15 September 2009

"Contingency Plans"

Sometimes I go in to planning mode for Apocalyptic and lesser scenarios. Unlike most people, I do not really think that I would be one of the few survivors of some terrible catastrophe. I am relatively sure that I would be either wiped out in the first wave or die soon afterward.

Even the most basic catastrophe, I am woefully unprepared. What if transportation shut down today, leaving me with no way to get food or get out of town?

First, I have a hard enough time thinking about what to eat day-to-day. If we rationed our food, we probably have about a month of slightly above starvation level. Maybe a little more. After that, we will be eating the fish in the koi pond. I also have some understanding of edible plants in the area and I do know how to prepare several common garden plants and weeds to eat. However, given that I live in one of the larger metro areas in the region, I will be competing with about a million other people.

More important than food, water will be a significant issue. Plumbers shut off the water for the neighborhood last week and we were without any water for the evening. I have been in a situation with not potable water before and it is not fun. But that was in a smaller city and the National Guard came in and provided drinking water. At this moment, I have several sources of water to use, mainly ice and the toilet tanks. After that, we will be collecting rain water and filtering the koi pond (after we eat the koi.)

If there was a breakdown in law and order then I again would be behind my neighbors. I am willing to bet that there are better armed people within 5 miles of me. Even for defense, a pistol is better than the simple swords, knives, and clubs I have access to. I do have martial arts training but not much of a response to a firearm. If they wanted to, my meager supplies would be gone.

Without even one zombie, alien, or nuclear bomb, I am pretty screwed. So what can I do about it? I could start stockpiling canned goods. Start canning more food on my own too. If I had a way to do so, I could build a cistern to supply emergency water. There are plenty of places in my house that could store a large water container as well. I do not want to own a gun so the best way to avoid raiders is to give the impression that we have nothing or we have already been raided. Then find a place to hide our stores.

The best way to avoid the pitfalls of the metro area in a disaster is to plan an escape route. No interstates, get to the first point on one tank of gas. We have bicycles, so once the care dies, we have human powered transportation. We also have a tent so there is emergency shelter. Of course camping may be worse than the city as we have a less defensible position and less supplies. We would have to make our way north to a cabin in the mountains; several of my friends have cabins and it would be a matter of picking one to go to. Plus many of the cabins are rentals so likely to be empty. Of course, "cabin in the woods" also means "people with guns" so we would have to be careful. I would say move south to my parents but they are worse supplied than us and live near a military base. While a base would be a good place to go for protection, it would also be a good target and there are closer bases than that one.

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