When we plan for emergency situations, we often focus so much on the aspect of meeting physical necessities for survival that we don’t even take other things into account. If a natural disaster such as a severe winter storm makes it so you are unable to leave your house for a week, what are you going to do besides eat food and huddle under blankets to stay warm? As odd as it may seem, including forms of entertainment in your emergency preparedness plans can actually be a great asset to your family’s ability to cope with an emergency.
Having fun activities to lighten the mood can be especially useful during a natural disaster or other type of emergency. Undergoing too much stress has been shown to be detrimental to physical, mental, and emotional health; something you would certainly wish to avoid during a crisis.
Chances are that there will be some amount of time during any given emergency situation when you are not busily occupied. Therefore, it is important to have a range of entertainment activities available for your family, especially if you have children. You shouldn’t count on having electricity (No TV, movies, or video games) available to entertain everyone. Planning ahead by providing a variety of activities can help family members remain calm and relatively stress-free.
If you have a decent number of books in your home, they can help family members pass the time. If you have young children, you can also read to them. And even if you don’t own very many books, you can always check them out from the library for free. Having a supply of books on hand is certainly a good option for the whole family.
Having a variety of non-electronic games is also a good idea. Board games and card games are generally much cheaper than video games in the first place, and allow for the entire family to play together. There are several different games that can be played with an ordinary deck of playing cards.
Of course, battery-operated electronic games (such as older Gameboy systems that use regular batteries) are still an option during a power outage. Newer handheld electronics that use rechargeable batteries will only last as long as their battery life. A portable DVD player can also provide another source of entertainment when TV is not available.
Planning for entertainment options can also be useful in preparing a 72-hour kit. While you should not load up these kits with heavy games and books, remembering to include a pack of playing cards or other small, lightweight entertainment options can be a good idea.
While it may not seem like one of the most important parts of your emergency preparedness plans, taking a little extra time to plan for how to keep your family entertained can play a big role in how well everyone is able to deal with these challenges. Providing games and activities that help reduce your family’s stress and worry will certainly help them get through an emergency situation with a positive attitude.