Are you prepared for the eventual collapse of society? I see you slowly backing away from me, but wait! Let me put away my tin foil hat and explain. I was recently searching for a new book to read, preferably something non-fiction. (I always make a reading resolution to read more non-fiction, but I never do). I stumbled upon a book called Lights Out by Ted Koppel. Koppel wrote about the likelihood of a cyber-attack against the country’s power grid, and how we’re ill prepared for a lengthy blackout. There would be no running water or means to refrigerate our food. The smart phones that we use constantly would be useless within days. Heavy stuff, right? Also, Koppel investigated the federal government’s planned response for such an attack, and, apparently, there isn’t one. So…we’re screwed.
I’m actually not all that worried about our impending doom, but it did get me to think about some common sense preparations in the case of a disaster, natural or otherwise. While the government hasn’t planned for a power grid attack, it does have suggestions for general disaster preparedness. The Department of Homeland Security created the Ready website to educate us on how to respond to emergencies, and, hopefully, raise the level of preparedness across America. If you go to the website, you’ll see a “Navigation” link on the left. If you click on that, it brings up the site’s content including an (almost) exhaustive list of the terrible things that could happen. Space weather (!) is on this list. Which–this gave me a chuckle–talks about damage to the electric grid, but not to the level that Koppel is worried about.
FEMA got in on the action (cause it’s their job) and made a Recommended Supplies List. Honestly, I need to get my act together. We don’t have most of the stuff on the list, and it definitely isn’t assembled into an Emergency Supply Kit. Did you look at that list? It says to consider having household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper in your kit. Why? Because if things get super dire, you can use it to treat water to make it drinkable by using 16 drops of liquid bleach per gallon of water. I did some checking into this, and that’s basically what city water treatment does. So, it won’t even taste weird. Fun stuff! If I sound like I’m making light of all this, I’m really not. I think it’s smart to be prepared. I’m going to start making my kit soon…Tomorrow, probably. I’m sure I’ll get around to it sometime.