Sunday, September 13, 2009

Preparation without Paranoia

Got some bad news today, twice.

First, my Dad's older sister, my Aunt Kate, passed away this morning. It was unexpected, though she was not feeling great these past few days and was admitted to the hospital yesterday. Phone calls and texts with updates ensued, and I made sure that we all had one another's cell and home #'s. Kate was one of a kind, sort of a Bette Davis type, who loved her antiques, her cigs and the sideways whisper. We're all going to miss her.

Then, late this afternoon on this formerly perfect day, after taking the ferry to Governor's Island, and picknicking on our goodies from the New Amsterdam Market, my friend Molly got a call. It was her Dad letting her know that her mom had fallen, and was in the hospital...broken hip, possible head injury, surgery tomorrow and she's now in ICU. Molly booked a flight from NYC to Texas for the morning.

Life changes in an instant.

Molly, Sandy and I were talking on the way back to the ferry. Two out of the three of us got awful news within the space of a few hours. Here we are, single women in NYC, with families outside the city and the state. If something were to happen to us, who has easy (or any) access to our information? At work there's a phone chain and disaster plan in place. Maybe we should have one for ourselves.

I do think about this, and even if I'm walking on my errands, I always have my driver's license, medical insurance card, and NY Blood Center case I can't remember or can't say " I'm O+"

At home, the front few folders in my office filing cabinet are red, and labeled "Vital Records", "Computer Usernames and Passwords" and "Last Will and Testament." I have all that info accessible, "just in case." I have given a set of keys to a good friend and a cousin, and of course my sister, who has a copy of my will, health care proxy and organ donation info.

What if something happens while you are out and about?

If your cell phone is password protected---even if you add a contact name under ICE (In Case of Emergency), no one would be able to get past your home screen. Do you know your siblings' in-law's phone #, or your friends' parents or siblings names or numbers? Probably not...and that's the closest place to start reaching out, in case of emergency.

I think at the very least, friends should add their friend's contact info into phones and put notes in the memo, if there is space provided.

I don't want to come across as an alarmist or a fatalist. I want to be prepared without being paranoid. Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be your "ICE" gal! Really good point...thanks for saying it out loud (er, sort of...)