Safety and Emergency Items for Real People - People with Real Budgets and Real, Busy Lives


Put your shoes by your bed. Is it really that easy?

Mom's emergency shoes, keep by bed


In case of a night-time earthquake, fire, tornado, or a host of other disasters, it's a great idea to keep a pair of shoes by your bed. Sounds simple, no?

Well, if you're like me ... no.

I'm going to break this down for you, so you can get this seemingly simple task taken care of in the next few days, and not just have it rattle around in your head for months like I have.

If this seems to you like I'm making something simple into something ridiculously complicated, just go and put some shoes by your bed today! :)

For the rest of you, answer these questions for yourself:

1. What shoes am I going to keep by my bed?
The shoes I wore that day? A pair of shoes I keep just for this purpose? (My recommendation)
  • Will they always be easy to put on?
  • Will they protect my tootsies from the elements?
  • Will they make it difficult to navigate disaster debris?
  • Where do I take off my shoes when I get home? Will it be difficult to make sure they always end up in my bedroom? By my bed?
  • An old pair? A new pair?
  • Are they quick to put on? Protective? Easy to get around in?
  • Will I need them for other activities, such as mowing the lawn or jogging? If so, what can I do to make sure they always get put back by the bed?
2. Okay, but where by the bed?
Tucked right in under the side of the bed? Under the nightstand?  In a box or a bag with other things you'll want to take with you?
  • Is your under-the-bed a magnet for random stuff? Will the shoes get pushed out of place so you can't find them easily in an emergency in the dark?
  • I've seen pictures of shoes in a plastic grocery bag hanging on somebody's bedpost. Practical. Yet ugly.
  • If a box, make sure it's easy to open.
3. How will I keep them safe from dogs, small children, tidy spouses, and, well, disasters?
Is there someone in your house, human or other, who is likely to move them at some point? Will the emergency itself make it hard to get to my shoes?
  • Figure out if there's a way you can make them less attractive to the furry and/or toddling creatures in your home. A box might get you 80% of the way.
  • Get the older kids and spouse on board with the plan. Make sure they've got their own by-the-bed-emergency-shoes.
  • If you're not planning ever to wear them out in public in a non-emergency situation, you could take a Sharpie to them. (see photo of my beautiful, lawn-mowing and emergency shoes)
  • In a really big earthquake, will they move far? Can I do anything to secure them relatively well but not so well I can't access them easily?
  • In case of fire, let's just not put them in a metal box, how 'bout?

I'd love to hear your solutions and other complicating factors in the comments.

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