Inspired by Utah’s Great Shake Out Drill, the Why Moms have decided to shake things up at home.
So what do you do when there is a task at hand that is not exactly FUN, but important? Here’s what I do… For starters, I needed some sort of pressing motivator. And, since this week was the Utah Shake Out (a statewide earthquake drill) that was good enough for me! Secondly, knowing how I work best, I recruit a few friends to be on board! Not just for the social aspect, but for the added brain power and the accountability, as well as an element of fun! Also, we have learned that doing things in a group allows you to divide up the work, and items purchased are often cheaper in bulk.
Turned out I wasn’t the only one who had procrastinated this project of preparing the family and home for an earthquake… probably because this can feel like an intimidating, daunting task. Once we got together and brainstormed ideas and did a little research together, we were able to tag-team the work. We each picked a few things to focus on, based on our interests!
Preppin’ for an Earthquake WHY MOMS style… Since none of us have actually ever been in an earthquake before, it was time start asking around from those with experience. Here are a few simple, yet important things we found to do to get our families more prepared for a Quake:
1- PREPARE YOURSELF:
This is KEY! As much as I like to pretend that tragedy will never strike our family, the reality is- none of us are immune to it. I have learned that the more I ignore a ‘preparedness’ issue, the more FEAR is built up around it. However, once I make the effort to educate & prepare myself, that fear leaves and I am empowered… leaving me with PEACE instead. There are so many great resources out there to educate yourself. If you need to brush up on your EARTHQUAKE knowledge, here is a great prep guide that Meg found:
EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE Found HERE.
Another good EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL GUIDE – information chart HERE.
2- PREPARE THE HOUSE:
There are simple and cheap ways to make your home more earthquake proof. Meg, being practical & wise- has demonstrated a few ways for us here:
Also, to protect from falling objects, She got each of us our own Quake Putty HERE, and gave us each a pack and a shelf/wall hanging lesson~
BUY Quake Hold Putty HERE
3. PREPARE THE KIDS:
EARTHQUAKE DRILL GAME–
Making preparing for an earthquake a game helps make it not so scary. While I went around the house adding my quake hold putty to things around the house, I talked to my children about what would be the safest place to go in an earthquake. We talked about getting away from windows, cupboards, shelves and falling objects (more helpful hints found on the prep guide chart above). Then we did the drop, duck and cover practice. I had them curl-up in a ball face down and cover their heads. Then we went to each room in our house to find the safest place to go in an earthquake.
Jamie, deciding to make things a little more fun, made GAME of it! I told the kids that throughout the day I would say, “EARTHQUAKE”. They would then practice finding the safest place to drop, duck and cover in that room. You could practice this outside or at other locations (grandma’s, neighbor’s, school etc…). HA, just be prepared for some funny looks. It’s okay one day you’ll be glad you practiced….when “THE BIG ONE” finally hits!
You never know when an earthquake may strike, or where you might be. So, in the instance we are not right by our childrens’ side, we made a few handy Quake Kits~
- BEDSIDE BAGS: When the next strong quake strikes, your family may be asleep in bed. Once the shaking has stopped, the power could be out and there may be broken glass & other harmful debris on the floor, making it unsafe to walk barefoot! I learned the handy tip of keeping a flashlight and a pair of shoes nearby or secured to everyone’s bed (and if we are doing it, why not make them CUTE bags, right?). These can be tied to the bedpost at the head of each bed:
- SCHOOL BAGS:
In the instance that your children are at school, it may take some time for you to get to them, and this can be a scary thing for our little ones. Krissy, being the insightful & heartfelt mama she is, created these little kits for our kids to keep in their backpacks. It includes items to keep them both mentally distracted as well as pysically & emotionally comfortable until their parents can get to them:
- Kits include:
- Foil Rescue Blanket
- card game
- notepad & pen
- Love note from Mommy… (words of love & encouragement for them to read)
- Emergency Contact Card (found at momwithaprep.com)
- Family Photo (for comfort as well as to use when searching for family members)
Our dear friend & partner in crime Diana, is a social worker, and had some great tips on how to emotionally prepare our children before the next Quake…
Prepare to Prevent Panic
Moms that are prepared are more peaceful, but our children may not react with calm, clear thinking when we start talking about natural disasters. Here are a few ideas to help keep the anxiety level down:
- Talk about what an earthquake is prior to the drill. Speak about it several times in neutral locations. Traveling in a car is a good time to chat for our family.
- Ask children what they know about earthquakes. Hearing their words will help us know how to explain and identify misconception.
- Use calming methods prior to the drill. Our family likes to rub a citrus or lavender oil on our wrists and breathe in the calm.
- Practice one on one with each child before a group drill so you can tailor your instructions to different ages.
- Emphasize that earthquakes are not caused by the actions of children. It is not their fault.
- Make the plan simple.
- Make the drill fun. Silly shaking dances can ease tension.
- Connect it to something they already know. What have they learned at school ( bonus reason for asking what they know first)? Use the same language or plans they already know.
Lastly, if you feel like turning this into a whole family project night of learning & preparedness, you may as well add a treat to go along with it! Our friend Tricia is a fantastic baker, and found an EARTHQUAKE CAKE on this darling blog thefirstyear.com, that we could make for the fam.
Now this just made the whole project complete… after all, everything is made better with food, friends & fun!
***Now go ahead and recruit yourself some willing and able mothers to join forces and get your family, home & minds PREPARED to SHAKE. it. UP!!!