Sunday, May 15, 2011

Denial, not just a river in Africa

After my recent planning post, I really thought about what would prevent someone with a week's notice from getting ready to GO. What came to me is the mental roadblock called DENIAL. Getting out of denial requires some work , but luckily it costs very little because your plan should be based on your available resources.

What is denial and how do we win our own mental battle against it? Denial is the voice in our heads that wants desperately to keep the status quo. Our society rewards denial -- you are an odd ball if you think about and plan for emergencies or "let the government handle it, they'll take care of us," etc..

Starting to prepare is the first step out of waking from denial. Planning how to evacuate is another step. There are more things you must do, however, to break through the heavy layer of denial that could get you and your family killed.

Next, you should start to identify the 'triggers' that tell you to put the plan into effect. Example plan with triggers: the news is covered with reports of record flooding 200 miles north of you and you live in the floodplain of the same river. Your plan indicates that this is a trigger to start packing the car and PRACTICE your emergency communications plan because your area will be flooded within the next 36 hours. When the flooding reaches 100 miles north of you, according to plan, you LEAVE and go to your emergency location outside the flood area. Why so soon? Because your research indicated that as soon as the flooding is 50 miles away, the roads you need to travel will be jammed and flooded and you will be STUCK.

You are still not at a point that your denial is manageable. To get there, you must PRACTICE your plan. Make it serious but fun. We pack the car in 2 hours and head for a mini-vacation weekend at our alternate location. We use the routes on the plan, and divert for 'unexpected road outages' along the way. We teach the children how to look out and talk about what they see. By doing this twice or more a year, denial is replaced by preparedness. Fear is replaced with routine. There can be fringe benefits, such as when grandma's is the alternative location, she will be thrilled to see you more often and you may get your favorite home-cooked meal!

The only down side is that you won't get your 5 minutes of fame on Fox news as another one of the victims!

No comments:

Post a Comment