Making a safety plan is a great idea. It’s hard to think of everything that could possibly go wrong and plan accordingly. Sometimes you think of something that could go wrong, but you convince yourself it won’t.

Moose River Media moved to a new office about a year ago. On one occasion, we got flooded out of the old office, and while the new office is still near a river, I figured we were safe from flooding. I was proven wrong this past March, when ice jammed the river and the water had nowhere to go but into the parking lots of various businesses and the street beyond. Many of us managed to flee in our cars, though some were stranded and had to be retrieved by boat. No one was hurt, and the water went down fairly quickly, leaving huge chunks of ice in its wake.

Back in my park ranger days (bear with me, it’s summer and I’m feeling nostalgic) I encountered a situation that I never dreamed might happen. The park I worked at was next to a reservoir. One of my staff members and I discovered what appeared to be a pipe bomb floating in the water. My plan consisted of sprinting to the office (a heroic feat, considering that I always say nothing short of the zombie apocalypse will induce me to run) and calling 911. The dispatcher was reluctant to believe me, but finally a state trooper came out to take a look.

He must have found it suspicious, because next thing we knew, we were keeping people out of the park while waiting for the bomb squad to show up. In the chaos, I almost forgot about one of my staff, who was down by the beach, right in harm’s way, diligently picking up trash. We tore back down to the beach in the truck to fetch him. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and the bomb squad safely detonated the device.

So the story has a happy ending, but it does show that whatever you think is the worst possible event, there is always something more awful that could happen (and apparently you should be wary of water). Pessimism and doom for everyone! Think of all the things that could go wrong. Then imagine all those things plus swarms of angry badgers and hordes of hungry zombies and miniature icebergs. See, it could always get worse.

But in all seriousness, make a safety plan. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough never to need it, but you’ll be glad you did in the event of an emergency. You can read more about how to make a safety plan on page 6. So have a look and get planning, before the badgers get here.

Stephanie Peake