Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Emergency Preparedness

I've always lived in earthquake country, and as far back as I can remember the recommendation was to have three days of food and water. If I move into a new place, I bolt the bookcases to the walls (I have a couple of thousand books so that's kind of a pain) - don't even think about it really, it's just something one does. I imagine people who grew up with hurricanes or whatever have their own little habits you pick up growing up.

In college I had my first real experience with the fact not everybody had this stuff drilled into them when we had a medium sized quake during class and all the native Californians were under the desks in moments and everybody else was looking around wondering where we all went.

I think after Katrina people are throwing out "a week" instead of "three days" but the point is you should have some extra food and water around. It's not that hard. Go to Costco, buy an extra flat or two of bottled water, a flat of soup, and a flat of chili. Or whatever - something you could eat cold if you had to that keeps. If you're not wealthy enough to just give it to the local food drive when it gets near expiration, do some basic rotation - eat some now and again and when it's half gone buy another flat. Or whatever - just find something that works for you. It's not that hard, it doesn't have to cost anything in the long run if you buy something you'll eat eventually, it's just a little extra money upfront and a little extra storage space.

Probably some emergency lighting would help too, but if you haven't gotten around to that yet don't use it as an excuse for not covering the basics. (that's a cool website, by the way, and they're good folks. Just don't be surprised if some of their stuff seems like overkill - they also cater to LDS (Mormon) folks who are supposed to have a years worth of food on hand. So they have stuff like giant cans of dehydrated margarine powder. Really!)

Yeah, it's not real portable, but chances are you'll be sheltering in place or driving someplace with it in your trunk. Think about how much more pleasant you'll feel looking at your extra flat or two of water and thinking "Hmm, glad I'm not down at the local grocery store with all the other looters."

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