Thankfully, I’ve never had to evacuate my home. And I hope I never do, but it’s a good idea to be prepared. We aren’t likely to see a hurricane here in Colorado, but recent events -- such as the 5.3 magnitude earthquake that struck 180 miles south of Denver on August 22 -- prompted me to inspect our 72 hour emergency kits.
It’s been awhile since I’ve even thought about the kits, so I wasn’t surprised to find expired food items and rodent damage. I was however, very surprised to find a time capsule from the 1980’s. Pete and I are empty nesters, so we don’t need legos, coloring books or stuffed animals. Although the Yatzee game might come in handy.
I also found a battered copy of “Dune.” I’m a fast reader, so one novel isn’t going to last long. Especially if there is nothing else to do but sit around, worry and wait. When I originally packed these kits, I didn’t have a laptop much less an iPad. I’m not even sure I had a cell phone. I know for sure that it wasn’t a smart phone.
If we had to evacuate right this very minute, how would we fare? I did a quick little drill and this is what I discovered...
I could grab an armful of plastic grocery sacks out of the cleaning closet and stuff them full of non-perishables out of the pantry. (I wonder long can we could live off peanut butter, graham crackers, Cheerios, Cherry Pepsi and chocolate chips?)
We have a five gallon bottle of water from Eldorado Springs sitting next to the water cooler that Pete could grab and a laundry basket full of clean underwear in the laundry room I could raid on our way to the garage.
The only shoes I found in my five-minute foray were flip flops, crocks and assorted sandals. I’d have to leave without “sensible footwear.” Not a life threatening situation, but who wants to flee from danger in flip flops? I also couldn’t find my car keys. Not good.
In the event of a sudden disaster (earthquake, flash flood, tornado or wild fire) I doubt I’d have enough time to sort through my paperback collection or enough space in my grocery bag for more than one or two books. That might seem like the least of my worries in an emergency situation, and it probably should be, but reading is the only thing that keeps me sane. Especially in times of crisis.
Pete and I could survive with what we have -- that man can always find his keys -- but I wouldn’t call us prepared. Except for the reading material. That is the ONLY thing that has improved since I put together our original emergency kits.
If you’re still waiting for evacuation orders to be rescinded, or just want to prepare for the next stressful situation (like waiting for the dentist) download and install a free reading application such as the Kindle Reading App, Nook Reading App, or Mobipocket Reading App onto your smartphone.
There is a mind-boggling assortment of e-books to choose from in every genre. Literally, something for everyone. You can easily download enough fiction to help you weather any storm.
Some reasonably priced books you might enjoy are ...
Enchantment by Charlotte Abel. A paranormal romance that explores the differences between love and lust, destiny and free will, and the right to make our own choices. “… an absolutely delightful and original book.” “...deals with teenage sexuality in a nuanced yet discreet way. Without being graphic at any time” “...once in a while I find a YA book/series that sucks me in as much as any of my favorite adult romance authors. Enchantment, by Charlotte Abel, has done so.”
For a FREE copy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a 100% off coupon code. (Be sure to include EC in the subject line so I’ll find your email).
Things to Do in Denver When You’re Undead by Mark Everett Stone. A paranormal suspense thriller that is both edgy and humorous. “...vampires, zombies and ghouls ... are not the misunderstood and endearing creatures we've been reading lately!” “...has all the ear-marks of a best seller and would make [a great] movie!” “live action reenactments so real you wish you hadn't eaten dinner.”
Gabriel’s Redemption by Steve Umstead a science fiction thriller for everyone, including the technologically challenged. Believable and fantastic with a tough as nails protagonist and a large supporting cast of unique individuals. “The detail of the world-building pulled me in and made everything utterly believable.” “...a quick-paced, engaging read” “The high-tension action scenes made my heart race.”
Fighting the Devil by Jeannie Walker, an award-winning, true crime novel written by the woman that helped unravel the mystery behind her ex-husband’s murder. “A compelling tale that first grabs readers with the novel’s fiery cover, and keeps them hooked to the very last page.” “... left me looking over my shoulder and chills running down my back.”
I Wish by Wren Emerson, a young adult paranormal romance for older teens and adults. “...a complex, original world that is as intriguing as it is terrifying.” “steamy hot scenes, a love triangle, a mysterious villain, magic, reverse gender discrimination, dangerous inter-family politics and life threatening situations kept me turning pages when I should have been sleeping.” $2.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel
Destiny Divided by Leia Shaw, an adult paranormal romance (18+) “...a great balance of action and romance in this captivating plot.” “Good versus evil at it's finest. Sage is tough, mean and yet....vulnerable.” “If you like magic, and very strong-willed kick-ass heroines, then you will love this book.” “This story has it all: humor, sex, vampires, magic, werewolves.” $.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel
Savage Fire by Ben Langhinrchs, an eclectic collection of short stories that will appeal to fans of the horror genre. At Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.
Loose Ends by AJ Powers, a fast-paced short story that will leave you hungry for more. $.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by hurricane Irene. Stay safe, hopeful and sane.
I’d like to invite other writers to add a link to their books with a brief description in the comments below.