Emergencies. We never know when they'll happen. That's why they are emergent, of course.
I've been grateful for our systems on many occassions. Probably MOST grateful when emergencies strike. We run drills. I wrote about this subject a little while ago. We haven't had all that many lately, but I am gearing up to run some more.
I have done a couple since the incident in THIS post in which I share about why we run drills. Once, our phone didn't work and I was worried that I had forgotten to pay the bill. The time of day was rough... if I was too late, I would interrupt my husband at the very busy time of day at his job. So, it was imperative that I get out fast. So, I told the children they had less than 10 minutes to get ready to go and get in the van. They tried to ask me questions and I just told them we had to leave and to get on it. (If there was an ACTUAL emergency, I wouldn't have time to chat with them about why and how and all that, so it's important to keep the practices very close to the real thing.)
Because we have systems in place, the children were out and buckled in within seven minutes. Yes, I am a little proud of that. :)
We've had a few family meetings about what we need to do so that we can get out quick. The meeting has also included conversation about what we each need to carry out to the van and HOW to accomplish what needs to be done so that we could depart in under 15 minutes and have lots of the important stuff with us. We even have a list on the back of a door AND on the inside of a high cabinet (for me) that guests and visitors are NOT likely to see that describes for each of us what our responsibilities are. This is a huge blessing. When they start asking me what they should do, all I have to do is remind them of the list and they can figure it out for themselves!
If we faced a real emergency departure situation, I would have enough to deal with just trying to make sure I got everyone and everything out that I need to. Answering questions would be way too stressful!
Do you have systems in place that will help you in case of an emergency departure situation? I'd love to hear how they've worked for you!