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8 Stories That Will Make You Want To Prepare Like Whoa

"Yeah, I wish I hadn't prepared," said no one ever. Unexpected things happen! Have you made an emergency plan? Built a kit? Let's do it. Visit Ready.gov for more info.

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1. "It turns out that East Coast winters are frozen hellscapes."

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“When I moved to NYC from Montana, I had packed for colder weather but gotten rid of all my super-warm snowboarding gear, figuring it wouldn't get THAT cold.

"I was so wrong. I ended up having to spend a bunch of money I didn't have on winter stuff I'd already owned.”

—Eileen C.

2. "I thought it'd be a good idea to try a free spin class with zero experience taking spin classes and/or riding an actual bike."

"I spent so much time trying to adjust my seat height before the class started that I completely forgot to make sure my feet were secured in the bike's magnetic pedals. Before I knew it, the lights were off, and I had to pedal without my feet attached. It was sweaty and embarrassing, but at least I got a complimentary piece of fruit at the end!”

—Kyle D.

3. "I decided to run a 5K at the zoo and thought, I could do this! I'm not sure why I thought that, because I don't run."

“Anyway, the day of the race came, and I hadn't trained, but when the signal to start went off, I ran! I ran for maybe 45 seconds total and went 'Nope.' I completed the whole thing but wound up walking and definitely did not set a PR.”

—Ashley C.

4. "I had no idea what a formal dance entailed."

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“When I was a freshman in high school, my new boyfriend asked me to homecoming. The day before the event, he asked me what color dress I was wearing. I told him I didn't know what I was wearing yet — maybe jeans? He laughed and said that might not match a corsage. I suddenly realized I was in waaaaay over my head.

"I laughed and told him I was kidding and that the dress was purple (the nonexistent dress I hadn't known I needed). The next day, I made my sartorially impaired father take me to the mall four hours before the dance so I could try to find a purple dress. I have never been so fashionably unprepared again.”

—Hannah C.

5. "We probably should have gotten a press pass."

“I used to be the assignments editor at my college paper, and early in my job, I sent a freshman reporter to a museum reopening to cover the event. It was free, so I figured he'd just go in, check it out, and talk to some people.

"Well apparently you needed advance tickets, but I overlooked that. In the end, he didn't get in, and it was a disaster because we needed to scramble to fill the spot in the paper's layout.”

—Dana V.

6. "I’ll always check the weather from here on out."

“When I started my first job, I would commute by bike because it was cheap and convenient. During my second week on the job, I looked out at the sun shining through my window as I got dressed for the day. On the way to work, I started pedaling down the street, and suddenly, the sky opened up and started pouring rain on me.”

—Clark M.

7. "Always bring a bathing suit when you go on vacation. It doesn't take up that much space, and you might get to go swimming."

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“When driving cross-country, I didn't think to bring a bathing suit because it was autumn, and damn, that was a mistake. The Wisconsin hotel I was staying in had an indoor heated swimming pool! Jacuzis in Wyoming! Hot springs in Utah! I missed out on all of it."

—Kirk D.

8. "I was dumb, didn’t prepare for an emergency, paid the price, and now keep a well-stocked emergency kit on hand."

"I was not prepared for Hurricane Sandy. Like, at all. I didn’t do anything. It wasn’t until I saw the entire face of a building SLIDE OFF into the STREET that I realized, 'Oh, hey, maybe this storm really IS as bad as everyone says it is.' The power went out in my neighborhood. It didn’t come back for almost an entire week."

—Kelley D.

A disaster could happen at any time. Be informed! Visit Ready.gov for more information.

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