Are we ever really prepared for disaster? by mr_balage

Times being full of natural disaster this weekend, the face that our Mother Earth is putting on seems a little formidable at the moment. The East Coast double whammy of earthquake and hurricane does seem extreme, and hopefully everyone there has put together an emergency supply of what they will need.

Living in tornado alley, we out here in Heat Dome Spectacular are always a bit ahead of what we can have thrown at us.  While I’m sure hopeful you have some of the necessaries like a few days’ stocks of water and non-perishable food, when all of the emergency services start suggesting we get a fresh battery for the flashlight, it’s time to check on the kit and on the gas in the car.  Incidentally, it’s not all about bottled water, you can fill the bathtub and/or a many gallon container for all purposes. Sanitation is a very nice thing.

Being inclined to travel anyway, I also keep a small suitcase with essentials like toothbrush and change of clothes ready. A week’s supply of any medications you might need is another basic. Also, charge the cellphone all the way up. If all the towers blow down, that won’t help immediately, but it will be a help later.

Have you been through natural disasters, or the threat of them? What’s in your emergency kit, or do you have one?  If you’re in the area threatened by Hurricane Irene, are you battened down and ready?  Or leaving town?

We haven’t experienced an actual tornado hit, right here where I am. I did live through a few tropical typhoons as a child, and have spent a few nights in shelters when they hit.  It might be that experience, but I respect storm warnings.  A couple of our houses blew down and we moved several times after collecting what was left of our stuff.

I also recall when we got nuclear bomb warnings in the 50’s, and schools held drills that had us ducking and covering. I may have a dramatic tilt, but I did make up my own little bomb shelter in the house, stocked with a few groceries I thought might come in handy. Surprise, surprise, not all cookies and soda, though I had a powerful sweet tooth back then.

Joplin MO was another big disaster, FDL helped out. photo by Ruth Calvo

Of course, I suppose we all have heard that we should always wear clean underwear just in case we have to go to the hospital.  It’s supposed to be what your mother told you, but actually I think it’s just standard urban myth.  Did your mother ever tell you that? Or was there another piece of wisdom that’s been handy or just something to keep in mind in case you’re caught short somehow?

There aren’t nuclear drills in the schools, as I understand it, these days.  We did have warnings that showed what the sky would look like if there were a nuclear blast, and I do recall the ghastly picture of the heavens going ballistic, all wiped out, and recall it was very real to us that we could disintegrate one day.

I still occasionally notice the sign that this is a fallout shelter, a refuge from nuclear attack that’s featured on some solid buildings, and have heard that sometimes they are used in natural disasters.  It’s a distinctive three-bladed wheel, in black and yellow, I suppose because those are the colors associated with emergency equipment. What are your plans for refuge in case of a disaster?  Mine is the closet in the center of the house, and a few pillows over my head.

Hopefully, none of this kind of planning will be necessary, and we’ll all be secure over the weekend.  If the hurricane would break up our terrible episode of heat and drought in the west, it would almost be welcome.

Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.