Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Navy Yard Shooting and Disaster Preparedness

I have a pretty heavy heart today in light of the Navy Yard shooting yesterday. It hit very close to home. Dan is a contractor with the Navy, has a CAC card (the DOD ID/access card), and goes there regularly. He would have had to go yesterday, but of course did not. Fortunately, Dan told me immediately that he wasn't there, so I didn't have to worry about him.

They have put up a "Remembering the Victims" page on Washington Post's website, and it's heartbreaking. These were just regular people in my area at their job. Getting their breakfast. I identify with these people. To think that the shooter was on high ground, just picking them off in a cafeteria is sickening. I cannot understand it.

It seems that something majorly tragic happens every few months or so, and each time it hits closer to home. The Aurora movie theater shooting, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon bombing, and now this. It feels as if no place is safe anymore. However, I guess safety is just an illusion. I fear for my mother as a teacher in a school. I fear for my father, because he works in a D.C. landmark. I fear for Dan who runs marathons. I fear for my nephews, niece, and Ben who are just children going to school or daycare. I fear for myself.

Dan and I are aware of the danger of living near and working in D.C. It is the capital of the United States, a major target for terrorism. In the back of our heads, we know something big could happen at anytime. That is why the earthquake that happened here a couple of years ago was frightening. We don't experience earthquakes that often, all we knew was that our building was shaking.

One thing that makes me feel better in times like this is to have a plan. Dan and I have talked about it before in the past, but I went over it with him last night again in an effort to make myself feel prepared. It is pretty simple. If a major event happens in the city, everyone is getting out, and we can't contact each other, then we both go to Ben's daycare. Ben is our first priority. Whoever gets there first takes him home. Whoever gets there second then goes home.

I'm sure we should probably have more disaster stuff planned, but that is the basic plan. Dan, of course, said "What about Shelby???" So then we had to amend the plan. If Shelby was at daycare too, then the plan is: Ben's daycare, Shelby's daycare, then home. Ha.

I don't pray often. I'm not very religious, and sometimes it feels disingenuous. However, this morning I prayed for the victims and their families. I figured they would need all the help they could get.



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