The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Emergency Plan

Ok kids, it’s paranoid Uncle Weirdo here with some unasked for and likely unlistened to advice.

And yet, here I go anyway.

If cells or landlines stopped working … where would you meet your spouse or loved ones? Who would pick up the kids or pets? Of course, in any kind of emergency, you would just call – but that could potentially not be an option. A default location (or, better yet, several) is easy to come up with, and it would prove incredibly necessary in the event of an emergency situation.

Here’s how I got on this kick.

Recently I was driving to get the kiddo a wonderfully long nap. While I do this I enjoy the sights of my town, and listen to NPR. I listen to NPR because a, I’m a commie, and b, they have a pretty reliable relaxed tone that doesn’t shift dramatically. If I listen to music, you never know what’ll come next on the radio.

The program I listened to on this particular drive was about the northern California wildfires last year and it was heartbreaking. A story about a man, a father and husband, running into a cop and being told he couldn’t travel up the hill toward his family. When the fire fighters eventually got there the man’s wife was ok, his son was dead, and his daughter was hospitalized (only to die later).

There were a number of ways the protocol for dealing with the fast-moving fire seemed to fail (in my opinion) and one interesting thing to note, which is a new problem, is the lack of landlines. Some systems are set to call all the local landlines to warn you of events, but if you are like me … that woudln’t do much good.

And what happens if there is a terrorist attack that targets cell towers? Or a series of unfortunate events that knocks one, or enough out, to render your cell essentially useless? It’s not outside the realm of possibility that such a thing could happen accidentally (e.g. fast moving fires), and it could CERTAINLY be a deliberate target.

So. Do like me. Form your emergency non-communication plan.

If you can’t reach whatever parties, establish your rendezvous points. Pick a specific address and make that destination 1. Can’t make it to destination 1? Go to designated destination 2. Etc. I picked out a spot to the north, south, east, and west. Then I did a quick map search to see that, if our kid is at daycare, and I’m at work, and my wife is at work, given each designated destination, who should pick him up?

If we are going to the spot in the north, she will pick him up. If south, I will pick him up. Etc.

And, speaking now as someone who likes clear instructions … Make it obvious. Leave no room for doubt. Write the instructions as though a 5 year old had to follow them because if you ever actually need them, it will be a time where you don’t want to expend a single bit of energy attempting to interpret something or make deductions.

Take 10 minutes, use your favorite search engine to pick out 4 locations, and then email those to the people you will rendezvous with. (If you want to be real paranoid you would save them to your phone outside of email in case your email becomes inaccessible.)


P.S. It’s funny to me to think about the fact that this is a blog post. I have posted a LOT of dumb things, and now I’m posting this? What’s happened to me?

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