Ready or Not #186: It’s Only Water But

I had another steep learning curve that you can learn from. The other day I was caught in the most incredibly freakish rainstorm. It was pouring such a deluge of rain and it never seemed to end (it actually only lasted about 15-20 minutes). Several of my co-workers and I were setting up for an outdoor fair and we were caught unprotected out in the middle of it. The wind was blowing with gale force winds and the pop-up tents and other items were getting mangled and flying everywhere.

It rained so hard that I can’t ever remember being that wet! There was so much rain and water in fact, that when I bent over to rescue something from being blown away, I had rain dripping from my eyeballs. Really, my eyeballs? It really stung.

When it stopped raining and we were cleaning up, everybody kept telling me to put a coat on because they were worried about me getting cold. The weird thing was, I wasn’t cold at all…until later. When I went back to my office where I was protected from the elements and where I thought that I should have been able to stay warm, THAT was when I started to get cold. I didn’t think that it was that big of a deal getting really wet, after all it was just water and unless you are the wicked witch of the West, you aren’t going to melt. But I can tell you now that if you get wet, you are going to get cold; the water wicks away your warmth through evaporation.

A half an hour later, when I decided to leave work and go home early because I was feeling miserably damp, I had a puddle by my desk and I was starting to feel very uncomfortable. But it was only water! By the time I got home, my teeth were chattering in spite of the heater in my car going full blast.

My boss laughed at me because he assumed that I had an extra change of clothes in my car for just such an occasion, “…being CERT certified and a preparedness geek!”, but I didn’t. I had two first aid kits, a pair of snow boots, a pair of hiking boots, a couple changes of socks, water, more water, two umbrellas (one to share), a tool kit, an electric scissor jack and more – but no extra clothes. Actually the week before I had thought about putting an extra change of clothes in the car, but I just sluffed the idea off and decided that I would get to it the next week. Following through on that one impression would have made all the difference in the world.

Instead of rushing home an hour early from work and telling my husband that he had better have hot chocolate and toast ready for me when I got out of my HOT shower (like I wasn’t already wet enough), I could have been dry and warm at work finishing my shift. I was psychologically able to get past the wet hair and the complete de-makeuping of my face, but I just couldn’t get past the miserably uncomfortable wetness.

I am now going to put a change of clothes in my car and I have even decided that I am going to get a travel hair dryer, not so much for vanity (although I would use it to style my hair), but to use it for an impromptu heater and clothes dryer. And next time it rains, I will try to be smart enough to get out of the rain.

Oh…and do you have your water stored?

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