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.