Comfort items after a disaster


Women with sheet pulled up to her face


A comfort item after a disaster can be a mental lifesaver.

Case in point

I was unloading a trailer full of supplies to be sorted and placed inside a school gymnasium after hurricane Katrina. The rule was no one could give out the items until they were put on supply station shelves, but on this day I broke that rule.

The line of people going into the station was within sight of the trailer, and sitting at the door of that trailer was a small stack of bedsheets.

The sheets caught the eye of a woman in line, and she immediately came over to asked if she could look through them for a size that would fit her bed.

I told her she would have to wait until I placed them inside; her response was unexpected. She started to cry uncontrollably at first then came back at me angrily before finally looking at me in total despair.

Then she told me her story

Her story was not one of a near-death experience surviving the storm. It was more a story of endurance. The hurricane had made landfall 28 days earlier and ever since that time she had been working to repair her home and her life. The one thorn in her side was a set of sheets, given by a friend, that did not fit her bed. Now I know your thinking, “So what, other people were still living in tents.” And you would be right, but for this lady on this day having sheets to fit her bed was the difference between moving forward or having a total breakdown. A breakdown prevented by the sheets I let her get out of the trailer that day.

Comfort items can make things better

None of us know how we will react after a disaster, and I bet the women would have never thought to add sheets to a list of comfort items in her emergency kit had she had one, and yet there she was crying uncontrollably over them.

So what will your comfort item be? A phone, playing cards, candy, books, a photo of loved ones, who knows. Having some in your preps is a good idea, but chances are it will be something you didn’t even expect.


As always, this is just my opinion.

Timothy Scott

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