Bedtime reading

 

Flashlights. They’re on every list of Things You Should Have in Case of Emergency. Keep one in your car, in your briefcase, next to your bed. That’s good advice.

But let’s talk about the one next to your bed. Are the batteries still good? Is it buried in that clutter in the drawer? Could you find in in the dark? And remember how to turn it on? Even if you are more than half asleep, and the room is half filled with smoke? Or a big jolt to the bed woke you up, and things are falling all over you, the bed, and the floor?

A problem with many emergency preparations is that people make them, and then forget them. Drawing up a detailed evacuation plan, and putting a flashlight by the bed is good. But it won’t help if you can’t find the flashlight, and don’t remember the plan.

So, get rid of your nightlight!

Instead, when you have to get up at night, use that flashlight. It’ll be bit cumbersome at first, but you’ll get used to it quickly. And, guess what? Should there be a fire or an earthquake in the middle of the night, you won’t be stumbling around in total darkness. You’ll automatically reach for your trusty flashlight. And it will be in good working order. If you’re somewhere unfamiliar, such as in a hotel room, you’ll be even happier when you find it in your hand.

The key to unpreparedness is to turn quotidian needs into opportunities for practicing habits that will save you in crisis. In other words, find ways to do what you do every day that will continue to work when things go wrong.

By the way, while you are putting that flashlight by your bed, mount it securely. It won’t help you if it’s gotten tossed across the room.

Oh, and slip on a pair of shoes when you stumble to the bathroom at night, too. There might be glass and other pokey things on the floor one night. Or you might have to run through the yard.

And the flashlight in your car? If your phone has a camera, it probably has a flashlight feature. Practice using it whenever you can.

The key to unpreparedness is to turn quotidian needs into opportunities for practicing habits that will save you in crisis.

Question: What suggestions do you have for developing habits that will serve you in an emergency?

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