I am no doomsday survivalist junkie. Ask anyone. If there's a nuclear disaster, I'm really not the one who is willing to brave the horrors for months in a basement with four other starving family members, fighting over rats and aching for my former life, only to come back above ground to a hell on earth and exclaim passionately that I'm alive.
I'd just as soon be dead and up in heaven, thrilled that I would not have to live like the characters in the gripping post apocalyptic movies that I so enjoy.
But I do have an emergency tub. I toyed with the idea for a couple of years before last year's almost evacuation of our neighborhood due to a prairie fire down the road. I obviously did not have time to do it right THEN, as we only had an hour and I was running around the house, trying to act calm at the same time that I decided what food, clothes and jewelry to take with us. Oh, and papers. Oh, and money. Oh, and oh my gosh, where is the wedding album? And fielding calls from worried relatives. And staying calm. I wanted to kick myself for not being prepared. I am so prepared for so many things. I have my Christmas cards taken before August. Printed as soon as Target allows in late October. And ready to roll at the first of December.
I was not prepared for a possible mandatory evacuation as I smelled smoke and tried to stay focused. Ours was the next neighborhood. Now we had 30 minutes. I was cursing whoever had casually tossed out a lit cigarette onto Burning Tree Road four hours ago. Yes, I see the irony in the name too.
Then it rained. From out of nowhere it rained. For five glorious minutes. And the wind shifted. And we were safe. We all let out a collective sigh. Me for obvious reasons and my boys for the disappointment in the adventure that was now over.
And I started my emergency tub the next week. I had my list, got a big clear tub, and began filling it. You can get any size that you can carry; mine is 12”-16”-24” long. They come bigger, but frankly, that’s all that I can lift once it’s filled with food, water and incidentals. Then I read the official list from beprepared.com. Outfits for all of us? That would take up it's own tub! So everyone got just a red, hooded sweatshirt (safety orange was out of stock.) And they are all two sizes too big ('don't want to have to get back in here every year so that everyone is fashionably fitted). And I got a gallon of water. And peanut and sun and almond butter, Kind and Lara bars, chewable vitamins, agave, tuna and lentils in pouches (different pouches.) And it was HEAVY! But I dragged it to the basement and taped a large Swiss cross on each side and sealed it with colorful duct tape. And told the boys to stay out of it.
I hope I can drag it back upstairs and into the car if I ever have to. And remember to rotate that food every 5 months. (Peanut butter lasts a long time!) Cross that chore off my list; I feel better already. Whether it’s flood, fire, famine or petulance, be ready yourselves.