Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Survival Mindset Surfaces at Disneyland

It is interesting how perspectives can change as life moves along. It has been less than two years since I started learning about preparedness and survival. I've been somewhat of an empath long before attaining my bachelors degree in psychology but the barrage of people and varying circumstances this past weekend at Disneyland brought out a heightened sense of survivalism in my mind. Things I probably wouldn't have thought about had I not been studying preparedness and survivalism.

It started on the road trip to California. Some 200 miles west of Phoenix, we stopped for gas. I found myself waiting at a gas pump which could not reach my tank due to the limited length of the pump rope, the long length of my suburban, and the fact that the jackass in front of me pumping gas was too self-absorbed to pull-through to the farthest pump allowing someone to successfully follow behind him.

After securing my gas, I entered the gas station. Typical interstate gas station hustling with passersby. One lady, I noticed however, was only looking at the floor as she walked up and down the isles. She caught my puzzled look and asked if I had seen any car keys on the floor. Long story short, her keys were misplaced. Outside the store, frantically searching her car, was the woman's 30-something daughter (I'm guessing) and three toddlers.

Without going into all the details, turns out the keys were in the daughter's purse the entire time. My brain played out the survival lesson: always have spare keys. I thought to myself "What if that'd been me, with lost keys, 200 miles from home, and a suburban full of family?" I rationalized that with my wife's set of keys, we have a backup...if we are traveling together AND we don't lock BOTH of them in the car (six kids, it can happen).

So to be more prepared, I will put a hide-a-key box somewhere under the vehicle. It should be placed somewhere that isn't easily detected or jarred loose and checked frequently. Alternatives include a credit-card key for wallets, AAA membership for lock-outs, and checking with my car insurance company for lock-out coverage.

Next came parking in a stacked parking garage (on the third level) in order to get to our hotel room on the 9th floor. My survival brain quickly conjured up an earthquake scenario (have you seen how many small earthquakes Cali is having daily?) I'm pretty much screwed on this one. If the suburban gets pancaked in the garage, or the hotel for that matter, I have NO backup to that. I tried to focus on other things. Survival lesson: you can't control or prepare for everything.

Lastly, I'll briefly mention being somewhere underground on the Indiana Jones ride when the announcement could barely be heard that the ride was stopped for an indefinite period of time. I stood in that narrow stairwell with my daughters (age 12, 10 and 5) wondering what I would do if the power went out (thanks to the flickering, dimly lit lamps overhead). My darn droid battery was hovering around 5%, as usual. So much for the flashlight app. One daughter had her phone and it was low battery as well. I have no doubts I could have navigated back out of that underground catacomb but not without a light source. My backup source (to my cell phone flash light app) would be my LED lit house key. After that would be my very dimly lit wrist watch light. I have used both to navigate my house in the middle of the night to avoid stepping on Barbie dolls and hair clips (again, six daughters.) Perhaps a mini mag lite on my keychain wouldn't hurt.

Gone are the days of just walking blindly around Disneyland without a care in the world. Survival favors the prepared and this is one dad dedicated to family survival.

What do YOU carry when you go to a publicly crowded place like Disneyland?


  1. Backup keys are a must but I am thinking some auto theft knowledge could prove useful as well :)

    6 girls OMG

  2. @PioneerPreppy LOL. As in Slim Jim?


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