In case of emergency...

So, we had an emergency this weekend. And I'm not talking running out of milk. I'm talking a full fledged, race-to-the-ER emergency.

After church on Saturday night, I noticed Michael was pacing around our house. Nervously.

(very unlike him.)

Finally, after a few minutes, I asked if he was alright. Before he even answered I knew it was a 'no'. Ten minutes later we were headed to the ER, toddler in tow, for what we were sure to be appendicitis.

In those crucial 10 minutes, I held it together pretty well. Confession: I'm not the best at emergencies. I panic.

But somehow this time, I managed to stay calm long enough to walk through the house, carefully grabbing whatever it was we might need for the next few hours in a hospital (which turned into days).

I did pretty well, other than smashing into our gate while pulling out of the driveway (I told you, I panic). But as I sat in the hospital at 4am that night, I vowed to never be so unprepared again.

I started thinking...the last thing you need to be doing in an emergency, is trying to prepare for that emergency. By then, it's just too late.

So I told myself: "Self, I'm making my family an emergency bag. Oh yeah, and why have I not thought of this before?"

I wanted to share in case any of you, heaven forbid, are faced with such an emergency. Having a bag prepared would have helped us IMMENSELY. So if it can help any of our family and friends out there? My job here is done.

Now, let's be clear, this isn't a "I want to be comfortable in the hospital" list. No magazines or nail polish. It's the necessities only. Because trust me, you'll want to be toting around as little as possible.

First things first, include a list inside your bag–of all the things you'll need to grab in a hurry (when you can't think). Things you can't keep in the bag all year long. But keep it short. Depending on the emergency you may not even have time to grab these things, but at least you'll have the list on hand to read to a friend or family member, who can grab them for you later. 

Here's my shortlist:

-Phone/iPad (the iPad was a life saver for distracting Isaiah in the ER)
-Phone/iPad chargers
-Wallet (with credit cards and insurance information)
-Any necessary daily medications for you, or your family
-Any lovies for your kiddos, for immediate comfort in an otherwise scary situation

In the bag:

-Emergency info card for every family member (including your spouse, in case they cannot speak)
-Two spare toothbrushes/travel toothpaste
-Small blanket (can be used to tie around a wound, keep a toddler off the hospital floor, keep you warm, or even fold up into a pillow)
-Folded trash bags for toting extra belongings later on (spouses clothing, etc.)
-Nighttime essentials: soap, face lotion, lip balm, travel brush
-Emergency cash (because you never know)
-One large bottle of water
-a few healthy snacks (granola bars, etc.)

Note: We keep an emergency medical kit inside the house, and one inside each car (highly recommend doing this)–which is why no medical items are included.

Make sure everyone in your house knows where the emergency bag is (in case you are the one in the emergency). And always make sure someone (family member/friend/neighbor) has a key to your house just in case. It would also be a good idea to let that family member/friend/neighbor know where your emergency bag is in case they need to grab it for you.

All in all, we did OK this time. But I'm no fool, and I know that it could have been worse. Thank goodness it wasn't. We are counting our blessings. But next time, by George, I will be prepared. As


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