Sunday, September 25, 2005

woefully ill prepared

In case of some sort of crisis, we are so NOT ready it's not even funny. Despite the fact that we've known that things are gonna get ugly for at least 3 years now. Despite that Y2K could have been really bad. Despite that being prepared for disaster is a good idea just on principle, we continue to live our lives day to day, paycheck to paycheck, not preparing at all. The Boy Scout side of me is cringing.

Anyway, here's a partial list of things that everyone should have, just in case [this was taken from the Derrick Jensen discussion list, by the way.]:

Basic camping gear like propane or kerosene stoves and lanterns, a good supply of the fuel to run them, sleeping bags and a decent tent.
Several flashlights and batteries to run them.
You also need to have several high-quality water filters.
Next, everybody should have 3 fifty pound bags each of rice and beans. (Make sure they are in containers that are mouse and rat proof.)

Always have a pair of heavy-duty boots on hand whether you need them or not, along with heavy socks.
Always have a pair of heavy wool pants stored away, as well as a warm, waterproof parka.
Whether you are in the sticks or in an urban environment, you must have a
means of getting messages from public radio, so it is recommended you have a portable, battery powered radio, or better still, one of those nifty radios you wind up to get messages, and those two-way walkie-talkies with at least a 5-mile range will allow you to send out calls for assistance.
Always have on hand a supply of antibiotics like Penicillin, and plain old alcohol does just fine dressing wounds, even if it does sting. Hydrogen Peroxide is also a must, and they all store nicely for a long time if packaged correctly.
Last but definitely not least, have a good knife, a gun and plenty of ammunition. One concealable handgun in 9mm and a .22 rifle like the excellent Ruger 10/22 can save your life and put meat in the pot with those rice & beans.

I agree with everything there. The gun idea makes me nervous, and we haven't gotten to the point (yet) where we've felt it necessary to get one, but a few weeks back during the most intense part of Katrina's wrath, I was considering it very seriously. And you know how I feel about guns. (Um. Unless you don't. But I'm against them.)

I would also add to this list: A bicycle for every member of your family, a safe place to evacuate to (along with a route to get there either by car, bike, or foot), a BACKUP safe place to evacuate to, and a tribe. We need people that we trust and that have skills and that will be able (and willing) to help us. God we need that.

We really need to get some of those things on that list. Maybe once we get some money we'll start preparing.


Annika said...

This comment is doubly thematic! (But I am only posting it once.)

Max Brooks's The Zombie Survival Guide, though a parody, has some excellent ideas in it.

Kirk said...

I was reading a column last week about these 'disaster kits'. They're all talking about this in our neck o' the woods lately b/c (supposedly) we're due for a major earthquake anytime between right now & 2025. Yawn. But anyway, the column was pointing out that disaster kits are for the rich, or at least the well off. B/c once you add up the cost of everything they think you should have, you're looking at anywhere from $500 to $1000*. Alot of people just don't have that to spare.

Also, I don't get your reference to Y2K. What was going to happen? It was pretty much shown that all those fretting about disaster due to the year changing from '19' to '20' were, to put it diplomatically, rather prone to overexcited imaginations.

* (not that disaster kits aren't a good idea; they are. But I find it interesting that the cost of these kits is never talked about)

Amanda said...

If the world ends, I'm going to have to learn to like beans.

Jess said...

I love beans already, but my question is, even if I could afford the kit (which I could, if I prioritised it, or put it on credit, which, you know - which credit card companies will be collecting after the apocalypse?), where the hell am I going to put all that rice and beans in our apartment? Or even in the condo? :S

P@ said...

Kirk - I was talking about Y2K only because, while it turned out to be nothing, that was when "being prepared" really came into public knowledge. We didn't do anything then to prepare, and we haven't now, either.

Jess - "which credit card companies will be collecting after the apocalypse?"
Citicard. Trust me on that one. Ain't nothin' gonna stop those folks.