Friday, April 6, 2012

A Wake Up Call

I was sleeping so soundly, with my babe nestled in my arm, when the fire alarm in the children's room went off.

In a flash, my husband and I were out of bed.  I grabbed my robe to cover the babe who was only wearing a diaper.  And we ran to the children's bedroom.

There was, fortunately, no fire.  My son was unable to sleep and had turned on the red light bulb in their room.  For some reason this sometimes sets off the fire alarm, and this was one of those times.  He was sobbing and terrified at the sudden commotion and the blaring alarm in the middle of the night.  We assured him, it was ok.

It was 3:30 in the morning.  So we all tried to settle down and get some more sleep before our day had to start.

But I couldn't sleep.

The situation made me realize how woefully unprepared I was.  If there was truly a fire, were we prepared to evacuate the house?

I do have a "But Out Bag" in our meeting place.  But even as I considered falling back on it, I realize that having packed it last spring, and considering that it is not stored in "prime conditions', that many of the foods may be stale.  I KNOW there are spiders in the location, and we have yet to spray.

And in the pouring rain, (which this IS western Washington people) we were NOT really ready to LEAVE our home in even the barest comfort.

In the middle of the night.....

My children rarely wear their pajamas.  Running out in unders only, would be COLD and WET.
My children and I typically cannot find our shoes QUICKLY.  When you are tired and freezing, those rocks and sticker bushes will be THAT much more painful.

And what if we were unable to go to our desired location, where my bug out bag awaits us.

Do I have diapers handy?  Do I have jackets?  Do I have some bottles of water, some snacky foods, some bandaids?

So as I lay in my bed, unable to sleep, I planned.

Something larger than a diaper bag would work.  Something slightly smaller than a Bug Out Bag, in the hopes that we would be able to get to the fully packed set up we already have, or a second Bug Out Bag.
Include a change of clothes for each member of the family, diapers, toilet paper, a first aid kit, bottled water, easy snacky foods (crackers and raisins work good with the children, trail mixes if they are older and can chew the nuts).
My children must wear full pajamas.
We must put our shoes in an easy to find location, the SAME PLACE everyday.
Because footwear IS so vitally important to health and safety, we may consider adding a pair of shoes for each family member in the bag.

And it is ALWAYS a good idea to have a fire alarm and evacuation plan that you discuss and practice with your children.

Right now, I am taking that red lightbulb out of my children's room.  I will find another color for their night time lighting.  One that does not interrupt my precious sleeping. :)

I do thank the Lord, that once again, I was WARNED of a danger before there was true danger in this situation.  I try to prepare for my family, but sometimes have blindspots.  These "Wake Up Calls" are good for us.  I pray that my wake up call was helpful to you too.

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