Thursday, September 8
Got An Emergency Plan?
Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.*
As it happens, one of the side effects of last month's kitten-proofing the basement was an upgrade and expansion of our emergency preparedness. I'm curious about the rest of y'all. Got a plan? Anything happen recently to make you think about one?
Ours is pretty much an outgrowth of backpacking. I'm from the "be prepared for anything" not the "shave every ounce" school. Under duress grabbing my smaller pack, which hangs by the back door, would provide shelter, extra clothing, a pretty damned good first aid set up, means of purifying water and cooking, four freeze dried meals and oatmeal, bouillon, and stuff that'd keep two people alive for a week with no deprivation. There's blankets and a couple of gallons of water in each car.
The most likely disaster in this part of the world is a tornado. Surviving a tornado would mean being in the basement, and possibly trapped there. The best news about a tornado is that in the worst case the distruction might be a mile wide, so you're unlikely to remain undiscovered for long. Even so we're set for five days easy: a gallon of water per person per day, more meals, plenty of candles, another backpacking stove, another first aid kit, a toilet seat that fits over a five gallon bucket with disposal bags and enzyme treatment. Battery/hand cranked radio. Hammer, nails, pry bar, multi-bit manual screwdriver. Referee's whistle. Plenty to read down there, too, if you don't mind old magazines.
I've got means to feed the cats, too, for five days in our absence, but I can't imagine how it would come to that. There's two cardboard carriers upstairs and two down for emergencies--it takes two people five minutes to get Stinky into the hard carrier in the best of times, but he'll jump in a box by himself.
Regular maintenance: we don't have food-grade UV-proof storage for water, so we just rotate gallons from the grocery every other time. And prescriptions for vicodin, tylenol 3, and staydal nasal spray for the med kits. My wife usually does that because the doc is suspicious of me.
What isn't included: sleeping bags. If it were the dead of winter I'd try to grab the two 0º mummies, but otherwise ground pads and blankets are a better, space-saving choice.
Proposed upgrade: one of those inflatable beds for the basement.
Recent upgrade spurred by Katrina: more cash. They weren't accepting credit cards or doing any banking because the electronics were out. I never carry any cash, so now there's enough for two bus tickets somewhere and a couple of nights in a hotel.
Although I am thinking that current maps of all the routes to Canada might come in handy.
* Slim Pickens, Dr. Strangelove. The line was changed from "Dallas" after the Kennedy assassination, though why it was Dallas in the first place still puzzles me.