I spent my last $100 on plastic sheeting and an NOAA Weather Radio. Well, maybe not my last last $100, but it will be soon unless somebody wants to hire me or I crumble and answer that Craigslist add for busty topless housecleaner (I’m hoping that what I lack in bust I can make up for with thoroughness, I’m a very good cleaner).
I’m working on a story about how to put together a basic emergency supply kit with a step by step rundown of what to include with photos, a breakdown of costs, and where I found each item. It’s meant to encourage others to be prepared, especially with how easy and affordable it can be. (I may have copied and pasted that straight from my pitch…)
My partner Michael suggested that maybe I do less expensive stories, like ones that just need my fingers and a fully-charged laptop to create. Which really is great advice, especially three-quarters of the way through completing my end-of-the-world disaster kit.
It’s for a story. That’s become my catchphrase, mostly because it makes me feel really cool to say. Whereas the full story would actually be, “It’s for a story that no one will probably ever buy, and I will continue to dwindle my meager savings on essentials like pliers, and dust masks that are also for stories, until I have nothing left and will be forced to live in a box outside of Starbucks where I will mooch their wifi and, when the signal’s good, send out pitches of first person stories about life on the street, or my battle with meth addiction, because by this point I will almost certainly be on the pink glass.” (Yes I had to Google that and may have typed in ‘meth nicknames’ on account of I’m not in the know and have lots to learn if I do in fact end up addicted to illegal street drugs and other such life-threatening substances).
Michael was surprised that I was actually going to buy the emergency disaster kit stuff, and not just return it afterwards. I explained to him that I can’t exactly make a career out of not taking my own advice.
He wasn’t completely onboard, so I said I wouldn’t get him anything, and he could just sit outside my plastic-sealed room and listen to me munch on iodine tablets and guzzle purified water. I may have added that I really don’t want to have to say “I told you so,” but if it does come to that, it’s gonna feel really good.
He said I’d better not start wearing a tin foil hat and telling everyone it’s a conspiracy. To which I didn’t make any promises.
It turns out that putting together an end-of-the-world kit (I know that’s probably not the politically correct term, but the plastic sheeting on the checklist just sent me over the edge and now I can’t think of it as anything but) is trickier than I expected.
You can’t just go around telling people you’re shopping to be sustainable for 72 hours of sheltering in place.
They’re really far too friendly in Miner’s hardware store, that’s all there is to it. My arms were full of duct tape, when a helpful employee asked if she could find anything for me. I told her I was after plastic sheeting and she asked what it was for. The first things that popped into my head were disposing of a dead body, or redecorating. I went with the latter.
Next it was time to tick off the non-perishable food part of the list, which involved lots of peanut butter and critical questions such as — you’re trapped in a room with rising floodwaters, would you rather eat steak and gravy stew, or chunky beef and winter vegetables? The tsunami is on its way, would you rather have tinned pears or peaches? For the record, the answer is peaches, and not just because they’re 60 cents more, and I pride myself on expensive taste.
Roaming about Walmart with a map of local roads, moist towelettes (for ‘personal sanitation’) and an 88 cent can opener, I got a definite look when I asked where the whistles were kept. Why does everyone think I just sit about my house all day in a tin foil hat??
Once home, Michael enjoyed pointing out that I basically only bought foods he doesn’t like (which was definitely not deliberate, but I’m not denying that my subconscious may have been at work there), and moaned that his last meal on earth might be Chicken of the Sea.
How does that old saying go again? Something to the effect of don’t bite the hand that prepares the emergency disaster kit…
In-Case-Of-Emergency Fizzy Gin and Peach
Recipe serves 1 (plus maybe a few pity sips for whoever mocked your emergency disaster kit if you’re feeling particularly generous)
- 1.5 oz. gin
- 1 can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup
- 1 bottle orange mango or other tropical flavored fizzy juice (I used First Street Sparkling Glacier from Smart & Final )
Step 1. Apply dust mask. Seal off room.
Step 2. Measure 2 oz. of peach syrup. Empty the rest of the can into another container to eat as dinner with saltines and powdered milk.
Step 3. Fill the peach can halfway full of ice cubes (clearly an essential non-perishable food item) and pour back in the 2 oz. of peach syrup.
Step 4. Add 1.5 oz. of gin into the peach can, and top it up with the orange mango fizzy juice.
Step 5. Stir the drink, and garnish with a peach slice and cute straw BECAUSE OTHERWISE YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO INSTAGRAM IT AND THEN WHAT IS THE POINT OF MAKING IT EVEN.