The Boy Scouts Are Right: Be Prepared!

Are you ready for The Big One? Earthquake, tornado, hurricane? Yeah, you’ll need supplies like water, flashlights, and shot glasses. However, if you’re going to spend three to five days waiting for rescue and/or civil services, you may enjoy having some comforting nonessentials. Forewarned is forearmed!

#1. Beaujolais Nouveau. This needs no explanation. Be sure to replace this in your kit yearly (at the very least) since it is always meant to be consumed young. The number of bottles will vary with your family’s ages, drinking patterns, and mental stability under duress. While you’re sitting in rubble in your garage, don’t disappoint yourself with bad wine! You may want to consider another vintage altogether, but for many BN inspires airy hope and bonhomie which may be in short supply.

#2. Humorous socks. At least four pairs, the kind that say things like, “Stop Reading My Feet,” “Who are all these tacky people?” and “My Thursday Sox.” There is very little more heartening in times of natural disaster than cheery footwear.

#3. Those peanut-butter filled pretzel thingies from Trader Joe’s. Now is not the time to worry about your blood pressure: Get the salted ones.

#4. Two pairs (minimum) regulation dice for gaming and also for betting with neighbors for such things as the very last of #1 or #3 above. You may even win your way to your neighbor’s nine-volt battery supply!

#5. Extremely dark chocolate. It’s certain insult to injury if you forego a simple daily need in the face of trauma. Be prepared.

#6. War and Peace and/or The Brothers Karamazov. What better time to throw yourself into epic Russian literature? Time-consuming and mind-improving. Can also come in handy to barter for food, water, and issues of People.

#7. Tarot cards. If not now, when? Do you remember back in college how much you learned about yourself and the dangerous future from that girlfriend who read these? Take time to listen to the cards again now. Don’t forget the long, boring manual. Both entertaining and enlightening, readings are especially effective by emergency candlelight.

#8. “Risk” board game. Popular in the 1970’s, this is a game that will keep you occupied literally for days. Conquering the world takes time! Combine with #1 above and the wait until rescue will pass as quickly as an aftershock.

#9. Beautifully leather-bound journal for those deep thoughts and crushing insights you’ll be having in the traumatic situation. You may be filthy and sleepless, but the mind is always a beautiful thing. Mont Blanc pen would be nice.

#10. An harmonica. Now’s the time to learn and fill those days and nights with “If You Miss the Train I’m On,” “City of New Orleans,” and “Freight Train Blues.” Encourage sing-alongs and general camaraderie! Be sure to learn “Happy Birthday to You” before The Big One so you’ll be ready. Little things mean a lot.

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