Today's guest blog entry is by Hope C., who lives Fairfield, Conn. The writer is a mother of two boys, ages 2 and 1, (with another one on the way).
When I was a little girl, my mother drove around town in our station wagon while I stood in the back of her car with my arm draped over the top of the seat. It was 1972; car seats weren’t yet law and parents were blissfully unaware of the many things we now know can harm children. While we’re better for the information we have today to protect our kids, the amount of it can be overwhelming and confusing. So last week when my sister (who works at the American Public Health Association) asked me if I had any emergency supplies set aside for the family for a public health emergency, such as pandemic flu or a flood, I fought the urge to immediately strangle her. At this moment, I am eight months pregnant and spend most of my time chasing my two little boys, both of whom are under the age of 3. Most days I am just grateful if my boys don’t grab anything hot or heavy -– let alone think about what I would do to protect my family in the event of a public health disaster.
In spite of my irritation with my well-meaning sister’s question about the number of gallons of water in my basement, I now find myself thinking about what little things I could do to prepare. What would my children do if we didn’t have access to food or clean water? My eyes suddenly welled up with tears when I thought of the mothers at the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina, crying to the news cameras that their children were hungry.
I know there will be many things I can’t protect my children from. I know that no matter how hard I try, my sons will run at top speed in the park and occasionally skin their knees in the process. I know that no matter how hard I try to clean their little hands, some other mucous-filled child will come along and sneeze on my kid giving him a cold. I know that no matter how hard I try, life is a messy unpredictable thing that I have limited control over. But, I’m a mother -– and my job is to protect them from what I can when it’s within my power and good for my children. Which is why I went to the grocery store last night and bought 20 gallons of water to put in our basement. Hopefully, we’ll never need it.
Editors Note: What motivates you to prepare? Use the comment tool (below) to let us know.