Preparing for disasters is good parenting
by Yolande Barial
Aug 14, 2014 | 2130 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Living in California, we know the big one is going to hit. Every time there is some kind of movement of the earth — a rolling, a tremor, a shake — reporters find someone to interview to remind us of what Californians need to have in their emergency kit. A complete survival kit allows us to fend for ourselves for at least 72 hours, because ostensibly all vital services, electricity and water, will not be operational. The kit contains food, water, lighting, radio/communication, first aid, sanitation, shelter, a solar flashlight, a weather band radio and a USB charger for smartphones.

But do we also have an emergency kit ready to go just in case something happens to cause the earth to move for our children? Parents who are prepared are the best offense and defense.

Our children are fed both internally and externally. With food and water, we nourish the external body, and with attention to the unique characteristics of each of our children, we allow their internal light to shine. The electricity that courses through them can be ignited for positivity when they see in our eyes that we believe they can achieve anything. Allowing our children to articulate their wants, needs and desires gives them the feeling of being heard. The home should be shelter, a safe place. The first aid that we administer for the scrapes they will undoubtedly experience when they try to do something even after we have told them the consequences may sting; but the lesson is lovingly and indelibly stamped in their brains. Like the beam of a flashlight, the voice of a parent should go ahead of each child as a guide in the darkness to engage the cautionary gut check that tells them there is something to be wary of. The smartphone will often times be the device that will give us the confidence to know that they and we are available at any time of day or night without fear of reprisals.

Raising children is a process. Our children are entrusted to us for but a little while. If we do the raising correctly, they will not depart from us. As adults, they will continue to come back to visit and then go back home to their own houses. They will certainly have their own emergency survival kit packed for their parents, who will most assuredly need to have someone hold their elbow and guide them down the final path of life. Now that is a good thing.

• Yolande Barial is a Tracy resident and mother. Her column appears monthly in the Tracy Press. Comments can be sent to
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