Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Big Daddy has been wanting to talk to me about emergency preparedness. He follows all the political stuff; he's good at it. (I am not good at it or interested in it. I'm good at things like cooking dinner, baking, taking kids to the library--things like that. That's what Division of Labor is all about.)

Since I'm not Good At Politics I did not want to talk about emergency preparedness. I did not want to hear that the government is urging people to be prepared for a pandemic of avian flu. I did not want to fill my basement with canned goods, peanut butter, bottled water and powdered milk. I didn't want to do it for Y2K, or 3 years ago when the whole "duct tape and plastic sheeting" thing hit. And I didn't want to do it now. I had heard nothing about it until Big Daddy brought it up and let's just say I was a bit resistant to the topic. OK, I was very resistant.

Then this morning I was listening to the TV news for the weather report. Usually I turn it off at 7 but my hands were busy, so I left it on, and suddenly Good Morning America is interviewing someone from the Red Cross about preparedness.

And after my school-lunchroom shift I picked up a copy of a magazine I enjoy (All You) and what do I find? A Handy-Dandy Pull-Out-And-Keep Guide entitled: "Be Prepared for Emergencies."

Obviously, Someone is trying to tell me something. Like "Big Daddy is right about this. You should listen to what he has to say."

OK. But do I really have to buy powdered milk? And, more importantly, how many bags of M&Ms per person should be in that disaster kit?


Steven said...

Dear SFO,

Just so you know, those of us in Florida who have lived here any length of time have had emergency preparednes kits long before they became "in vogue." We usually refer to them as Hurricane Preparedness Kits--but they are useful and important to have. More importantly, they don't take up much more room than a couple of book boxes.

I don't know where you're writing from, but I don't anticipate that you'll need fall-out shelter levels of emergency preparedness. Rather just a kind of rational support package in case of weather emergency or other natural calamity.

I'm just trying to say, you're probably right, and this will all be okay.



Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Steven, thanks for your input. I'm glad to know that most preparedness kits can really be that small (and I CAN pack! It's amazing what I can make fit into a small space).
And I'm writing from New Jersey, so we're relatively inexperienced at emergency kits.

Julie D. said...

Barb, this is quite timely as I just got a copy of Apocalypse Chow ... the name was so funny that I knew I had to get it. As a bonus it actually is quite a well written little book with many good ideas about food and places to look for other emergency preparedness supplies.

Now, on the M&Ms issue ... at least two 5-lb. bags, right?

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

At LEAST, Julie!
I ordered that book. Can't resist a new cookbook anyway, and that IS intriguing.

Michelle said...

It's funny...my husband just talked to me a few days ago about emergency preparation, too. The bird flu seems to be the disaster du jour. I go to the grocery store regularly and normally have a pantry stocked with granola bars, raisins, breakfast cereal and bottled water. I figure that's good enough and the Good Lord will provide all else.

Apparently, hubby attended a briefing on this topic and the man suggested Spaghetti Os as a good thing to stock up on: they have a pop-top and are "palatable even cold." I told my husband that Spaghetti Os were not palatable under any circumstances and I would not include them in my pantry.

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

NO, Spaghetti-Os are Never Palatable. What's good about overcooked pasta, salty tomato soup and "cheese-like product?"
Wouldn't a few Reese's Peanut Butter Cups require the recommended daily allowance of protein?