Friday, October 21, 2011

Never waste an apocalypse

It's October 21st, and the world is supposed to end today, according to Harold Camping. Of course, he also predicted it was supposed to end back on the 21st of May, as well as September 6 1994, and May 21 1988.

Yes, he's a false prophet, and anyone who listens to him is a fool. But that's not the purpose of today's essay (I've already covered that here.)  Instead, I'm going to talk about how you can utilize idiocy like this as part of your general disaster zombie preparedness.

You know how you are encouraged to change the batteries and check the readiness of household smoke detectors every six months, and therefore the best dates to do so are January first and July fourth? The same principle applies here. Specifically:

Whenever you hear someone talking about an apocalypse, check and change your disaster stores.

  • Pull out your zombie kit, bug-out-bag, or whatever else you call your disaster supplies, and completely disassemble it. 
  • Check for signs of deterioration in everything: torn or frayed fabrics, leaking liquids, rusting metal, corroded batteries, non-functioning electronics, spoiled food, etc. 
  • Fix everything which can be repaired; replace or throw away everything which can't. 
  • Rotate out perishables like food, medicine, and batteries, so the may be used by the household. Replace them in the supplies with fresher materials that have more distant expiration dates. (Especially important if you maintain a disaster pantry.) First In, First Out is the order of the day. 
  • Perform basic maintenance such as sharpening and oiling knives, reinforcing weak stitches, etc. 
  • Launder stored clothes to eliminate storage odors and to kill anything which may have gotten inside.
  • Make sure you can still wear stored clothing. Bodies change over time, especially if you have children. Add, subtract, or replace as necessary. 
  • Pets are your family too. Ensure they have supplies (food, water, bowls, leashes, grooming items, toys.)
  • Ensure that your supplies are still portable if that is a priority (an evacuation kit as opposed to a bugging-in kit). A backpack that you can no longer carry is a very expensive rock. 
  • If at all possible, use many of the items in real conditions, such as on a camping trip or in your backyard. 
  • Make a list of where everything is. If you need a trauma bandage, you should know immediately in which bag to look. 
  • Add money to a disaster fund. ATMs will be down in an emergency and you may need to buy something (like fuel or food).
  • Arrange multiple predetermined rendezvous sites in case you are separated while evacuating, or disaster occurs while at work. Have at least one site for each cardinal direction, and make sure they are accessible in case standard overland routes (interstates, etc) are impassible. Make sure everyone has a copy of this list of locations. 
  • Practice whatever evacuation or preparedness drill you feel is relevant. Since my area is prone to both tornadoes and wildfires, I like to pretend that we have been given an evacuation order and have less than 15 minutes to leave the house. 
If you perform this basic maintenance whenever an "emergency," "threat" or "apocalypse" looms, you will be prepared for when it actually occurs. 

If you feel I have forgotten anything, please mention it in the comments below! Thank you. 

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