What would be in your Catholic purse if you had to leave in a hurry?
It is wise to be prepared for an incident that requires us to leave our homes in an emergency.
I recently got a little insight into how the war in Ukraine is directly affecting many families. Returning home by the Paris metro, I saw a family of Ukrainian refugees boarding the train: a mother and her two young children. It was loaded with a large suitcase and various bags, and the children had their small backpacks. Perhaps these were all the possessions they had left behind in the world. Their eyes glazed over and they looked completely exhausted.
One of the little girls was clinging to her worn out teddy bear. As the mother explained in quite impressive English that they were heading to a shelter, I couldn’t help but think how difficult it must have been for the parents who had to hastily gather their belongings most precious as they rushed to leave their homes. .
It’s a situation that most of us will hopefully never have to encounter, but sometimes there are times when a family suddenly has to flee their home, such as during a natural disaster like a forest fire. , earthquake or flood. And that begs the question, if it happened to you or me, would we be prepared?
Here’s a list of the essentials we’ve put together – with the help of the UK Police Force who are actively encouraging all families to have a handbag ready in case of an emergency. Such advance preparation can help reduce stress and panic in the event of a major incident. (This does not include events such as a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion – both of which might call for prayer more than anything else!)
Laminated prayer card
Fred de Noyelle | Godong
Speaking of prayer, this is the first thing we want to remember in an emergency. So if you have a particular prayer card that’s important to you, get a copy and laminate it, because it’s always good to have important things as weatherproof as possible. Not only will it bring you comfort in difficult times, but the fact that it’s protected means it shouldn’t disintegrate over time and you’ll be able to keep it for longer.
This is actually useful for all sorts of emergencies, including computers deciding to kill you for no reason. Although you may have stored some files on a cloud, it is very convenient to have a physical storage facility for your essential files. So be sure to scan personal documents – including passports, driver’s licenses, marriage and birth certificates, health records, and more. – as well as favorite photos through the ages. You should also have hard copies of your ID, just in case.
First aid kit
It may seem obvious, but make sure it’s comprehensive and includes any special medications your family needs to take, if possible. Keep an eye out for those expiration dates too!
Ruslan growls | Shutterstock
A no-brainer for any Catholic, but you might not think you have a hidden spare set in case of an emergency. So make an investment and get another set, or even just a small decade-only version, to put away.
It’s essential for a number of reasons: it’s not only comforting and can be a treat to calm kids down, it’s also helpful to have some sugar in when you’re in shock. If you opt for dark chocolate, you will increase your magnesium levels, which also helps reduce anxiety. (Again, you’ll need to check that it’s updated regularly, as expired chocolate isn’t exactly appetizing.)
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It’s wise to have a change of clothes for a few days, preferably all-weather clothes. Be sure to include good thick socks as you don’t know how much walking you might have to do.
That’s a tough question when so many of us are struggling to put money aside these days. However, if you can, try to set aside money for emergencies.
Imagine you are in a disaster movie and think of what the protagonist always has on hand: a whistle, a pocket knife, a radio, a flashlight, batteries, a phone charger, house keys and car, paper and a pen.
A paper map is something many of us no longer have, but it’s still useful to have one in case you don’t have access to your phone or other electrical devices.
Shutterstock – Bogdan Sonjachnyj
Pack a few essential toiletries, including a toothbrush. You should also be sure to add a little sunscreen, especially if you have little ones, to avoid nasty burns.
Food and drink
You will need to add some food to spend a few days. If you pack protein-rich foods such as sardines and nuts, you’ll have energy and essential vitamins to stay focused on any disaster.
The Bible can be quite heavy and you may not want to carry the extra weight, especially if you have children to carry. Although you can still access the Bible online, it might be a good idea to have your favorite scripture quotes in a small notebook or pick up a small copy of the New Testament.
And for anxious parents…
One of every parent’s worst nightmares is to be separated from their child, let alone in the event of a disaster. One thing you can do is have all of your details and their details written down on a card (including a family photo) and place it in a lanyard that they can wear around their neck.
If there’s anything you’d include in your purse that isn’t on the list, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!