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Thursday, December 26, 2013

We Didn't Start The Fire

by Kyle:

We're taught that "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." It's one of those verses that I rarely think about, that is until its too late …

There I was just minding my own business just after midnight, engaged in a pleasant battle of Call of Duty, when my apartment building's fire alarm starts blaring. Now of course I had the same reaction as 97% of the rest of the world when they hear a fire alarm: "Honey, where's the remote, I can't hear the TV."

Luckily my wife went to open our front door to look out into the hallway, and that's when we realized we might want to take this seriously. There was smoke in the hallway. Not billowing smoke, but just enough to make it a bit hazy. And it tasted like burning.

That set off our internal fire alarms, also known as panic. My wife dashes to our daughter's bedroom to wake her and bundle her up for the inevitable standing outside in the cold. I stood there in the middle of our living room trying to think of what to do.

"I should probably put on some pants," I thought to myself. Yes, pants, good idea! What do I grab now? The Xbox? Should I pause my game, or just turn it off? No, not the Xbox, idiot. Grab the seven seasons of West Wing DVDs! No, no that's not practical. The confusion in my mind gave my wife ample time to return to the living room to find me still pantless, to which she suggested I get dressed and grab our laptops (because literally our entire lives are on them) and get the baby stroller and get out of here.

As we headed out the door that's when the thought hit me. If this is it. If this is the last time we are going to have all our belongings and all the things that are important to us, is this all we are taking? I wasn't prepared for this.

Now we have some measures of preparedness, don't get me wrong. I've got my six-month food supply all under my bed. The food storage pancake mix is so disgusting that we can't eat it, so I'm not feeling too hopeful about the rest of it. We also have a 72-hour kit that is in about four different pieces in two different closets. So that's really helpful. But beyond that, I don't know if I'm all that prepared, especially for these strike-at-any-moment emergencies that send you fleeing into the snow in your sweater that has a big mustard stain on it.

In the end, this emergency just turned out to be someone's burnt pizza in the oven, but it has made me think about all the "what if's." It has also given me motivation to live the counsel "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." I'm going to get my 72-hour kit all in one place. I'm going to put all my important documents in one place. And I'm going to get new food storage pancake mix, because if I have to be in a big disaster, I want good tasting pancakes.

What’s your emergency plan? What would you take if you only had a few minutes to leave your home? Have you ever burnt pizza and evacuated the whole building?

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