By Natalie Anderson
I wasn’t going to mention earthquakes this blog – but is really is at the forefront of my brain at the moment (and Soraya’s!) - so do put up with us won’t you! Poor old Christchurch has had thousands of earthquakes since that first big one last September – twenty-nine over them a magnitude 5 or more.
So I’ve had a very busy week organising all the children with personal emergency survival kits. I know, perhaps I’m taking the ‘be prepared’ thing a little far – but, as another mother and I were laughing, it is one way of feeling like you have just a little control in a situation where there isn’t a lot of control going around.
I used to be the last-minute sort of person who always drove with the fuel on empty. Now, if it gets even halfway to halfway, I’m at the gas station and refilling again. I also have bottled water in the car, a first aid kit, plus emergency food rations (i.e. a couple of packs of muesli bars).
And yes, now my fours kids have an emergency kit at the bottom of their bags, plus a really sturdy raincoat rolled up in there too. I’m not quite at the stage of waking them in the middle of the night for emergency drills, and permanently dressing them in escape-easy trackkies like that Ben Stiller character in The Royal Tennenbaums – but I’m not far off! Their kit has some hand sanitiser, wipes, plasters, mini-torch, whistle, emergency contact numbers, and some high-energy muesli bars. It’s only a small bag, and I’ve kept it light.
Having made the kits all neat and then talked the kids through the contents (and that they weren’t toys!), I then got to thinking I was getting a bit over-the top in this – perhaps just a little.
I mean, if any aftershocks are over a certain magnitude, then the children are not allowed to re-enter the school buildings anyway – so the kids can’t get to their bags. It would only be if they happened to have their bag with them or were allowed to take them as they evacuated buildings after a shock...
Then we got the school newsletter last night – and the school has asked us to provide asap (i.e. today) a little snaplock bag for each child containing a couple of muesli bars and a card with emergency contact numbers. The school has sourced silver blankets for each child – and these emergency supplies will be kept in a small shed accessible for teachers – outside of the main buildings. So, perhaps I wasn’t being so over the top. Because it’s not a matter of if the kids will end up on the field waiting to be picked up again, but when. And winter is thickening and let me tell you, when those big aftershocks happen, the traffic is unbelievable. A usual thirty minute drive turns into hours.
Needless to say, I’m not straying far from our neighbourhood!
So yes, I have gone all girl-scout and am ‘prepared’. We all avoid car-parking buildings (and any other multi-story buildings), locate the exits of every structure we enter and at the same time keep calm and happy. But I think there’s something very instinctive that rears up when it comes to protecting your kids – or people you care about - and making sure they have everything they might need. You want to keep them safe.
Now Nadia, the heroine in my upcoming release “Dating & Other Dangers” - is all for being prepared too. And all for keeping herself – and other women – safe. her way of 'making a difference' is to run a website and forum called WOMANBWARNED.COM – an 'all about dating' website. Because after all, the dating scene can be fraught with danger! She has tips on what to do on dates, suggestions for dates, how to stay safe and so on... And there is a name and shame section for those ‘stay AWAY from him’ dating snakes. Her community are voluble at dishing the dirt on serial cheats and sneaks...
She’s set it up with the very best of intentions – she doesn’t want to see any woman hurt (emotionally or physically) - not when information can warn. But yes, okay, maybe she can go a little over the top in that desire...
Then she’s confronted by one of the guys who’s been named and shamed.
Ethan Rush has ‘wicked temptation’ stamped all over him – and Nadia is not as immune as she’d like to be. Not when he’s funny and charming, not to mention challenging. So as prepared as she is, there are some things threatening to slip out of her control - exactly how is a woman supposed to stay safe???
By staying away from him of course... but what if he's not going to let that happen???
So lovely readers, I've gotten my author copies for this one - and am keen to give one of you a copy. All you have to do is leave a comment and let me know if you've got your emergency/civil defence or first aid kit up to date! Or, that you're about to get it together now ;)
EDITED LATER TO ADD: Okay! the husband has drawn a name from the hat! TashNZ - can you email me natalie(at)natalie-anderson(dot)com and I can get it in the post to you!
Thanks so much everyone for your comments! :)
Be sure to take care, take charge and take risks!!! - the fun ones ;)
From the back of DATING & OTHER DANGERS:
Nadia Keenan's first date Dos and Don'ts:
1. Do boost your confidence by looking hot.
2. Don't put out until at least date two.
3. If the man is trouble (however sexy!) do report all on womanbwarned.com
After being trashed on Nadia's website, serial dater-and-dumper Ethan Rush is about to put Nadia's rules to the test!
He's determined to change her mind about him.
She's determined to prove him for the cad he is.
Let the battle of the dates begin...
And do come back on July 4 for a Sunday Smooch and see what sparks fly the first time one lays lips on the other!