Every time there’s a natural disaster, a lot of emphasis is placed on readiness. Authorities recommend having a plan for emergencies www.ready.gov.
Authorities also recommend having an evacuation kit stocked with the important things you would need like water, non-perishable foods, and a battery-operated radio.
Some families are very well prepared for emergencies, practice fire and other emergency evacuations, and have a kit ready to go. But they are not in the majority.
In many families, there is no plan. Every day we leave our houses for work, school, or other activities and don’t give any thought to all of our belongings that we leave behind.
If you came home tomorrow and your home and contents were gone, what would be the biggest loss?
If you were forced to evacuate on a moment’s notice, what would you take?
Many people would answer family photographs or other sentimental family memorabilia to both of these questions. These items can’t be replaced and are a part of who we are.
In this technological age, it’s surprising that few people back up their photographs. We’ve all heard the ads for online companies that will back up everything on your computer but how many people use the service?
Mostly we just leave it to chance and hope for the best.
As someone with a lifelong love for photographs, nearly every photograph I own is on a small portable hard drive that is palm-sized and was relatively inexpensive. I know just where it is and, after accounting for all family members, it would be first on the list to grab in an emergency.
Here’s an interesting family activity that will teach you more about each family member.
Sit down together at the table, each with a sheet of paper and pen. Set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes and have each family member write down the top 5-10 things that they would take in an emergency.
You’ll probably be surprised at the answers you will get. The lists will tell you what things your spouse and children value the most.
To teach you all more about one another, go around the table and choose one thing each to tell why that item is on the list.
When kids are young, we know what things matter to them. Of course Mom and Dad are on the list, but other items are usually favorite blankets, toys, or animals they often sleep with, take along in the car or to the store, and don’t like to share with siblings or friends.
As kids get older, it’s not as easy to know what matters to them.
After you finish this activity with your family, you can expand the activity to talk about ‘things’ that you each take with you every day: your personality and traits that make each of you who you are. Share one trait about each family member that is unique to that person.
We each have gifts that are unique but often we are so busy worrying about the things in our lives that we don’t focus enough on what’s inside each of us.
This is a great family activity to encourage sharing feelings, increase feelings of self-worth, and to learn more about one another. It’s also a great activity to use for team building in a corporate setting.