For all of us who made through the last week in the Baltimore area, with one earthquake, one hurricane, the sad suicide of Mike Flanagan and all the other mishegas we dealt with, we now take time to reflect on all that's gone on, and how to prepare for the next set of woes and tribulations.
First thing, and I know we've all heard this before, but there are two types of plans to be made. Long before people start running to Drugs 'R' Us for flashlight batteries, bottled water, granola bars and mascara, it's a good idea to have a supply of those items on hand. A good flashlight is indispensable when things go dark, and every home needs one, with a supply of batteries. Canned food and a regular old fashioned cranky can opener will make your stranded days better. A battery-operated AM-FM radio is also a required item so that, while the power is out, you can tune in radio talk shows and hear other people spin their anecdotes about life as a frontiersperson. A corded phone will come in handy, because your portable is DFM* the minute the electric goes out. You might also think about keeping one of those mobile chargers in the car for your cell; you can always charge up out there (don't leave the car running in the garage!) (And don 't run a generator in the garage! Don't even run laps in the garage!)
Having supplies on hand is long-term planning; for the short term, you need to fill the coolers with ice and fill the spare tub with water; if the power goes out at the pumping station, you'll find it hard to go with the flow when there is no flow. A handy way to make some useful ice is to round up all the plastic tubs in the kitchen - the one-time margarine or cole slow containers that you keep around to dole out Thanksgiving leftovers - and take the ones with no lids, fill them with water and put them in the freezer compartment a day ahead of The Big One. Then you'll have big ice chunks to keep the ginger ale nice and cold.
Make a plan with the family, charge up everything and get ready to rumble.
One last piece of advice: if, say, you're a presidential candidate with a braying adenoidal whine and a tenuous grip on both facts and reality, please do NOT go around Florida saying, “Washington, D.C., you’d think by now they’d get the message. An
earthquake. A hurricane. Are you listening! The American people have
done everything they possibly can, and now it’s time for an act of God
and we’re getting it!”
At last count, 26 people died from causes attributable to Hurricane Irene. 26 people. And Michele Bachmann said that dumb thing about it being God's revenge, which would mean that God made a chimney fall on an 85-year-old woman in Queenstown, MD because He wanted to send a message to America about Michele Bachmann being right about all this spending. Then she said it was a joke.
With a little pre-planning, she could have ordered some jokes that were a little funnier than that. Michele Bachmann, submissive wife, presidential candidate. Maybe we should stop telling little kids that anybody can grow up to be president!
*DFM: technical medical term, shorthand for "dead as a friggin' mackerel"