September 10, 2010

Hold them tight

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?

Click here to learn how to help the victims of the San Bruno explosion.


  1. Hey! As a fellow Bay Area native I was stuck to the TV too. My son's PT lives in San Bruno. Hoping all is well for her. We did talk about emergency yesterday. Other than grabbing the baby I have no idea what to do! Never done a practice drill. I do have an earthquake kit in the car and some supplies in a chest in our backyard but what good does that do for fire?

  2. What happened in San Bruno is just awful! I feel for the families that live there.

    Living in Los Angeles, we have to deal with brush fires and earthquakes. We're pretty well-prepared. We always have our supplies. Recently, we took our daughter on a tour of the house--room by room to show her the safest place to be if an earthquake were to strike. Hopefully, she'll remember what to do if one actually struck!

  3. ggop- hope your PT is okay. I think in a fire, you just get the heck out! But I think you're supposed to set a meeting place outside so you know everyone is accounted for.

    Cheryl- I grew up in LA so I know all about the brush fires and quakes! My parents got hit pretty bad by the northridge quake. Hope we all never need to use any of this.

  4. I hear you. I, too, often put myself in their place and I just cannot imagine but I know that as a mom, when, God forbid, our kids are in trouble, we become literal superheroes.

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