I was up late last night watching the news coverage of the devastating fire in San Bruno. This morning, I turned the TV on as soon as I woke up. I got on Facebook and immediately heard reports from friends, and friends of friends, who live nearby. Thankfully, everyone I heard from was okay. One friend lives just 15 houses away from those that burned. He can’t get to his house, but can see it from a nearby vantage point. I’m guessing many of the houses that are still standing have suffered water damage from the drops made by planes and helicopters over the neighborhood.
What is it about tragedy that keeps us riveted to the television, radio and Internet? We are worried about those involved, but thankful it isn’t us. We watch out of concern, but also out of voyeurism. And now that I’m a mom of two little kids, any time there is some emergency on the news, I can’t help but imagine myself right there. For some reason I always think about when that plane landed on the Hudson River, all those people gathered on the wing waiting to be rescued. Would I have been able to get my kids out safely?
I imagined myself in one of those houses last night, my kids in their pajamas just getting ready for bed. I pictured myself throwing them both into the car (literally, just throwing them into the back – seatbelts can be fastened later) and speeding away. Or tossing them from the window into the backyard, pulling the table over to get them up and over the back neighbor’s fence. Somehow, I would get them out.
I know there is a line between being prepared and making yourself crazy. There is certainly no real way to prepare for a gas line explosion and thankfully, that kind of thing is rare. But it is a reminder to check the earthquake kit, and have an emergency plan. Jeff and I need to talk about our meeting spots and who we would call to check in with if we couldn’t reach each other directly. If we’re both home, I get Jelly and he gets Moe. I need to remember to put spare shoes under the bed.
Do you have an emergency plan? Have you done a practice drill?