Let me start by saying this post is not related to the recent disaster in Japan. As far as disaster preparedness goes, the Red Cross and FEMA both have lists on their website that do a far better job than I could ever do. That being said, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims in Japan, Hawaii, and California.
This post is on a much more personal level. This past August, my husband was injured at work and could not do anything for six months. He had been saying for a long time that I needed to learn certain things in case something happened to him. And for a long time, those were conversations I refused to have...based completely on my fear to even imagine such a situation. Every time he brought it up, I would change the subject, walk away, or just refuse to do whatever it was. With him being hurt, a lot changed and in a hurry.
All of a sudden, responsibility for the entire home fell on me. It made me realize how I depended on him for the heavy lifting, anything involving power tools, yardwork, etc. I was forced to step up to the plate and in a hurry. And we both learned a lot of lessons along the way.
One lesson...don't put anything in the attic too heavy for me to get down. He may not always be able to do it for me. In full disclosure, this lesson was learned the hard way. I was attempting to get down an 18 gallon bin and it got caught on the attic opening. As I yanked on it to get it loose, I fell off the attic ladder. Now everything is in no bigger than 10 gallon bins. They fit through the door easily, and can't be packed heavier than I can handle.
Power tools. I now have my own Milwaukee drill, bag, and bit set. I feel a lot more confident but there are still a couple things I can't do. Power saws always have and still do scare the crap out of me!!! I don't want to use one, don't want to be around one...just can't do it!!!
As the two of us work around the house now...we keep the future in mind. We're planning on re-doing the bathrooms, but now we look for products with extra rails and handles for that day when we're not as mobile as we are now. As to the house we live in...is it close to grocery stores, drug stores, medical facilities? These are all things to consider as we age. Is the house small enough to handle on our own without depending on our children? We don't want more space than we can handle by ourselves or by one of us alone.
Admittedly, some of these are not the most pleasant thoughts. But they are necessary ones, particularly as neither of us are getting any younger. Do either of us want to picture a future without the other? NO!!! But if the unthinkable does happen...both of us are on our way to being prepared.