I am in San Diego at a conference this week with a bunch of emergency managers. Not that I want anything to happen, but if it did, well, this is the group with whom to be!
A crack in the radiator of my son's car required me to change my mode of transportation this week. Originally, I was going to drive my car the 100 miles or so to the conference, but now my son needed my car to get back to college. That's OK, I thought, because I can easily take the train, and I don't have to worry about traffic. It all seemed so easy... until I started to pack...
I feel pretty confident traveling in my car. I have water, food, warm and comfortable clothes. I have a flashlight, radio, toilet paper, a first aid kit, extra eyeglasses and a good, long book to read. I even have a beach chair, umbrella and a warm and waterproof jacket. So what do I need on the train?
As a traveler, I had extra clothes, but they weren't really the type of clothes you want not to be wearing during a disaster. Heels, skirt and a silk blouse are simply not very functional in disaster situations, even though Karen Allen managed to pull off wearing that lovely white gown in "Riders of the Lost Ark."
Obviously I could not nor would want to duplicate what my car has, but I an think about what I can pack that could make me better off should an emergency occur. So I added some casual shoes, jacket and small, collapsible umbrella. I packed a large water bottle, snacks and my purse-sized first aid kit. I also added a flashlight, a pack of tissues and emergency contact information for my wallet.
I certainly am not completely prepared to survive several days alone somewhere, but I have some important tools for my survival and, just as important,a large peace of mind.