As I write this, my husband is at the local grocery store stocking up on D batteries and - well, I don’t know what else he’s hoping to buy. My plans for the day included unpacking from two weeks of suitcase living and getting caught up on work. It hadn’t occurred to me to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, despite having known about the storms impending arrival in my state for days.
In my defense, I live in Western Pennsylvania and most of the weather news has been focused on the East Coast. As a new Pittsburgh resident, I’m still a little unfamiliar with my place in the geographical scheme of things, but I know that Philadelphia is about a six hour drive from me. I assumed that meant we were just going to get some rain and maybe a little wind. I told the kids to wear their winter coats and take umbrellas to school.
According to Twitter, Allegheny County officials (the ones I’m supposed to be listening to) have declared a state of emergency and warned residents to prepare for 72 hours without power. Oops. Off my husband goes to get batteries.
It’s safe to say that I do not plan well for emergencies.
I do like to make plans, especially those that include spreadsheets, maps and lists, but I do not analyze or prepare for possible disasters. It’s not that I am naive, exactly; I know that life rarely stays on the course we set. However, I tend to rely on my resourcefulness to get me through the unexpected. I budget in buffers and leave wiggle room in itineraries. I am a master of making do.
Most of the time, this method serves me well. Sure, I have moments of panic now and then when I realize that someone in my family is going to have to deal with long lines and empty shelves at the grocery store, but for the most part I live without the stress of all the “what ifs” spinning through my head. And, when something does come up, I am able to stay calm and come up with creative solutions. (No candles? No problem. Take the batteries out of the TV remote and turn on the flashlights!)
I would have been a horrible Boy Scout, but I’d make MacGyver proud.
What about you? Do you try to plan for all contingencies, or have faith that you’ll be able to deal with whatever happens?