Saturday, June 26, 2010

Be Prepared

Every year we prepare for hurricane season here in Florida by stocking up on some necessary items: bottled water, non perishable food items, first aid kits, batteries, flashlights, generators, hurricane shutters on your windows and doors, etc. There's a list that goes out as a gentle reminder to be prepared. Often, and thank goodness, we prepare for something that doesn't usually happen. It's easy to get lulled into a false sense of security and become complacent when year after year you are prepared but the hurricane never comes.

Some people "over prepare." They include in their hurricane kits things I wouldn't think were necessities. Consider this sign in my local Starbucks. You probably don't have this sign in your Starbucks. Although I'd be curious to know if other parts of the country prepare for their natural disasters in a similar fashion. Making sure you have really good instant coffee may seem like overkill to some, but for others it is necessary to their survival.

The other extreme exists as well. Many people do not prepare at all. In fact, if a hurricane does come, they will be the ones who also refuse to leave and ride it out. If you ask them why they don't prepare, they may tell you that either (1) we won't get hit, or (2) they can handle it. I'd just hate to see them on the news being pulled off their roof by helicopter rescue or even worse.

Most of us operate somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. We'll survive - we just may not be doing it in style!

Report cards went home for the last grading period in the mail. Some parents were unpleasantly surprised by the last term's grades of their children. Some parents were shocked that their children have to attend summer school. For some students they are unable and not equipped to avoid or make it through this disaster. For others, they and their parents chose to ignore the signs and were not prepared. They believed that it couldn't happen to them or that it would all somehow just work out in the end.

That is what we call denial.

I'm not saying that you have to over-prepare and make sure you have a stockpile of VIA and Dove chocolate in your survival kit. But please at least have the essentials. If not, you leave your child vulnerable like the Louisiana Gulf Coast.