Many of us live where we live SPECIFICALLY to get away from people/noise/traffic/stress (fill in the blank). But there's nothing like an emergency to make you instantly wish you lived right next door to the fire department/ambulance/emergency room....(you get the idea)...
We live in Petersburgh, NY. Pretty much right where New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts come together. It's a wee little town with somewhere around 5,000 people and not a hell of a lot more. We live 3 miles from the garage of the Petersburgh Volunteer Ambulance. We live 14 miles from the garage of the Bennington Rescue Squad. When the neighbor dialed 9-1-1, it took 18 minutes for the Rescue Squad, and 20 minutes for the Ambulance. All of which seemed like an ETERNITY as I was huddled there on the lawn, cradling my husband and trying to keep him calm and warm.
If you don't know already, then it's time to figure out for yourself - how long does it take for help to arrive?
Not only ambulance, but fire and police as well.
Who responds? State police or locals? Fire volunteers or municipal firefighters? Do you live near a hydrant, or will they use a pond? Is your house # clearly displayed? If it is nighttime, do you have adequate lighting? Do your personal cars block access to your property or house?
In a former life, I trained social workers who do field work with the mentally ill, and I ran them through these same questions. I stressed these points over and over, and still was caught off guard when it happened to me.
And here's the really important one:
What do you do while you are waiting?
Seriously. Do you need a safe place to wait? Do you have access to a phone? Do you need to lock up, move cars, secure animals, gather anything? Are there kids that need to be comforted/ occupied/ supervised?
Run a drill, people...run a drill. It will be the best 15 mental minutes ever used. Stop for a minute and ask yourself:
What happens when I dial 9-1-1?