Monday, September 19, 2011

My National Preparedness Month Journal For the First Half of September

As most of you probably know, September is National Preparedness Month. I decided to keep a journal of my preparedness activities and observations during the month, at least until I got bored doing so.  Here goes.

September 1: Here in Texas, Senate Bill 321 goes into effect, allowing law-abiding citizens to bring their firearms to work, provided they leave those firearms in their vehicles while on the job.  Employers cannot punish employees who elect to do so, under the law.  Vehicles all across Texas become rolling arsenals, much to the chagrin of anti-gun forces. 

We may need our own rolling arsenal if Goldman Sachs’ report, leaked in late August and revealed by the Wall Street Journal today, is correct.
The newspaper reported Goldman advised its wealthier clients that “argued that as much as $1 trillion in capital may be needed to shore up European banks; that small businesses in the U.S., a past driver of job production, are still languishing; and that China's growth may not be sustainable.”

September 2: Stock market craters more than 260 points.  CNBC posts an article regarding how to predict when the rioting will start in Europe.

September 3: I prepare not one, but two, disaster meals.  The first consists of eating Yoder’s canned bacon, which has the shelf life of about five years.   My wife remarks it’s the most palatable survival meal she has sampled to date.  The second meal consists of lunch prepared with my solar oven, some stored pasta, and Provident Pantry’s Vegetable Stew Mix.  Note: a little table cream and Tabasco does wonders for this meal.  In fact, I ate the left overs for lunch the next day.

September 4: Texas spontaneously combusts due to high temperatures, high winds, low humidity, no rain, and Texas A&M withdrawing from the Big 12 Conference.  The smell of smoke hangs throughout our neighborhood that evening.  My thirteen year old step-daughter and I create a checklist of what she will collect once we are on Alert 5 status to evacuate the neighborhood.  Most of her list involves shoes, skin care products and her laptop.

September 5: I hurt my back bending over to pick up a screw.  Insert joke here.

September 6: NBC in New York reports 67 people – yes, you read that correctly – were shot in New York City over the holiday weekend. I am very skeptical of this story.  We all know New York City is a gun free zone; therefore, shooting someone with a gun in New York would be next to impossible.  I guess the gunmen (or gunwomen) were all from New Jersey.  Anti-gun forces remain perplexed to explain how this could occur in a gun free zone. 

September 7: Picked up the very first copy of very first book I recently wrote on developing disaster plans for law firms, due out in a week or so (and will be available on Amazon, I’m told.)  Offered co-workers an opportunity to have their picture made holding it.  No one takes me up on the offer.  Need to re-think my marketing plan.

September 8: Flew home to Tennessee to see family.  The Feds announce we’re at Threat Level Sea Foam Green due to an uncorroborated threat in New York City.  Wondered how it would affect my flight home.

September 9: Saw my high school alma mater get trounced in its first ever home football game.  Our kids held their heads high; their parents and alumni remain very proud of them for not being deterred in the face of adversity.

September 10: Fly home uneventfully.  My wife and I see the movie Contagion that evening.  Best part of the movie is when they peeled Gwynth Paltrow’s scalp off of her head in order to do the autopsy on her brain.  And it seems to me she does a lot of movies in which her character is having an affair.

September 11: Like everyone else, I thought of where I was when the planes started hitting buildings ten years ago today.  In an unrelated note, former California resident/wild fire veteran and law enforcement officer C. B. Fraser shared this guidance on wildfire mitigation tips for your house:

First and foremost, have an evacuation plan with two routs of escape. Second, pay constant attention to media reports and monitor scanner traffic from local fire and police transmissions. If you feel in danger, don't wait for official evacuation orders, just leave. After that the usual bug out procedures would apply. Have your car pre-packed with items you could not replace if lost in a fire. Have essential documents (insurance policies, deeds, birth certificates, social security cards, bank/investment records, etc.) on your person until fire danger passes. If time permits clear all brush and low hanging trees 50 yards from your property. Soak roof and surrounding areas with copious amounts of water.

September 12: Read an article from the past weekend’s Wall Street Journal on the recovery efforts in Fukushima.  One Japanese, Satoshi Abe, summed up his recovery philosophy nicely: “I didn’t want my kids and wife in heaven to see me in such a miserable condition, so I decided to live each day to the fullest.” And speaking of living each day to the fullest, I read an article sent to me by Atlanta Jeff about the “Porn Bunker” being designed to provide both entertainment and security during a possible grid down scenario.

September 13: I’ve determined that to be more prepared, I need to be in better physical condition.  One of my biggest shortcomings is my lack of flexibility.  So I take “Introduction to Yoga” at the gym this evening.  Our sensei (which isn’t the right term but it’s the only term I know to use for instructor-of-Far-East-form-of-exercise) is a very fit young lady who seems hell bent on embarrassing those of us who cannot turn ourselves into a human pretzel.  Note to first time yoga students – try to position yourself behind someone who is a) reasonably attractive and b) doesn’t have smelly feet.  You’ll be spending a fair amount of time looking at their ass and inhaling in whatever odors waft from their lower extremities. 

September 14: We had a brush fire on the premises of my office today.  Quite exciting.  I am (jokingly) accused of setting the fire by our emergency management personnel.  I quickly reply that if I am going to create a disaster at work, it will certainly be something far more grandiose than a simple brush fire.
September 15:  Halfway through National Preparedness Month. 

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