This article is part of a complete guide to preparedness - Getting Prepared, An Untrained Housewife's Guide. Everything you need to have a simple survival plan for you and your family!
Such tragedy in the news this week. Bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Accidental explosions at a fertilizer plant in Texas. And you can probably think of others in recent history. These types of emergencies can hardly be anticipated in the same way as a bad storm or natural disaster. But can they be prepared for? I think we can at least take some steps to try.
If an explosion occurs in your area, first responders will be stretched very thin. It is likely that you could be a great help to those who are injured. In drastic situations like this, it is not necessary to know how to start an IV, or to have other advanced skills. Someone that knows a bit of triage (assessing victims in order of priority), how to apply pressure bandages, or how to treat shock would be extremely valuable. To be a bit more involved, consider taking a CERT class – Community Emergency Response Team. These teams are trained more extensively in handling a major disaster. FEMA says, “The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.”
Prepare Yourself for Child Care
Perhaps CERT training is not appropriate for you at this time in your life. If you have a houseful of children, you are already prepared to open your home to children in need during an emergency like this. Some children whose parents have been injured may need a safe place to stay until other relatives can be notified. Maybe some neighborhood children would like a home to stay in while their parents recover in a hospital. Even the first responders will need help with their children so they can assist at the location of the explosion. To prepare for extra children is simple – just have some extra stuff. Snacks, food, art supplies, clothes. You probably have extra of all of that anyway; most children have too many clothes, too many toys, etc. As for food, what about a case of Ramen noodles, a case of cheap macaroni and cheese, and a dozen packages of cheap hot dogs (with the buns) in the freezer?
Prepare Yourself to Provide Meals
Everyone involved in a large explosion will be served by having some meals brought in. The victims’ families, the management of the facility, the first responders, the medical personnel that will be working extra shifts. If you cannot provide first aid, and you are not in a position to take in some extra children, can you be prepared to make some extra meals? When you make a casserole, make two and put one in the freezer. If you buy a can of Manwich – buy an extra one to keep on the shelf. You will find that this will also come in very handy for funerals, births, and sick friends.
Prepare Yourself to Pray
There is never a bad time to pray. It is always okay to pray, even if you have been distant from God for a while. In such a circumstance, what better time to get reacquainted? But by preparing spiritually, you will feel good about yourself jumping right into praying for everyone involved in the explosion. (God always feels good about you . . . ) Read scriptures daily, even if it’s just one more verse than you did the day before. Sometimes, that comes to just one verse! And that is perfectly fine. Follow the tenets of your faith and you will be spiritually prepared to make a prayerful difference in any disaster.
Explosions and other disasters are never expected. But they do occur and may occur near you. It would be tragic, no doubt. But if everyone in the area were minimally prepared to jump in and help, recovery and healing could be a tad bit easier.