Tomorrow is December 21st, 2012…otherwise known as THE APOCALYPSE. I remember hearing rumors about the Mayan calendar prophecy a couple years ago, and a few other teachers and I got together and were googling what it was all about. We were pretty interested by the switching of the magnetic poles, but pretty much laughed it off.
However, over the last month, I’ve had to have many conversations with my students about how the world is NOT going to end. Many of them were really scared and uncomfortable talking about it. One student told me her mom spent over $1000 on bottled water and emergency food. I told her that I applauded her mom for being prepared, but that those supplies would probably come in handier if we have a major earthquake, which is supposedly set to happen since Portland is built right on a huge fault line; she looked terrified. Whoops.
Then last week, there were two random shootings that made national attention – both are personal to me. The first shooting happened right down the road from my school at the mall where an ex-student of mine was shot (luckily now released from the hospital). Then everyone knows about the school shooting in Newton, CT. No, I don’t know anyone personally, but as a teacher, I think about that possibility very often.
When I set out to build my disaster kits, I was thinking natural disasters (or Mayan apocalypse), where we would need food, water, and basic medical supplies. A school shooting is more on the fly – something that I think would be very hard to prepare for. Over dinner the other night, I told Thor I was seriously thinking of purchasing a bullet proof vest to keep stashed in my classroom closet. He put his fork down and said, “I hope you aren’t telling other people that. You sound like a kook.” Well, here I am telling you all: I’m thinking about it.
In the meantime, I feel pseudo-prepared. I have posted before about the ready disaster kits I have in my classroom closet and car which are meant to keep me alive for a couple of days. Nothing long term. At home, I have a similar kit and have purchased 30 days worth of emergency food and 10 days of water (for two). I’ve heard a lot of friends joke that they are coming to my house for an emergency, but the reality is that we are just set up for a short period of time until real help can come. No, we do not have radiation suits, a bunker, or loaded weapons at hand. We simply don’t have the money or the room…but I do envision something along those lines later in life (really, I do). Some people collect purses, I collect emergency supplies.
I’ve always felt like a planner, an organizer, a coordinator – but the point of this particular goal was to have a moderate amount of peace of mind, and educate myself more about disasters so that theoretically I will have what it takes. Now if there is somewhere (other than Navy SEAL training) that can put me to the test, I would like to sign up!