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Lifequake Emergency Kit
“Every survival kit should include a sense of humor.” -Anonymous
It’s easier to prepare for an emergency before it happens. In the middle of an earthquake is not the time to be thinking about where you put your shoes or the flashlight. But we often only prepare half-heartedly for seismic life events. But here’s the thing. It’s inevitable. It is going to happen. Maybe it will be a small little lifequake, but it could be a big one. And better to prepare than to be afraid. You still might get scared in the middle of it, but you will know you have what you need in easy reach.
Lifequakes are like that. Sometimes they are small—your daily commute is interrupted by some construction so you have to detour and it takes longer. Sometimes your lifequake is kind of medium and your best friend and neighbor moves away and now you have to rethink your social life. And sometimes it is pretty darn big—you lose your job, your relationship ends, there is a death of someone you love. And then there is COVID. That has been a global lifequake even though it has affected people all around the world differently.
So since you are bound to experience one, why not prepare?
Here are some things every lifequake emergency kit should have (with some inspiration from our local elementary school's list!):
Sleep, Eat and Hydration Plan*
Lots of scientific studies remind us that sleep, well-balanced diet, and water are vital to feeling better throughout our days. Make a plan to work on one or all of these today. It is much harder during a life crisis to develop good habits.
Having a growth mindset, developing some resilience or persistence, keeping your mind open to change and opportunity will benefit you when the stressors come. Often our mind closes down when under pressure, so the more we practice being open, the better off we'll be.
Make a financial disaster plan. Be sure another adult knows the passwords to your accounts, have an emergency savings plan if at all possible, and be sure to have a plan to access money in case of an actual earthquake. Some suggest keeping cash on hand.
Work on your relationships now. During a lifequake, we often experience emotional upheaval. It's good to have spent time with people we care about beforehand so that we have already-established relationships available to us when we need them most. Know who your friends are.
In the elementary earthquake kit it was a note from a parent/guardian to kid. Tell other people you care about them. And when someone else tells you how important you are to them, keep the card, voice message, or other reminder that you matter to someone else. It's good to have these reminders of love when you need them--don't go searching for them, have them ready
Develop a new hobby or practice an old one (hint: think of something that you’ll still be able to do if your favorite activity is no longer easy or possible.) Like reading if taking daily walks becomes a challenge. Or walking if your eyesight won’t let you do needlework any more. Or something that doesn't cost money.
You get the idea!
Keep a visual reminder of something or someone you really care about. In the earthquake kit, it's a photo of the family. It might be that for you, too! Or a pic of your pet of BFF. Or a plant or an inspirational quote framed over your desk--something that when you see it, it brings you right back to a positive frame of mind.
In a lifequake, you'll need that.
Make a real list of contact info for who to call, not just in an emergency, but also for those times when you really need some help. That means talking with people and asking them to be on your call list: family, friends, neighbors, people across the hall or the street, co-workers, teammates. It is amazing how many people will really step up if you ask them to. And offer to be on their call list too. If you are new in the area, reach out, or better yet, offer to be someone who can be counted on. Be up front about what you need and let people know you can be there for them, too.
*Always a good idea to check in with your medical provider before you start changing any health routine.