The Protect IU Blog

    Preparedness Means Wearing Pants

    It's cold, colder than it's been in a while. This morning, every campus is experiencing temps in the teens, or colder, something that hasn't happened since the winter of 2010/11. Back then, Iron Man and The Hulk were the only Avengers to have movies, then-Governor Mitch Daniels was still contemplating a run for president of the nation, and having winter skip a year seemed just a pipe dream. So, not that far back at all, really.

    So why do I keep seeing people in shorts, leggings, and mini-skirts on our campuses? I can only assume it's an act of youthful rebellion, displaying indifference to the elements as a proof of strength. But what it really is is short-sighted, foolhardy, and of no actual benefit to anyone.

    Working in emergency management for IU for four years now, I've learned a lot about assumptions. So many disruptive incidents have at their heart, a flawed assumption. You have to strike a balance of course, since it is safe to assume the sun will rise tomorrow, and that gravity will still pull downwards. Somewhere in between assuming everything is going to be ok and assuming everything is going to go wrong, that's preparedness. 

    And that's why I say preparedness is wearing pants. When you plan your day, you can assume that every single detail is going to go your way. Assume your car's heat will work. Assume you won't get in an accident. Assume you won't get stuck in a traffic jam and run low on fuel. Assume you won't slip and fall on the way to where you're going. Assume that where you are going has the thermostat set warm enough to stave off your inevitable hypothermia should you get stuck outside wearing the completely inappropriate-for-the-weather outfit you have on. Or, you can assume that taking one extra step of protection, namely, wearing pants, will get you through your day should a whole host of other things go wrong. On a day like today, you might even assume that it's cold enough for long johns underneath those pants.

    Preparedness isn't just about disaster, it's about how we think through what we do every day so that we can recover from the disasters, big or small, that life throws our way every day. Not just emergency management, but contiuity, too. Taking a little extra effort so that if some of those assumptions we make every day go awry, the university still functions, people still learn and work and get paid. So please, be prepared, and as Phil told Alan in "The Hangover": "Would you please put some pants on?"