27 August 2011

Disaster Shopping

In the face of worst-case-scenario planning from public officials up and down the eastern seaboard, people are shopping like crazy to stock up in case they run out of power.  And I wonder: how much of that stuff is going to get used?  How much is going to go straight to the landfill after the storm passes?

The mayors and governors aren't wrong: they need to plan for problems.  But do people really need to buy that much stuff to prepare?  Are people's kitchens and refrigerators really completely empty?  Or am I the rarity, in that I have a large kitchen cabinet full of food?

Yes, I'll cook today, in case the power goes out later.  A big pot of soup, maybe some rice, maybe some grits.  An extra pot of coffee, in case the I can't boil water tomorrow morning.  I've already filled several containers with filtered water; I'll fill the tub later after everyone has showered.

We have plenty of candles and matches in the house, and a handful of flashlights of one sort or another ... but it's not far from midsummer, and there's going to be plenty of daylight, too.

Disaster planning should involve making good use of what's already around one's home -- which includes, first and foremost, the brains inside our heads.