You are sitting at home on the couch watching your favorite TV show. Your spouse called fifteen minutes ago stating that traffic was heavy on the local interstate and that she would be about half an hour late, currently about 50 miles away. Your son is at the gym working out with his friends, less than five miles from home. He doesn’t drive yet but has his learner’s permit. You are scheduled to pick him up in an hour. Your daughter is at the local Cineplex easing into her chair as the feature film is about to start. You know this because she just texted you, as she normally does to let you know her whereabouts, herself being only 15. The theater is about ten miles away and she is being picked up by her friend’s mom.
As the theme song from your favorite show starts, the television suddenly flickers, then goes black, as do all the lights in the home. Must be a power failure. You move over to the window, and look out across town. It’s pitch black as far as the eye can see – which you don’t ever recall happening before.
You wait a few minutes, grabbing a flashlight you keep handy for just that purpose. You decide to phone your wife to let her know there is a power failure, but all your phone does is sound the same recording – “All circuits are busy now. Will you please try your call again later”. You try your son at the gym – same thing.Choking down the panic, you turn on your shortwave radio in time to hear a broadcast – a disaster has struck your area dead center.
The above scenario is perhaps a parent’s or spouse’s worst nightmare; a disaster of some sort has struck at the most inopportune time, and your entire family is scattered across a large area. It’s the sort of scenario that we hope will never happen, one in which we may not be prepared to act. Consider that a perpetual state of readiness is almost impossible to maintain. You can’t always be poised for action, you can’t sit at code yellow every day, waiting. Let’s face it – life isn’t real fun when you spend your time anticipating what disasters could occur. Yet, we need to give thought to what we might do in these scenarios. While it’s unhealthy to dwell on these events everyday, it’s also foolish to ignore the possibility that this might happen.