He is the actor in the family my husband, I could barley keep it together. He comes in the door after work and emergently calls a family meeting. As some were lagging behind he exclaims this is an emergency family meeting and everyone needed to come right now. As we all gather and me about ready to burst into laughter he tells the children that he just heard on the radio that all the homes in our neighborhood need to be evacuated because the water tower had a structural problem. He explained we had 10 minutes to get our things together and leave. He gave them specific instructions about packing an outfit and grab a blanket. I can tell you the looks on their faces couldn't believe it and then a bit of panic began. He then says this is not time to panic this is time to just get this done and panicking only makes it worse. They packed their bags super quickly and came back within 2 minutes and asked what can we do to help. They filled water bottles, grabbed snacks, and packed the car and we left in roughly 5 minutes from the announcement we needed to leave. Like I said my hubs is the actor in the group he pretended like he called the elders quorum president to let him know we were okay and as we were driving he was flipping through the am channels to see if there was any news. As we were driving they had a ton of questions like what happens if our house is flooded? What happens if our furniture is all wet? Etc... We drove to our local pizza place and of course the kids asked why we were there and we just said we might as well eat and have a family meeting to decide what to do next. This made sense to them because this was not the first time we had a family meeting at the pizza place. We all sit down and we tell them how proud we were of them and how they worked as a team, how they didn't panic, and how they were big helpers and that we are so glad we are safe on this April Fools Day!!! The looks on their face PRICELESS as this marinates in their minds. We got them and we got them good...one of the kids exclaimed, "You guys always do some so great on April Fools Day!"
With the relief that our home was fine we had quite a enjoyable evening with our kiddos. I really loved this April Fools Day joke because it was more than just a joke we learned a ton about how prepared and not prepared we were in an emergency.
What we learned is:
1. We need to move water onto the main level. I spent time filling water bottles because it was faster than dragging them out of the basement.
2. Need more cash on hand...we are not cash carriers and so we had very little cash when we left and if ATMs aren't working we would have been in trouble.
3. Our camping bins needed to be better organized and better labeled so we knew exactly which ones to grab to throw into the van.
4. Need to keep our gas tank more full. We had in between a half and quarter tank which is fine but in an emergency is not going to get you very far.
5. Our children are great in an emergency. They kept calm and collected not only that they were a huge help.
It is funny how a simple thing as a April Fools Day joke turned into this huge learning experience for us as parents and for our children as well.