Emergency preparedness was something I had checked off my To-Do list five years ago.  Thanks to a neighborhood workshop, I had stocked up on bottled water and power bars and other supplies and hadn’t thought about it again in a long while.  Fortunately, there hadn’t been an emergency and we didn’t really need to think about it, right?

And yet, when the need for a flashlight arises, I begin to wonder, are we really ready?  For example, when my husband turned off the power to install a lighting fixture, where were our flashlights?  My son found the one by his bed but it was just a penlight.  We found a lantern in the camping supplies but the battery was dead.  As it happened, our neighbors stopped by to say hello and their six-year-old daughter had a flashlight in her pink power purse!  We were grateful to borrow it to finish the job and get our power turned back on.

The real light bulb moment for me was that emergency preparedness is a continual process, not just a one-time thing.  And for really getting ready for an emergency, I was fortunate to have some help from another friend, Tina Costa Delaney, a personal concierge with a package, a TLCD Concierge Emergency Kit. NERT-certified (NERT is the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team trained by the fire department), Tina not only knows what you need but offers the service of getting it for you.  Tina helped us inventory what we had on hand and got us to organize it all in one place where we could find it when we need it.  She also got us to think about what we would really need to eat as a family of three over the course of three days (powerbars alone weren’t going to cut it) and to provide supplies for our pets.

Then she shopped for the supplies that we didn’t have and found us the best flashlight ever (a 3in1  Tripod flashlight, just right for our family of 3) and stocked us up on extra batteries so we will be prepared.  And that bottled water from 5 years ago had expired so we had to re-stock that too. Tina’s service includes reminders…when the batteries need to be checked, when the expiration date on the food needs to be checked, when the fire extinguisher needs to be recharged…all the things you don’t want to think about when there’s a need for the emergency supplies.

The hardest part of the emergency supply preparation wasn’t a supply, it was a plan.  For the first time, my family talked about where we would meet after an emergency and who we should call out-of-state if something should happen.  It got us talking to our son’s school about their emergency plan because something could happen while we are away from home and our emergency supplies.

Again, I am grateful for the help from a friend!  Her guidance help me prioritize emergency preparedness, something I knew we needed to do but didn’t know how to do efficiently and couldn’t find the time to do on my own.  Best of all, now I know where my flashlight is and have working batteries even!  How’s that for ready for anything?