Last night was an exercise in ready positions for many of us on the East Coast. Flash floods. Tornados. Torrential downpour and rain. Subways flooding to the point of overflowing. Alerts going off on our phones all night. It’s scary stuff, but a little less scary when you’re prepared.
A few years ago, my husband and I compiled a small cache of emergency supplies to get us through oddball events. There seem to be more of them happening these days. Canned food, bottled water, flashlights, space blankets, even a landline phone to plug in a pinch.
We have a designated emergency meeting place location as a family and we regularly discuss things like exit strategies from our home and “risk areas” for things like weird climate events. So even while the world may feel like it’s ending outside, we know we’ve got enough inside to keep us relatively safe, and we know we have a plan.
Like a lot of New Yorkers, we experienced flooding in our home during the deepest part of the rain surge last night. For about 90 minutes, we cleared everything off the ground of several rooms, moved all of the soaked rugs to the shower, and tip-toed around our baby’s crib taking pictures of the damage while she somehow managed to stay asleep. We tossed what we could, let books and papers out to dry until the morning, but still went to bed with an inch of water in a few different places.
But just as quickly as we identified the flood water, we launched into our respective Ready Position roles. He called our landlord, I discussed insurance paperwork. We moved quickly, quietly (the baby was asleep) and efficiently to divide and conquer our tasks.
When we realized we’d need to spend the better part of the morning taking care of things, we assigned roles and created a new plan. When we learned our baby’s daycare had flooded as well and would likely be closed, we chose the one of us who would volunteer as tribute to take on the home stuff for the day. At my therapist’s request, I even had an “emergency cancelation” email already teed up that I sent to a couple of folks to cancel meeting today.
Even though the day today likely won’t be as either of us expected, it’s nice to know how to fall into our Ready Positions. And once we’ve got that plan in place, we can start moving onto what comes next.
Originally published at Dry Erase.