:

1. I’m OCD.
2. I’m incredibly organized (in an almost scary, color-coded-spreadsheet kinda way).
3. I’m a big-picture kinda gal.
4. I grew up in an area where there were frequent hurricanes.
5. I grew up in a house that had a fully-stocked (I KID YOU NOT) fallout shelter, and spend hours down there playing out disaster scenarios as a kid. (This explains Item No. 1)
6. I have a little professional volunteer experience under my belt.
7. I’m really comfortable (and good at) telling people what to do.
8. I completely believed that Avian Flu was going to be the next Armageddon, and, secretly, am a little disappointed that it never came to full fruition, because, dammit, I WAS READY!
9. Your messy closet/pantry/attic/basement won’t scare me. I’ve seen worse.
10. You don’t want to have to do it yourself.

Seriously.  Call me!

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