Guest Author - Terrie Lynn Bittner
When we put together our 72 hour kits and prepare for even longer stretches of need, we often think so much of the body that we forget the spirit. In hard times, the spirit needs even more than the body. Here are some items you can include in your emergency preparedness that will nourish the spirit. You might want to put a few of them in the backpacks you put together for 72 hour kits.
1. Scriptures. In an emergency evacuation, you may not have time or even remember to find the scriptures. Put an inexpensive copy of the scriptures in each pack, along with a red pencil, a pen for underlining, and a plasticized bookmark for underlining and marking scriptures. Since they will be unmarked, you can entertain yourself by finding all your favorite scriptures and marking them. You might prefer to pre-mark a few scriptures relating to comfort in advance. If youíre in a shelter, you can even offer it to someone as you leave.
2. Games. During an evacuation, you may have long empty hours to fill and entertaining children can be especially challenging. Carefully select a few games children can play alone, as well as some they can play with others. Many popular games come in travel sizes.
3. Creative activities. Keep the mind occupied with art projects, drawing paper, crayons, puzzles, and other creative activities. If you have a writer in the family, include paper.
4. A small journal. Let each person write what they experience, feel, and learn during this time, and also tell about the people they meet. It will make a powerful record for the future. Younger children can also draw in these.
5. Treats. There is nothing like a treat here and there in an emergency. Think about each personís favorites, but make sure they will last.
6. Crazy socks, t-shirts, and hair things. If youíre packing clothing, make some of them nutty. Theyíre more fun and youíll need cheering up.
7. Books that make you laugh. Make sure everyone has something fun to read, including joke books for younger children. The family can trade books if you choose them carefully.
8. Post cards and stamps. If there isnít phone service, send these out at the first opportunity. Have them pre-addressed to anyone who will worry. This nourishes your soul because you wonít worry about who is worried.
9. A means for providing a small service to someone. In time of evacuation, you will meet many who have need, whether itís a material need or an emotional need. Think of something each person could do to serve anotherís emotional needs during this time. The ability to do so will cheer you up and make you feel you are doing something valuable.