Tonights the night, I know your excited, so come on over to the church at 7:00 p.m. and join us because we're going to play Name Your Disaster. Yes, the game the ladies have all been waiting for - if they only knew about it. Someone else has been announcing to the women in church that I've been asked (again) to teach a class on preparing an emergency car kit. I haven't had a chance to tell them myself since I'm busy each Sunday teaching 3-12 year olds gospel music.
Mistakenly, the church ladies think I'm the guru of preparedness. Sure I can sheer a sheep, spin the wool, and knit a sweater. I can cook - even over a campfire, and I can handle some minor medical emergencies but queen of preparedness, hardly. It's just that I've learned a few tricks and I keep them up my sleeves or rather in my purse, my vehicle, and my basement.
You read that correctly, even my purse. It's a real small backpack that has a handy miniature survival kit in it with knife, flashlight, rain jacket, space blanket, matches, Leatherman, Kleenex, nail clippers, band aids, granola bars etc. My family laughs at me and calls it my MacGyver pack but they've ask for their share of its contents at one time or another. Then I just smile and say, "Don't you wish you had one like mine right now?" They grin and say, "I do - yours!" It's not that I'm paranoid, it's just that I've lived long enough to say, "Been there done that." and I'd rather have the tools to make journeying through the tough times easier.
For instance, when Wyoming's Governor, Dave Fruedenthal, asked me where I was when the tornado swept through our town, I replied, "In the basement." By the disappointed expression on his face, I knew he was hoping I'd seen some spectacular sight or had a hair raising tale to tell. I'm short on adrenaline at the best of times and I'd just as soon skip death defying, and hair raising experiences. Excitement finds me. I don't have to go looking for it.
I find it unsettling that we live in an area that calls small tornados home. I've grown more comfortable with that knowlege since, "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." and so I've learned a little about storm clouds. I've also learned that the emergency sirens around town are nice but don't rely on them. A good example was the day some years ago when a tornado damaged over a hundred homes in our little town. They blew alright but just not soon enough. Then there was the time a tornado was forming over the top of 3/4's of the town. We watched as clouds were sucked up into the big hole in the middle and a slight funnel would form and then disapate, form, and disapate. Not a peep was heard from the sirens. Then there was the time they didn't work at all and the Deputy Sheriff's personnel went all over town with their bull horns making announcements that a large hale storm was headed our way. Take cover.
My country background has taught me that if you get in to trouble the first rescuer on the scene is you. Ranchers and farmers don't have sirens or a nearby fire department or ambulances. They handle a number of smaller crisises and some big ones all by themselves whether it be a fire sweeping over the prairie or a dumping snow storm. They listen to the weatherman and yet, know that he's often nowhere in the ball park of right, so they watch the sky making educated judgements of their own.
On the day the tornado hit town I'd been keeping an eye on the sky for hours watching as two weather fronts formed and progress toward each other. When they collided, the clouds took on the appearance of bubble wrap on the bottom and turned an ominous turquoisy blue. My daughter and I didn't have to be told to head for the basement by the town's sirens. We'd seen the signs and were already there when the sirens blew.
If I've learned anything in the last fifty years it's, "Take Care of Yourself." and be greatful IF help is available but don't count on it. So once again, I'm teaching how to build your own car prepareness kit. And though I could do it the same way I've done before, I have a policy not to present something the exact same way twice. Though there are a number of new faces in church, I'm not new and I don't want to hear myself giving the same information in the same way twice.
Hence the idea - Name Your Disaster. No gloom and doom from me. I'm preparing to steer a lively discussion through the dark hypothetical avenues of potentially disasterous car calamities. This is hopefully how it will play out. I'll ask the ladies to name a weather condition and we'll flesh that out until we have a clear picture of what road were on, whether it be a two-lane highway in the middle of nowhere, interstate etc., the road conditions, the visibility, and traffic level. Plus the time of day. Then we'll name our perdicament. From there we'll figure out what we need to have in our vehicle so that we can downsize the situation hopefully to a irritant not a potentially lethal situation. Then we'll discuss the most common reasons the emergency personel get called out, needlessly risking their lives because the first responder - you- wasn't prepared to allow them to wait out the worst of the storm or not to have to come at all.
I can tell you of some hair raising stories but I'll save them for tonight if I need to catch your attention. So unless you enjoy spine tingling tales of horror, stay awake. I promise to do my best to keep things lively.
I've learned that the Lord is kind and merciful but you need to give him something to work with and not expect him to do it all on his own. It isn't that he can't - its that he expects us to meet him half way or go as far as we can on our own. You have to participate to grow. Trials turn knowledge to wisdom and the more supplies and knowledge you have, the better the Lord can steer you safely down the path to shelter. Laugh if you will at my purses's contents but, "Better safe than sorry."
So if you can't make it to our Name Your Disaster game hour feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you my emergency car kit list of items you can buy and stow in your vehicle for when Name Your Disaster because the real deal.