This past week has been crazy. So much has happened… Japan, Libya, and my parents visited from Texas. So many catastrophic events in one week? How is a new mom to cope? With everything that has happened in the world and in my life, I’ve been anxious to prepare a disaster ready bag prepped for “apocalyptic survival with baby”. ..
If you know me at all, you probably know that I’ve had an earthquake bag packed ever since I’ve moved to Los Angeles. Over the years, I have continually updated my bag as I have seen fit. For my first few LA years ( my early 20s) my earthquake bag was packed with a couple of cute outfits, granola bars, and some headshots. I’m not kidding, I guess I thought if I lost everything, at least I’d still be able to audition. Seriously, if it was the end of the world, I was still hoping to book an audition. I can’t really explain my mindset. I sometimes even baffle myself.
Since then, after being made fun of incessantly by my friends, I have taken out the headshots…albeit reluctantly. For the next 5 years my bag had exactly 1 spare pair of jeans, 4 t-shirts, 2 sweatshirts, 8 granola bars and a leash for my dog. In my mid 20s, this seemed like good preparation for an end of the world scenario. Looking at it now makes me realize I probably could have used a few more supplies. Like underwear. Why wouldn’t I have packed underwear? Ahhh, youth…
Then I married AJ. He made fun of my bag, but I didn’t care. AJ is the kind of guy who likes to think he is spontaneous. The only real reason he can afford to be spontaneous, though, is because I’m prepared. He is constantly forgetting things and even more constantly asking me if I have extra – toothpaste, toothbrushes, scarves, you name it. I get some small joy by seeing his amazement when, in fact, I do have that thing he is looking for buried in my bag somewhere….Knowing that he wouldn’t prepare a bag, I made one bag for both of us. In our new earthquake bag I packed warm clothes for both of us, bathing suits for both of us, pair of glasses for AJ ( he has really bad vision), 2 spare leashes, and sunscreen. This bag made sense if an earthquake hit and AJ and I needed to run out in the middle of the night and head to Palm Springs for a spa weekend with both dogs. What a delightful weekend we would have, while everyone is facing hell in LA.
Even if you don’t have a baby, preparing for the worst is an important part of life in Los Angeles. It’s like people living in Tornado alley. It always drove me crazy when they would get interviewed after a Tornado and say things like “It just happened out of nowhere. Now I’ve got nothing.” Really, idiot? You live in TORNADO ALLEY! Same goes in LA. We live in between I don’t even know how many fault lines. If we’re not prepared, we’re really just asking for it. I hadn’t updated my emergency bag, though, in quite a while and I was starting to get nervous. Especially because of Maggie. She was woefully underprepared.
During the past 13 years that I’ve lived in Los Angeles, my earthquake bag has made little sense, but it has always given me peace of mind. Don’t get me wrong, the concept of having a bag packed just in case the big one hit, made sense. It has been the actual contents of the bag that didn’t. I don’t know if its the extreme circumstances Japan is in or if it is my new hyper aware mom instinct, but my new earthquake bag makes sense.
First of all, I spent the entire weekend preparing my bag by researching and purchasing. Of course I wasn’t planning on having a weekend of apocalyptic stress but I went to breakfast on Saturday with my BFF Leslie and her husband Eric and they really freaked me out. I’m usually the first person amongst our friends that is overly prepared for an emergency weekend to Palm Springs, but come Saturday morning I found out I was definitely not the first. Leslie and Eric proceed to tell AJ and I about their trip to the Army Surplus store to buy a few emergency supplies and come to find out the store was sold out. AAAHHH! What?! Sold out?! When did everybody buy their supplies? Why is everyone deciding all of a sudden they need earthquake supplies? What supplies do I actually need? So many questions are swirling around my brain. After breakfast AJ and I come home and so begins my research and purchasing. After reading about every disaster relief emergency preparedness kit that I could find. I know what to do. I need to prepare the perfect emergency bag. I need to prepare my “apocalyptic earthquake bag” which is really my “apocalyptic emergency bag”. For goodness sake, I have a baby to protect!!!!!
And so it begins. AJ and I are now prepared to hike out of Los Angeles and survive with baby Maggie for 2-3 weeks without help, except Leslie and Eric’s help (they love to camp and fish, so they’ll come in very handy).
My new Emergency kit consists of:
2 hiking backpacks
2 sleeping bags
a tent, weather tested to below 30 degrees
A Graco Pack and Play
30 water purification tablets
2 water bottles
a small first aid kit
A hand saw
Boil-less MRE Food bars just in case we don’t catch any fish
2 Crank up, battery-less flashlights
A bottle opener
A can opener
2 swiss army knives (1 for each pack)
2 Camping pots
Two Way radio
2 cans of formula
2 bottles for baby
4 warm outfits for her, 3 cool outfits for her, 1 hat
1 tshirt, 1 pair of shorts, 1 bathing suit, 1 pair of underwear and two pair of socks for AJ. (He did pack the socks)
3 tshirts, 1 pair of shoes, 1 bathing suit, 2 pairs of underwear, 2 pairs of socks, and sunscreen for me.
AJ is excited about his new compass and 2 way radio. I’m not sure why, he doesn’t know how to use either one of them, but I’ll let him think he does.
In addition to having our bags packed, it’s important to know the plan. I’m anticipating cell phone service and all communication to be impossible in the city. All of our friends know that we plan on hiking out of LA and making our way to the Four Seasons in Las Vegas. It’s obviously a step up from a spa in Palm Springs, but Palm Springs is on a fault line. I don’t see how that can be the safest option anymore.
If all else fails and we do have a back up plan as well. We will end up using our new 2 way radio to call for help. AJ has already discussed this plan with his mother, Ellen (great with a credit card). She will rent a helicopter and pick up my dad, Larry (Ex Marine, and hunter, who will wear camo). He will rappel into our house or tent coordinates, kick down a door, smoke a cigar and carry us and all of our friends into the chopper where AJ (who I bought a flying lesson for in December) will fly us to safety.
In our minds they will find our coordinates and take us to safety and hopefully to a spa. I’m sure I’ll look like crap, especially since I’ve only packed the necessities and my daily moisturizer didn’t make the final cut.
At this point, I feel I’m prepared. Some might say, I’m overly prepared, but I have a baby.
I’m actually kinda excited for this apocalyptic adventure, because after 2 weeks of hiking and barely eating I’ll probably have lost all of my pregnancy weight.
DISCLAIMER: Yes I am prepared for a disaster, but I’m only prepared for save AJ, Maggie and myself. Don’t come running to my house unless you need shelter and have your own supplies to survive. The Teslers will only be taking in friends that have supplies, know how to camp, hunt and fish. This is the end of the world. We have a baby to protect.