The Safe Box.

By Alison July 24, 2007 7 Comments 3 Min Read


My country is drowning. Rivers are bursting their banks, people are panic buying bottled water and old men are being ferried to hospital in rubber dinghies. And still the rain keeps on coming.

It is a scary business. We live, all of us, trusting the universe to keep danger, natural and unnatural out of our lives and for the majority of us, floods, bombs and broken hearts never darken our door. But this doesn’t mean they won’t.  This doesn’t mean  that we do not need back up plans for bad luck or unnatural evil. This doesn’t mean that one day we won’t be the ones surrounded by the soggy fragments of all our yesterdays.

In order to live well, I believe it is essential that as housekeepers we make hygiene, order, ritual and beauty our raison d’etre. But none of these things matter if we have neither emotional or physical security.

Times are changing. People older than I am assure me that the world has always been a scary place: that there have long been threats to our security, natural disaster  looming wars and neighbourly feuds, but somehow I can’t help feeling that day by day, the threat not just to our security, but to the harmony of our nations, becomes more sinister. Perhaps only because now I am a Mother and fear is a natural instinct…

But  as individuals, women and Mothers, we can do little other than to both practice, and teach respect for others to our children and do our upmost to make our homes the safe houses our familys expect them to be. That is all. We can’t stop men intent on self destruction, water seeping under our door and atrocities in the name of religion, but we can do our best make our children feel safe within our own four walls: to give ourselves enough immediate security to sleep easy in our beds.

This isn’t about scaremongering, it is about being prepared, so start by creating a safe box:

Choose a lidded tin box and then choose a place it can live, well protected, but easily accessible in the event of a crisis (Under the stairs?). Then start to collect the necessary

1) Copies of all family passports and birth certificates.
2) Copies of all essential insurance documents. (Scan them  onto a cd)
3) Cash.
4) Extra essential medication, toilet roll, sanitary towels etc.
5) Lots of candles, matches, flashlight and batteries.
6) Tinned or non perishable foods.
7) Bottled water.
8) Bleach or water purifier.
9) Spare car keys.
10)Small first aid kit.
11)List of all essential and emergency telephone numbers.
12)List of all family members currently residing in the house.
13)Battery operated radio.

These are the essentials: the things we would need in dire emergency, but to this list I would add:

14) Copies of treasured family photographs.
15) Jewellery with emotional value.
16) A family memory book.
17) Any other small pieces of memorabilia with emotional value.
18) And some clean knickers!!

Make all the family aware of the box, let children choose their own bits of memorabilia and remember none of this will matter if the emotional insecurity hurting our babbas comes from an erratic home life or marital arguments over the breakfast table…


  1. Philippa says:

    Please please please remember to register for Flood Warnings if you think that you may live in an area at risk. Or register anyway, if you never ever get a call then be thankful, but one quick call may help save your homes and precious belongings.
    You can get to think links thoruhg my blog…. .
    Above all else stay safe!

  2. Amy says:

    Good ideas, we've had catastrophic weather here too, although we are in winter it's been flooding, windy, rainy, house roofs coming off etc. One thing worthwhile is keeping an emergency food box which we replenish we new canned and packaged goods every month, you just never know…

  3. Deborah says:

    Thank you for this most important list! We've been through hurricanes and tornados here where we live. Several times we've had to leave our home. I see that I should add some of the things you listed….including some clean knickers!! LOL!

  4. Irene says:

    2) Copies of all essential insurance documents. (Scan them onto a cd)
    I attach important scanned documents to an email I send to my own gmail-account. That way I always and everywhere have acces to my health-insurance, passport, drivers-license etc.
    Also very handy if you go on holiday.

  5. La Chouette says:

    I agree with you that the world does not seem very safe these days. Maybe it has always been this way indeed, maybe the media make us fear what has always been there, but I feel differently about the world now than I did a few years ago.

  6. effie says:

    "My country is drowning. Rivers are bursting their banks, people are panic buying bottled water and old men are being ferried to hospital in rubber dinghies. And still the rain keeps on coming."
    Mine is burning up (Greece).
    Last winter for the first time in memory we had no snow. And now we are having a series of heatwaves and countless forest fires.
    This morning it was cloudy and the temperature was 17oC!!!!!!
    What peculiar weather! The BBC weather report had something about ocean currents causing all the changes this year.
    I have an emergency check list as well, but not in case of floods but in case of forest fires. I live next to a pine forest and the danger is very real.

  7. Hallo! Totally agree with u!The world is changing! Just hope that it change for the better! Have a nice weekend!

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