Monday, March 10, 2014
Mayor of Shoreline
The topic of “emergency management” came up at a recent meeting. Oh yes, that topic again. The one that makes me want to sink in my seat because here I am, Mayor of Shoreline, and I don’t have an emergency plan. Sure, I’ve got lots of canned food and plenty of water, even extra food for my dog. But that’s about it.
So at a recent dinner with my adult kids, I suggested that we all commit to creating a plan and having it in place by, oh, say, the end of the summer. My firefighter son looked at me quizzically. I asked him, “Don’t you think we should do this?” “Yes, of course I do, I just don’t understand why you want to wait until the end of summer.” Um, because I’ve already put it off for years and years. Why rush into this? I’m kidding, of course. Those who know me, know that I rarely procrastinate. Sometimes I should procrastinate, take a little more time before I jump in to a project or try to solve a problem. But basically, I am proud to be the anti-procrastinator.
Except for this emergency plan stuff. For some reason, I just can’t get my mind around it. When I start to think about an emergency plan, it becomes too complicated, like the roots of a tree or tentacles of an octopus. There are so many people I will be worried about - my kids, spouse, parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, neighbors. Plus, I don’t want to need an emergency plan. Now I know that is naive, and there is comfort in thinking that if I have a plan, chances are I won’t need it. And in reality, my emergency plan doesn’t have to be perfect, and it likely won’t be. Actually, it can’t be, because there are simply too many variables in all of our lives.
So l started simple. If my cell phone is dead and I can’t get to my phone numbers, who do I want to call? I wrote those numbers on a small piece of paper and stuck it in my wallet. I included my now-designated out of state contact, because they say we should have one of those. Trying to plan a meeting place isn’t really practical, because, again, who knows where we will be when (and if) an emergency happens? But we can have a couple of choices. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just do it.
I hope you will take a few minutes to connect with your loved ones about your family’s emergency plan. By the way, the City of Shoreline has a website to help you prepare. Check it out!