Friday, August 5, 2011

Apocalypse Preparedness

    I am calling this post 'apocalypse' preparedness because of all the long list of worries people have right now - 2012 ( I'm not really sure what that even is), debt ceiling falling in on us, natural disasters, social disasters, political coup, military takeover, disease epidemic, drought, famine.... It's all easily labeled 'apocalypse'.
    For me, mother nature is the most probable culprit.  Maybe because I grew up in earthquake territory or because of the thousands of hours I have spent in and on the ocean.  Mother nature is awesome in every sense of the word.  On a beautiful sunny day, sitting on a grassy hill under a shady tree with gentle breezes, a butterfly landing on your arm, a soft, fuzzy puppy licking your face, puffy white clouds rolling by... mother nature is the best.  Then there is the other mother nature.  The dysfunctional, pill popping, alcoholic, bi-polar, menopausal mother nature on a rampage - hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, sand storms, heat waves etc.   This is that mother that unfortunately some of us have experienced in human form and know the terror of hearing the chaos coming; the storm brewing outside and headed your way.  As any child who has grown up in that chaos knows the only survivors are those who think on their feet.  Sometimes you can outsmart the storm other times it's best to hide and other times you need to go get help.
   We were watching The Towering Inferno the other day and it brought a lot of thought of disaster readiness to mind.  First and foremost, I do not have anyone even remotely resembling the Paul Newman or Steve McQueen characters living in my building.  Or probably even in my town.  My hugest fear is immediately following a disaster I will now found out how completely whacked out my neighbors are.
   Then there is the issue of supplies.  Once I barricade the doors to keep out my fat and lazy neighbors who are already starving after 20 minutes without snacks, I need to take stock of my own provisions.  Most of us have little in the way of canned goods.  They don't really taste very good and they take up space where the peanut butter and ramen noodles go.  So we have peanut butter ( good source of protein) except the jar is almost empty, some tomato paste, hot chocolate mix, way too much herbal tea, massive amounts of spices, a box of couscous, and ( thank God) some Ritz crackers.  Somehow those Ritz crackers seem like the only voice of reason in the entire cupboard.
    The refrigerator needs to be addressed since the power is out, that stuff needs to be eaten first.  Not good.  Some kind of gross Chinese food left overs, a third of a carton of milk that already seems suspect, massive amounts of condiments ( mango chutney? Maybe that will be good on the Ritz crackers and peanut butter... my mind is racing now).  Not a lot in the way of beverages.
    Water.  We know that is the number one necessity, the main thing to have on hand.  You run to the sink and turn on the faucet - whew, it's still running.  Wait, now it's sputtering and now it's gone.  And you just stood there watching the last of your water go down the drain.  The refrigerator check revealed 1/4 of a britta pitcher in there.  ( no one ever wants to fill it till it's empty).
    Ok.  Moving on.  Do I have anything to barter with?  Maybe one of my fat ass neighbors has been hoarding provisions but forgot about something that I have.  I do have a lot of flashlights for some reason.  Like 5.  I could give up 2 for some water... But do I want to open the door without a shotgun in my hand?  Probably not.  Damn it.  No switchblade, squirtgun filled with acid, taser, ninja stars.  I'm screwed.
    Welcome to the apocalypse.  I am so totally not ready.  I don't even have any duct tape.  That's an essential!    And I totally don't have Steve McQueen nearby ( or Jack from Lost).  As George Clooney's character would say from O Brother Where Art Thou - I'm in a tight spot.
    It is something to think about and start doing something about.  At least a back up of water and hand sanitizer.  Maybe some twizzlers and power bars.  The thing is there are different supplies needed for different forms of apocalypse - flood, fire, earthquake, zombie invasion, military coup... each one it's own specific list of essentials to aid your combat.
   This is definitely going to take some time and research.  Hopefully mother nature isn't expecting her period any time soon...

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