One thing we can agree on, regardless of your politics. Remember the following mantra when the worst happens. When the waters come, the bridges come crashing down, the fires erupt, the winds howl and you look towards the orange horizon of what once was your village, you must know by now: Nobody is coming. You are on your own. Only improvisation and your guile will get you through this one. You can tell stories of your escape later, but right now, you must escape.
Read the Maus books, or watch this man’s escape from New Orleans: from both you should take the lesson that it will take ingenuity to get through whatever hell is thrown at you. If you don’t fancy those odds, then an ounce of preparation can be your insurance.
Tessa and I bought our little place in Columbia County in the months after 9/11 – we thought it was just a place to store furniture from her deceased father, but later we came to understand it as a refuge when things in this country got too out of control. Later, we stocked the basement with canned goods, bottled water and various grains, but now that I’ve done the research, I didn’t do it any of it correctly. If the last four years has taught any of you anything, it’s to do these things correctly.
The solar panels and the Prius are all part of the larger picture: yes, we don’t wan’t to be “part of the problem,” but they are also selfish ways to survive when life gets lean for everyone else. And now that we’ve got little Lucy to rear, I’m edging closer and closer to being “apocalydad,” the weird guy in the basement that constructs his own bullets and has disturbing ham radio friends.
In New York City, we’re a target for all the big terrorist attacks, but also a debilitating snowstorm that could render us mute for a week, not to mention a repeat of the 2003 blackouts (imagine them lasting more than a few days). Here in Los Angeles, there’s always that 8.0 quake around the corner, felling every freeway bridge and collapsing cheap apartment houses.
Yes, I will go back to ranting about bad pop songs and telling butt-sex stories about Carolina eventually, but right now, every single one of you should spend fifteen minutes discussing your escape plan and putting together even a tiny little “to go” bag for you and yours. My Aunt Marilyn, who is Mormon and thus knows a few things about how to survive for a year in a closet, gave me this list for a start. Even if you only buy a few of those things, you’ll be stunningly better off.
My family has this meeting place for those of us in Manhattan, as it’s an easy jaunt: just take Broadway to 242nd Street and look for the “Comfort Station.” We haven’t worked out anything in LA yet, but absent a tsunami, the beach where Rose hits the water seems good enough.
Progressives and liberals all thought the government would take care of them in emergencies, but it’s obvious this particular administration couldn’t save a cat stuck in a tree. Conservatives don’t believe government should have to do anything, so you guys ought to be prepared anyway. All I ask is that you people just talk about it for a few minutes. It’s a hell of a lot better than spending your last dying minutes surrounded by human feces, your last insulin shot having been stolen by a thug with a gun, awaiting a Greyhound bus that will never come.
I never quote old blogs, but I like this one: “A contingency scheme is a flimsy parasol against the vicissitudes of a wicked world – and everyone knows the easiest way to get God to laugh is to make a plan – but having the Comfort Station is a cool salve for our worst thoughts, even if we pray we’ll never need that kind of comfort.”