I recently visited the Dept. of Homeland Security’s website to search for something and stumbled upon their “Winter Preparedness” guide. I glanced over it – not truly giving it a second thought until last night. Last night our old reliable pick up truck wasn’t quite reliable. The driver side doors were frozen shut, I had to climb in the back passenger door (the only one that would open) and after all this the trusty truck wouldn’t start. This was complicating the plans to go pick up a Christmas tree. I decided a small enough tree could fit in the back of the Blazer with the seats folded down so I opened the back hatch to clear out room.
I hadn’t done anything with the back of my Blazer since November 1st… the last day of soccer. There in the cargo area I was reminded that no matter how hard I try not to fit the stereotype: I am a midwestern suburban soccer mom (they say admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery). As I started to drag the items out one by one I realized that most of these things were on the DHS list for winter preparedness. I gave my self a gold star for not only having 1 blanket and 1 sleeping bag as recommended but also a secondary blanket. Jumper cables, check. Flashlight, check (ok I will admit it doesn’t work and I didn’t have spare batteries for it, but it was there). Extra clothing, particularly boots, hats and mittens, check. Ok I had 3 knit stocking caps, 1 mismatched pair of gloves, a spare pair of shin guards, one pair of soccer socks (also mismatched) and 2 pairs of shorts. (Hey I never said I was a good soccer mom). Emergency flares…. hmm nope but I do have a small reflective triangle that came with the truck in the spare tire hatch, check. Bottled water or juice and non-perishable high-energy foods (i.e. granola bars, raisins, nuts or cheese crackers). HA! A soccer mom lives for this stuff! I had 2 Capri Suns, 2 1/2 bottles of water, 1 Gatorade, 3 granola bars, 2 bags of fruit snacks and a McDonald’s BBQ sauce pack. I gave myself a triple gold star for that. First aid kit and necessary medications… in the bag with all the snacks there was 2 band aids, some kleenex (a couple used) and a wet wipe from BW3, Check. Necessary medications… (really how long am I going to be stranded?) OK well not in the soccer bag, but in the glove box there is Midol, Benadryl and Immodium – all leftover from various road trips, check. A cell phone and car charger, check. Ice scraper and snow brush, check and a silver star because it’s a Scraper/Brush combo! Tire repair kit… well there is usually stray gum somewhere in the backseat, check! A bright-colored cloth to tie to the vehicles antenna to signify you need help… I could remove the cover of my hot pink, orange and yellow flowered lawn chair it should stop traffic fairly effectively.
There were 2 things listed I didn’t have. Sand or non clumping kitty litter for tire traction in case you get stuck in snow or ice… well we have dogs so no need for kitty litter, no sand except what might be left over from Gulf Shores… wait don’t I have all those other things to keep me alive in case I do get stuck? And how do you get stuck “in” ice? The other item(s) I didn’t have was a steel shovel and rope to use as a lifeline. A truly crafty woman, however, could fashion a rope from one of the blankets…so 1/2 check. Not to mention the items I had that DHS hadn’t even thought of: 3 Piggie and Elephant books, 1 coloring book, various markers & crayons and the DK Eyewitness Shark book. If needed, i would burn the Shark book for heat. The Shark book has 1000’s of facts about sharks that the kids read over and over again every time we’re in the car. I also had 4 folding chairs… maybe I could use those for traction in place of kitty litter?
So there you have it, I should be able to survive 30-40 minutes in my car should I become stranded – let’s face it I live in a populated suburban area not a remote location in Wyoming. Luckily I didn’t become stranded on the way to get the Christmas tree because I had taken my soccer mom stash out of the car.
Suburban soccer mom’s are a unique stereotype. Once a coworker saw the cargo area in my SUV and stated that if a hurricane hit midwestern suburbia everyone would be just fine because the soccer mom’s would have enough supplies available in their minivans and SUV’s to set up a tent city capable of taking care of people for weeks. Maybe we should start some type of Disaster Response Team… we could be like Fema’s USAR (Urban Search & Rescue) team only we could be SuSMAT (Suburban Soccer Mom Aide Team). Maybe I’ll pitch that idea next soccer season and see what becomes of it.
(My apologies to my pals at DHS… Bryan 🙂 you know you think I’m funny)