Doctor Suzan Mazor driving a carThese earthquakes (Haiti, Chile, California, China) are freaking me out. So did reading this article. Later this month, you get to see my complete video blog of my effort to make a 3-day disaster kit, a disaster packet for my F’s preschool, my interpretation of what you need particularly for kids, and watch me ready my family for the worst of the worst. I partnered up with my friend, Dr Suzan Mazor because she’s scared, too. Meet Suzan. She’s smart and very funny.

I’m finally doing it—preparing my home and family for the unthinkable. If it were my child, I’d make a 3-day disaster kit. I’ve procrastinated for years. Every time I have perused the sites on how to prepare for a disaster, I have gotten so freaked out and scared about disaster-death-dilapidation that I’ve become paralyzed in my effort. Subsequently, I had never assembled anything for the kit. Really, I’m one of those people who until last week didn’t have water stored in the basement. Are you?

Water is the most important thing you have to ready in your home. A gallon a day for every living being that moves, for a total of 3 days. You can live for weeks without food but only a few days without water. It may seem by the numbers that disasters must make us really thirsty….

My calculation:

2 kids (1 F + 1 O) +1 mama doc +1 husband +1 dog x 3 days = 15 Gallons

I purchased 15 gallons of water, expiration 2013. Welcome home, water; you get to live next to the M&Ms and under the beach toys.

I’m not kidding you that this has helped me sleep easier. Try it. Go buy your water and you’ll see. I hate to tell you what to do; I’m certain you have plenty of people doing that. But, do this, go plunk the water in your trunk and/or transport it to your basement, garage, etc. You can thank me later for the free bicep workout. Soon you’ll be the most prepared parent on the block (better than that Happiest Baby) and you’ll have some sweet pipes, too. Total bonus.

I enlisted my friend Suzan for help because I’ve proven to myself that I couldn’t do this alone. She’s a pediatric ER doctor-toxicologist-blogger with two boys who is helping me deal. I’m thinking of it as the new on-land buddy system. With a partner, I’m more likely to prepare my family & home and thus, more likely to survive. You will be, too.

Pick a buddy. Make a plan.

Suzan is an ER doc, she should know it all, right? Not really. She’s just getting her house and family prepared, too. And we’re learning a ton along the way.

See, I’m not one of those uber-organized people. (I think Suzan might be although she denies it). I dream of being one—the kind who have their Tupperware organized, important papers waterproofed-boxed-backed-up-scanned and stacked all neat and tidy and the kind who actually complete their to-do lists every day. You know those people who have creases and pleats in their clothes just where you’re supposed to? They carry color-coordinated folders and arrive on time. They are at the top of all those waiting lists.

I don’t live in clutter (hate it, no, abhor it) but do dwell amidst half-done, half-organized systems. The only thing that has calmed me down about my imperfect two-kid-two-job-disorganized world in this regard is a house I saw this past summer. When we were looking to buy a new house, we saw a house impeccable and organized beyond thinkability. Where clear storage bins apparently go to die. Labeled everywhere, shirts in a line, toys sorted by color, the house was ready for a mission.  It was a little like the 5-S of homes. You know what I mean? The Toyota 5S (Sort, Simplify, Sweep, Standardize, Self-Discipline) that is creeping its way into the world of medicine. This place fits right in.

But they were selling their house because of an impeding divorce. Crummy.  i conveniently used it as proof that organizing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Good excuse, Mama Doc. Not wanting to ruin my marriage by organizing, I continued to procrastinate. Then the series of terrifying earthquakes have happened.

This time for real. I’m doing it, but with the help of my buddy. I don’t think the kit will ruin the marriage. Hey, it may even strengthen it. Survival is like that.

Since this month is disaster preparedness month, I’ll give you tips, lists and sites to help. You can do this, too.  I’m about 6 hours in, $300 poorer, but markedly more prepared. And I’ll figure out the shortest route for you. Stay tuned for the complete video. Some snippets below. In the meantime, go get yourself a buddy. And heft some water into your home. Make a comment below when you do and we’ll do a tally. And maybe you’ll inspire someone else to prepare their home and family, too. Another check off on that long to-do list.