A few months ago, the strangest thing happened one Wednesday evening: my apartment lost power, my cell phone couldn’t get a signal, my home phone doesn’t even exist, and I was left alone in the dark. I felt around for my one source of emergency light: a half used scented candle. I lit it and found myself sitting in the tiniest flicker of light for hours.
I was alone, unable to contact anyone I know and love, and I was sitting in a mostly dark, overly fragranced house. You’d think I’d learn from this. You’d think I’d go out and buy myself a flashlight and some back-up batteries. Nope. I went to the store for a new scented candle and that was that.
Last month I found myself in a hurricane. Luckily I was staying with friends who had more than just a scented candle to keep us going. It got me thinking… what if the light were to go out again? Would I be able to survive with a scented candle?
Listen… there isn’t really any good or easy time to talk about this. Do you have what you need should things turn upside-down? Weather is real. Earthquakes are real. Zombie apocalypses are (hopefully) not real. Crazy things happen in the world and it’s really important to be prepared for them… to help ourselves and to help the people around us. Cute and funny with a scented candle only goes so far… a headlamp and freeze-dried food go a lot farther.
Let’s talk about this.
A well-stocked First Aid Kit was at the top of my be-an-adult-and-be-ready-if-life-gets-really-real-emergency-bag. This kit is full of sterile bandages and gauzey things… and I totally saw George Clooney give some dude a chest tube on ER in like… 1997… so between that and this first aid kit, I’m set for emergency procedures.
Now… if you’re a survival enthusiast… right on for you… and please feel free to mock this list. This is just the beginning of my humble attempt at preparing myself for things I don’t want to think about.
So wait…. the power is out!? You mean this light switch that I always take for granted is no longer working!? Whaaaat!?
When the lights go out… that’s really unsettling. A headlamp goes a long way in dark situations. incidentally, this little gem is also great for bedtime reading and deep closet searching. I also have a Mini Solar Lantern with a hand crank. No batteries needed, just solar power or wheel spinning. These 100-Hour Candles are also in my kit should I need a romantic light source. With the right apparatus, these candles can also be cooked over.
I’m hungry and I’ve already eaten all of the cookies. The real emergency starts now.
These Freeze-dried meals are great for backpacking and totally have a long enough shelf life to live in my emergency kid. I’m also going to need some bourbon… because if I’m eating freeze-dried meals, it means that things are rreeeaaallllyyy hitting the fan. And… because I am also responsible for a pet cat animal, I have a stash of cat food in my emergency rations as well. These are the essentials. Think on it!
What do you mean I can’t charge my cellphone and read Twitter for all my news and information!? This emergency is totally cramping my style!
This is a big deal. You know it’s a real life emergency when you can’t Tweet or Instagram it. I’m equipt with this American Red Cross Emergency Radio. It has the capability to verbally tell me the news, it’s powered by the sun, batteries, and a hand crank, and… it also has the ability to charge my cellphone! I’ll be back on Twitter in no time. Thank heavens.
What do you mean the heater isn’t going to work? Don’t you know that my thin California skin can’t tolerate temperatures below 70 degrees F!?
I have never had the cause or opportunity to use one of these body heat reflecting Foil Blankets for warmth. Should I find myself in a situation where these are necessary… praise God, I’m be glad I have these.
This faucet that has always dispensed clean water no longer dispenses my awesomely clean water!? Madness!
I have a few gallons of bottled water on hand. But I can always make questionable water drinkable with these tabs. This is totally normal. Don’t freak out. Ok… freak out a little (that’s why I also packed bourbon).
Batteries are also totally important. I have back-ups and I’m totally willing to share.
I also have a few personal items in my oh-crap-things-just-go-so-real-right-now kit. I have a picture of my family. I have an old ID. I have a little change purse filled with coins and cash money.
I have tiny bottles of shampoo, wet wipes, toilet paper (let’s be real), lotion, and chapstick. I have a fog horn (in case it gets REALLY foggy), a pair of walking shoes, socks, and a sweatshirt.
I also have a plan. My parents know that if things get nuts, I’m putting on my walking shoes and walking the 8 miles away from my house (which is sooo weirdly in a tsunami zone) and to their house high on a hill.
But I don’t even want to deal with any of this!
I know. Neither do I. Seriously. I’d much rather buy a cute sweater than freeze-dried food. The deal is, no matter how comfortably in control we think we are, sometimes things change.
Life is so good. I don’t want to be afraid of it. I do, however, want to feel like I can handle myself if the lights go out and I have to pack up my cat and hit the road.
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, I just wanted to give you something to think about. We have to take care of ourselves. We have to take care of the people around us if they can’t take care of themselves. It’s an agreement we all have with one antother, and I’m just trying to find my little space in that. The American Red Cross is an excellent source for Emergency Preparedness Information.
From here on out, scented candles are for luxury (not emergency) purposes only.