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Archive for September 13th, 2007

Living in Florida, land of hurricanes, it was a shocker to hear New Yorkers talk on TV about how unprepared they are for emergencies. They shrugged their shoulders at basics such as flashlights, batteries and extra food and water. These people shopped daily because in their small living spaces storage was at a premium. I think of New Yorkers as boldly facing one obstacle after another with aplomb—and they do apparently—unless preparation is required. I think it is more that just a space problem. Perhaps they feel their attitude and strength are enough to face anything. Well, I’ve got news for them. A darkened stairwell in a power outage screams for a flashlight. Days without city services will leave them wishing they had filled a few water bottles and cans of tuna. As the TV talk went on punctuated by smiles of derision almost, someone mentioned dryer lint. Yes, dryer lint. It is great “kindling” for starting fires apparently. They all seemed distressed that they hadn’t saved any.

If only those running from the 9-11 toxic fumes and dust had carried scarves or bandanas they could have wet and held on their faces. Ouch! I no longer felt so smug about our Florida emergency supplies. I have since raided my bandanas and put a couple in the car and my purse. With our stock of food, plastic gallon jugs to fill with water for a couple of weeks, 5,000 watt generator that runs microwave, TV, refrigerator, lights and even a window AC, we assumed we had thought of everything. Now we have. Bandanas — Check.

Oh, and that dryer lint. I’m stuffing a coffee can a little each time the dryer stops. That should do it, except for one thing. Why the heck do I want to start a fire?

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