The cable news channels hold the answer: Soon. And not in a land far far away. Here. In our own backyards.
Images of last month’s deadly tornados in the South were heartbreaking. Hurricane season is just around the corner. And it seems like every other day, a seismologist is on air predicting the massive earthquake that’s sure to hit my city: Los Angeles.
More than once I've thought to myself: I can’t walk or drive. If there’s a natural disaster, I’m getting left behind! These moments remind me to be extra nice to my husband.
I raised my concerns over dinner last week. My girlfriend Bridget has mod bangs and reads the New Yorker cover to cover. She’s wise beyond her years and still manages to smile often. She stated calmly, “Don’t worry. No one's leaving you. If an earthquake hits L.A., the freeways’ll be gridlocked.” She added, nodding her head reassuringly, “We’ll all be stuck here.” That made me feel a little better. I started thinking about the provisions I have at home: a few cans of garbanzo beans, organic dog food, the water left in our Brita pitcher. Bridget leaned over her bowl of steaming Pho soup and whispered, “But, Ellie, what should really concern you is…the Zombie Apocalypse.”
Apparently, the Zombie Apocalypse hasn’t only been on Bridget’s mind. This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse campaign to raise awareness for emergency preparation. The blog was so popular, the site crashed.
(And I'm sure you already have plans for the weekend, but don't forget the Rapture is Saturday. From what I gather, God will scoop up all the good Christians, and all the sinners left on Earth will be in major trouble. An Emergency Preparedness kit couldn't hurt.)
It was high time I stopped procrastinating. Where’s the best place to stock up? Costco. The membership warehouse sells everything, including caskets, so I wasn’t surprised to see they offer a readymade Emergency Preparedness kit online. It includes everything: finger splints…a 50-foot rope…a coloring book with crayons.
What? I couldn’t order a disaster kit with crayons. That’s so sad. Why do bad things happen to kids? I crutched away from my laptop and stress-snacked on a bag of almonds (a protein source I will wish I had saved if an earthquake hits before our next trip to the grocery store).
So, I compiled a kit on my own, sans crayons. It's fairly simple to put one together, but it is tedious. I found a detailed list online and ordered most of the Boy Scout stuff a-la-carte on Amazon. I’ll be thankful if it all goes unused. But, it’s reassuring to know it’s coming in the mail. I just hope it arrives in time. Now, it's your turn. Get it done!
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger