Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Feet on the Beach, Head in the Sand

The Home and Garden section of last Thursday's New York Times had an interesting, if somewhat frightening, article that's got me thinking. It was about a woman in Massachusetts, Kathy Harrison, who has been stockpiling all manner of provisions in case of disaster - natural or otherwise. Its a pretty sobering read. Especially for someone like me who tends not to dwell on such things. Consider, for example, my Y2K preparations - which consisted of laying in a case of champagne and two gallons of bottled water, purchased in haste at the last minute. (I'm not kidding here ... the party was fantastic and the water collected dust under my kitchen table for some time.) Living in New York, you'd think I would give some attention to such things, but disaster preparedness is so not on my radar screen.

Its on Kathy Harrison's. She's written a book: “Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens.” It focuses not only on the stockpiling of non-perishable food stuffs, but also on self-sufficiency in times of crisis ... things like cooking without electricity and canning your own foods, etc. Sounds interesting ... and terrifying. I mean look at that title ... its not "How to be Self-Sufficient If ..." its when. Yikes. That said, this is not a doomsday book. Apparently its rather down-to-earth and the tone is cheerful and positive. Given my total lack preparedness, I suppose I should consider giving it a look.

I do not have a "go bag", or a ready supply of canned goods ... there might be some wretched form of canned chili fermenting in the back of my pantry cabinet, but other than that there ain't much. I wonder if I should remedy that? I wonder if I could remedy that? Though I'm blessed with a large kitchen and many cabinets, I can't imagine where I'd put all this readiness stuff. Its surely a problem for disaster-minded city dwellers, as the article points out. I know our last blackout certainly caught me off guard. I was able to purchase the last pack of batteries at a local bodega, so we could run the radio and a flashlight - but that was just luck. Fortunately, I'm a big fan of candlelight, so we had the most brightly lit apartment on the street that hot, summer night ... but again, that's luck not foresight. I haven't learned my lesson either ... I doubt any of my flashlights are in working condition at present. Sigh.

Like the title says ... I've got my feet on the beach and my head in the sand. Which has me wondering about you, gentle readers. Do you have a "go bag"? Or are you laying in provisions in case of emergency? (Do they consist of something other than champagne?) If you're not now, will you be after reading the article? Click the link and read the article ... then come back and let me know what you think.



Thanks to apparent food shortages (yeah right) and the credit crunch I just buy what I need for that week so I'm so NOT prepared fora disaster! Not that anything like that would really happen here in the UK!

We never got the whole Y2K thing - what was all the freaking out about?! LOL, actually it doesn't matter.

Scarlet x

The Diva on a Diet said...

That's a good point, Scarlet - I imagine that stockpiling can be expensive. Yeah, we're in the same boat - nothing would ever happen in the UK or NYC. Sigh.

Y2K - eh, our media is out of control and they worked everyone up into a frenzy for nothing.

Deb said...

Wow I'm not that organized. I guess I'll be part of the confused masses wandering around looking for a handout. On a more serious note,living in FLorida we do have to be a little prepared for weather emergencies so we have candles matches bottled water and a full gas grill with a lot of canned goods for kickers. I guess I'm somewhere east of that women and west of the grashopper who fiddled all summer from the kids story.


The Diva on a Diet said...

Love your way with words, Deb! Yes, living in your area you must be prepared for severe weather ... especially these last few years. :(

Jeanie said...

A go bag? Well, you know what that makes *me* think of! The "Breakfast Club"...you never know when you might have to jam! LOL. And in my family, Maddy is the only person prepared to jam. She has her pink and purple backpack with stale Cheerios, crayons, a book, and some other weird shit. Can you believe that's most prepared we are?! Scary!

If I think about my pantry, I guess we're prepared for plenty of Jello, snowcones (FOUR flavors of syrup! Yum! LOL), a few day's worth of canned fruits and veggies, and some dog food. That's good eatin'!

So in an emergency, we're neither prepared to GO or STAY. :-/

The Diva on a Diet said...

Sure, but have you stocked up on toilet paper and leather jackets? I mean, I'd hate for you to be unprepared for a snow emergency. (Though, clearly, you've got the Snowcone emergency covered.)

Bwah! I should have referenced our favorite "Breakfast Club" line ... good one!

Looks like only Maddy and Deb are prepared. We'd better stick close to them! :/

pixelgal said...

Back in the day we were told to build a bomb shelter in our homes 'just in case'. Some did, we didn't and saved a lot of money in the bargain. It's probably a good idea to have candles on hand in case of a blackout or hurricane but the other stuff well may be just a lot of broadcasting b.s. Where's my "Victim of the Press" button when I need it???

Penelope said...

Yup, I've got the EVAC BAG and proud of it. During the last black out I was the only one in the 'hood with the 411 on the situation owing to my battery-powered radio. I'm not stockpiling goods to hunker down, rather I have an evacuation strategy. Let's all say our prayers that none of our preparedness or lack thereof will be tested again.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Amen to that, Penelope! I'm not at all surprised to hear that you are well prepared!

Pixelgal ... I think Papa Diva stole the "victim of the press" button! LOL

Sass said...

I am set, here in ol' Springfield, Illinois, for any emergency which would require massive quantities of peanut butter, ketchup, and apparently I'm of the notion that you can never have too many artichoke hearts.

As far as a go bag? Nope. Although I'm one of the few people I know who keep deodorant and scissors in my glove box. Ya just never know.

;-) Sass

The Diva on a Diet said...

Hello and welcome Sass!

Looks like our little community here has corned the market on snow cones, ketchup and artichoke hearts ... I'd say we're ready for anything. LOL and ack!

In a strange way, it comforts me to know I'm not the only slacker.