Tricia’s Take: Take a minute and be prepared

The attacks on Paris have called an ‘act of war’ by the French president. We like to think that this kind of thing will never happen in the United States. Tell that to the survivors of 9/11, of the Oklahoma bombing, the Boston Marathon bombings, school shootings, and theater shootings.

Acts of terrorism happen all the time. Chances are you won’t be the victim of one of them, but you might be in a car accident, or get sick at work, or working out at the gym, and someone will need to notify a family member of your condition.

Take some time this weekend to take some precautionary steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and connected in case something does happen. These are just a few of the steps that my dad had my family took in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. My family has updated them throughout the years to include:

1. In your cell phone, put your family members under their relationship to you, i.e., Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother, Son, Daughter, etc. Put that designation before their name so if someone needs to find your family member, they can do it easily.

2. Have a meeting point in the city in which you live. It might be your house, or your mom’s house, maybe even a landmark in the middle of town. Whatever it is, make sure everyone knows it, that way everyone can meet up and go from there in an emergency.

3. If you have kids attending college out of town, make sure they have a phone on them at all times. School shootings are becoming more and more common, and a cell phone to let someone know where you are and that you are okay, is vital.

4. If you have kids in daycare, make sure whoever gets them in an emergency notifies everyone else in your family that they are safe to keep from causing even more worry about the little ones.

5. Always carry a little cash on you. You never know when you’ll need it, and it’s always a good idea to not have to rely on a debit or credit card.

6. Keep your kids close to you when you’re shopping. No one is suggesting that you don’t Christmas shop or go to the movies, but how many times have you turned around to see where your kids are and realized that they are 3 aisles away? It’s a hassle to shop with the beasties, but there are terrible people out there who look for that opportunity for you to be looking the other way. Either don’t take them, or tie them up in the cart!

I know I sound alarmist, but going about your day with some safety precautions in place makes an emergency a lot easier to deal with.

God Bless our allies and the innocent people who were slaughtered in Paris. God Bless America, and keep us all safe.