“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.
As native Californian I’ve experienced my share of earthquakes. Some I’ve slept through, others were over before I could even react, and one I thought must be a large truck rumbling by, only to feel the heart-stopping jolt seconds later. A few (thankfully only one or two) had me running for the door. I instinctively know this is wrong, but hey, we’re talking self-preservation here. Somehow a doorjamb or our dining room table with its half inch thick glass top doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in me as a life saver
It’s like the ol’ duck and cover (yes, I’m that old) drill I learned in elementary school. They obviously meant well, and were concerned for our safety, but although furniture in those days really was built like a tank, I’m dang sure my initial-scarred, solid wood third-grade desk wouldn’t have fared well against an atomic bomb.
Living in sunny, southern California, most of us choose to not think about earthquakes, or prepare for any sort of natural disaster. The closest we come to preparing is shopping at Costco where we can’t help but buy thirty rolls of toilet paper, a four-pound tub of Best Foods mayonnaise and a six pack of underarm deodorant. Because buying in bulk is cheaper, right? Even in an emergency we will not have to resort to leaves, or have body odor, and if you have the twenty pack of Chicken of the Sea tuna, we will sooner or later find each other.
Every time I see the news about a tornado or a flood, I wonder what’s wrong with those Midwest people. Get the heck outta there. You know it’s gonna happen. I know it’s gonna happen. For goodness sake, everybody knows it’s gonna happen. Yet they say earthquakes scare them. Are you kidding me?
Am I prepared for the big one? Well, eh… I have some peanut butter, a couple bags of ramen and two hundred paper plates, so, yeah.
That was obviously a joke. Not the supplies. That’s real. Actually I’m woefully unprepared. The real preppers are probably sitting in their concrete-lined bunkers right now, shaking their heads. Because if you’ve ever seen news reports f before a hurricane, you know the grocery store shelves look like Mother Hubbard’s cupboard and the dog definitely ain’t getting’ no bone. Imagine that in California where they eat their young. It would get ugly fast, so I’ve got a backup plan. I’ve downloaded a map to all the stars homes. Not to sight see, but so I know where all the food is.
In the event of a natural, or unnatural disaster, here’s some things you should have and know.
H2O is the big number one. If you’ve ever watched the television program “Naked and Afraid,” between squinting at the blurry images, you’ll learn that thirst can take you down fast. You can live for weeks without barbecued lizard or a handful of grubs, but only days without water.
The average person needs one gallon of water per day. Oh, and don’t forget man’s best friend. Spot needs water too. Stash at least two weeks’ worth of unopened, bottled water.
Make sure to check periodically and replace when expired, or every six months. While you’re shopping, grab a bottle of unscented liquid chlorine bleach that’s safe for sanitizing and disinfecting water
You can also purchase survivalist straws such as ones sold by glacialstream.ca. They are designed to filter out contaminates like lead. E. Coli and the fungus that’s among us. They generally last six months or 200 gallons of water.
I realized this is a no-brainer, but how much non-perishable food do you have? This isn’t counting the two dusty cans of Campbell's “cream of what-the-heck” that the previous renters left behind and the packets of soy sauce that have a thousand-year shelf life.
Here’s what you might need according to an article at verywellfit.com called 12 Tips for Stocking an Emergency Food Pantry
Jerky has been around since the 1500’s or forever, depending on who you believe. Jerky is cool. Clint Eastwood always chawed on it in his spaghetti westerns movies. It’s full of protein, and if sealed is edible for at least two years. Homemade… well it’s a disaster. Beggars can't be choosers. Can you say squirrel jerky? Oh, and its high in sodium, so you might need more water. Grab your survivalist straw and hit the toilet tank or the neighbor’s pool.
Peaches and Pears and Peas, Oh, My
Unless you or your neighbor (assuming he’s nice and not armed) have a fruit tree, you gotta go to the can. Fruit is full of vitamins and vital minerals. You can add beans, beans the magical fruit to this list. Hot or cold their delicious. Leave the tent flap open. You’re welcome.
Soup Is Good food
I like the chunky variety. It’s a hearty meal, even without water. Vegetable, chicken noodle, minestrone are my favs. Cream soups are suspicious. What’s hiding in there? Cream is milk. Milk goes bad, I don’t trust it. Cup-o-Noodles is good, but requires heat, a pan, and a trip to the toilet tank.
Nuts and Seeds
I love nuts and seeds. They are nutritional, tasty and great for attracting small, woodland creatures that would look good on a paper plate with some packaged soy sauce and a heap of cold pork and
I’m not a raisin fan. Not in my cereal or in my trail mix. But dried fruit is chock full of good stuff, and you can put it in your pocket, so no one hits you over the head and steals it. Win, win.
This healthy carb alternative will outlast bread, and unopened can stay reasonably fresh for six months. I prefer Ritz and Saltines. To each his own. So, if we run into each other in the abandoned grocery store, and all that is left is raisins whole-grain crackers, don’t shoot me.
Chicken of the Sea
Canned fish is a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. I believe mayonnaise has this omega stuff, but I don’t recommend using it after the power goes out. They come in a variety of containers that can be McGyvered into drinking cups and foil pouches, and if sewn together, make a darn good acid rain-proof poncho. It’s all about re-purposing, folks. Lastly, sardines are awesome with crackers (saltines, please) and make great bait.
Well, that’s enough for now. I need to get to Costco before the big one hits.