“You've got to have a sense of humor to keep your sanity.”
As we begin another year, I sat down to ponder if there was anything I should be worrying about and, perhaps planning for. Nothing readily came to mind except for global warming, ISIS terrorists, botched immigration reform, Ebola, artificial intelligence, killer asteroids, race riots, nuclear destruction and, possibly the worst, a nationwide recall of Snickers candy bars.
I suppose these come from my need for a daily dose of depression, which I solve by picking up the daily paper, and, for an extra boost watch the nightly news. One or both will provide me with numerous potential disasters to fixate on. I sure long for the days when Alfred E. Newman (Mad Magazine) professed, “What, Me Worry?” And back then most of us didn't.
But alas, times have changed and now we have potential calamities coming out of our ears, but how can we possibly prepare for them short of bending over, grabbing our posterior and kissing it good-bye. Not being as flexible as in the past, I guess I'll opt for preparation, but where to start?
So I did what any withering mind would do, I Googled “disaster preparation.” The first thing that came up was the website for www.ready.gov produced by the Department of Homeland Security. It is actually very well done and has a great amount of detail on being informed, making a plan, building an emergency kit and other important considerations. I would be remiss if I didn't admit that we have had an emergency kit for many years and recommend them to family and friends. The kit includes such things as water, food, flashlight, batteries, crank radio, plastic bags and, probably the most important, a manual can opener.
A couple of points on emergency kits, for what they are worth. Although they advise you to maintain your kit yearly, it is typically placed in a cool, dry place, out of sight and mind. If you are fortunate not to have a disaster affect you, which is the case for most people, when and if you move, it will be found. If this is the case the water is probably okay, but might have a strong plastic taste, some of the canned food might have expanded dangerously close to explosion and one of the pets may have passed on, thus not needing the food, which could possibly suffice for a tasty dinner without anything else edible. They also suggest you keep some cash in a safe place in case credit cards are not accepted (by space aliens?). It's another challenge remembering where you put the cash in case you have very little time to sneak into your neighbor's bunker.
But back to the major point of this story, which I suppose you think was already covered. Not so fast, Bucko! The aforementioned website lists the disasters for which to prepare and includes earthquakes, winter storms, tornados, hurricanes, wildfires and floods. That's all well and good, but what about those listed at the beginning of this article? In the opinion of the mass media pundits, those disasters are more likely to befall us than the Acts of God the government cite. But then, how do we prepare for them? I already covered the Snickers problem with a major purchase at Costco. However, the others are a bit more challenging.
As far as I can tell, it seems our government is thinking about ISIS terrorists, Ebola, immigration reform and race riots and hopefully planning for any potential problems that might befall us. Also, the last time I checked Al Gore, John Kerry and a number of Hollywood celebrities have global warming under control, which leaves only nuclear destruction and asteroids to worry about. For those, I think forcing ourselves to bend over and say good-bye is the best plan. I would welcome any other suggestions, and by the way, have a good new year!
Don Frendberg is president of Phase 3 Insights. Contact him at 614/208-6801 or dfrendberg909 @gmail.com.