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Are you prepared?




Evening Times Editor Y ears ago, we ran a column in the paper by a guy who lived up in the Pacific Northwest named “Disaster” Dave Robinson. His column was called “Disaster Preparedness,” and it dealt with being ready to take action in the event of a disaster, natural or otherwise.

Now, I never actually met ol’ Dave, but we exchanges niceties over email from time to time, mostly just him checking in to make sure we got the weekly column or whatever. But just in those brief exchanges, I got the idea that he fancied himself somewhat of a survivalist, maybe even one of those “doomsday preppers” you used to hear a lot about around the whole “Y2K” scare and after 9/11 happened.

Well, the recent bouts of bad weather, which thankfully spared most of us here in Crittenden County, have had me thinking about some of the disasters we have faced over the years. I mean, we’ve so far managed, at least in this lifetime, to avoid the inevitable “big one” – the major earthquake that all the experts say is not only most definitely eventually going to hit this region but is also a bit over due. But we have, just in my 50 years on Earth, had multiple tornadoes, floods, ice storms and other disasters strike Crittenden County and surrounding areas.

There are other kinds of potential disasters, and they don’t all have to do with weather. You only have to watch the news to see that there is always potential for things like mass shooting, riots, civil unrest, fire, looting and, I suppose, even the possibility of something like another 9/11 attack or even an occasional insurrection.

What I’m saying is, sooner or later, the odds are it’s going to hit the fan in one way or another. The real question is on what level.

Actually, I guess the real question is, are you prepared? I mean, what are you going to do if (blank) happens? Do you have food and water? Do you have a first-aid kit? Do you have a generator? Gas to put in it?Do you have an escape plan? I ask myself these questions and to be honest, I don’t know that I would make “Disaster” Dave proud.

Honestly, except for the one on my phone, I’m not sure that I could put my hands on a flashlight right now if I needed to. I’ve got candles, but they’re the scented kind, so if disaster strikes, I can at least enjoy the vanilla and sandalwood wafting through the remains of my home while I wait for the Red Cross to arrive.

A lot of folks I know think having guns and ammo equals disaster preparedness. And I guess in a worst-case scenario, being able to hunt for food and defend oneself from bad guys would be a key to surviving, but you can’t shoot a tornado. Dave used to stress the importance of having a “go bag” – a backpack or other carrying case filled with essentials in the event that you found yourself stranded, isolated, trapped or in need of an urgent unexpected getaway. It’s actually a pretty good idea. But do I have one? I do not.

We do have an escape plan of sorts. My wife has family just on the other side of Crowley’s Ridge and they own a swath of land that is colloquially called “The Hill.” And we know multiple ways to get there without using the highway, so in the event that we end up in a “Red Dawn” type of situation, our plan is to make our way there. In addition to having the “high ground,” there’s a small arsenal there, so I guess we could see the Commies coming and take out as many of them as we could before being overwhelmed.

Is this really going to happen? Probably not, but it does make me think of a funny line from the 1980s Cold Warera movie WarGames, where a general asks, “Come on, what are the odds of the Russians attacking on a Thursday?”

We watch a lot of “apocalypse” themed TV in our house. There’s always a plucky rag-tag group of survivors trying to rebuild society, cure the virus or overthrow the aliens or whatever. I don’t know how realistic any of those shows are but the truth is, we are all likely to encounter a disaster of one kind or another in our lives.

A while back, I saw a thing on Facebook where a guy was standing on top of a truck firing a shotgun into a horde of zombies. There were two arrows on the photo. One pointed to the guy and said, “Where you think you’ll be during the zombie apocalypse.” The other pointed to the crowd of zombies and said, “Where you’ll actually be during the zombie apocalypse.”

Truer words were probably never spoken. So listen to me and “Disaster” Dave and get prepared. You never know when disaster may strike.

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