My country is drowning. Rivers are bursting their banks, people are panic buying bottled water and old men are being ferried to hospital in rubber dinghies. And still the rain keeps on coming. It is a scary business. We live, all of us, trusting the universe to keep danger, natural and unnatural out of our lives and for the majority of us, floods, bombs and broken hearts never darken our door. But this doesn't mean they won't. This doesn't mean that we do not need back up plans for bad luck or unnatural evil. This doesn't mean that one day we won't be the ones surrounded by the soggy fragments of all our yesterdays.
In order to live well, I believe it is essential that as housekeepers we make hygiene, order, ritual and beauty our raison d'etre. But none of these things matter if we have neither emotional or physical security.
Times are changing. People older than I am assure me that the world has always been a scary place: that there have long been threats to our security, natural disaster looming wars and neighbourly feuds, but somehow I can't help feeling that day by day, the threat not just to our security, but to the harmony of our nations, becomes more sinister. Perhaps only because now I am a Mother and fear is a natural instinct...
But as individuals, women and Mothers, we can do little other than to both practice, and teach respect for others to our children and do our upmost to make our homes the safe houses our familys expect them to be. That is all. We can't stop men intent on self destruction, water seeping under our door and atrocities in the name of religion, but we can do our best make our children feel safe within our own four walls: to give ourselves enough immediate security to sleep easy in our beds.
This isn't about scaremongering, it is about being prepared, so start by creating a safe box:
Choose a lidded tin box and then choose a place it can live, well protected, but easily accessible in the event of a crisis (Under the stairs?). Then start to collect the necessary items:-
1) Copies of all family passports and birth certificates. 2) Copies of all essential insurance documents. (Scan them onto a cd) 3) Cash. 4) Extra essential medication, toilet roll, sanitary towels etc. 5) Lots of candles, matches, flashlight and batteries. 6) Tinned or non perishable foods. 7) Bottled water. 8) Bleach or water purifier. 9) Spare car keys. 10)Small first aid kit. 11)List of all essential and emergency telephone numbers. 12)List of all family members currently residing in the house. 13)Battery operated radio.
These are the essentials: the things we would need in dire emergency, but to this list I would add:
14) Copies of treasured family photographs. 15) Jewellery with emotional value. 16) A family memory book. 17) Any other small pieces of memorabilia with emotional value. 18) And some clean knickers!!
Make all the family aware of the box, let children choose their own bits of memorabilia and remember none of this will matter if the emotional insecurity hurting our babbas comes from an erratic home life or marital arguments over the breakfast table...