Sharing a bbq dinner with our son, Jake, and his family, and we all got to talking about the bizarre series of natural disasters that were occurring around the globe. It seems like every day we heard about yet another flood, earthquake, wildfire, famine, or plague of locusts that has descended upon some unsuspecting community (although I would submit that if your entire neighborhood has burned to the ground for five years in a row, you might want to amp up the odds in your favor by moving to an alternate zip code).
The discussion inevitably turned to Emergency Supply Kits and the fact that most people (okay, us) don’t have one. Maybe it’s just human nature. “It can’t happen to us.” “We live in Oregon. Nothing bad happens in Oregon.” Well, since experts tell us we share a major fault line with San Francisco, and we all KNOW those people are going to sink into the ocean like the lost city of Atlantis someday, it appears that, like the biblical Ruth, where they go, we go, so we decided it might be time to admit the need for a little disaster preparedness.
Jake thought it would be helpful to bring out his military Emergency Supplies Checklist, which brought back memories of taking him “deployment shopping.” The list included headlamp, ballistic sunglasses, knife, thigh rig and extra magazine, automatic survival rifle, snare, extra ammo, hatchet, waterproof matches, water purification tablets, survival blanket, flares, and a whole assortment of items guaranteed to launch a maternal meltdown of mindless rocking, back and forth, endlessly wailing “He’s just a baby!” and longing for the days of shopping for crayons, Pee Chees, and Power Ranger lunch boxes. Notwithstanding that Jake’s kit was certainly thorough and would undoubtedly come in seriously handy if you were ever caught alone in the deep woods and were being stalked by a crazed sniper, it seemed a bit apocalyptic in nature and I wasn’t sure we needed to go quite that far (this is Oregon, people). Ultimately, we all agreed that something a little more “family friendly” might be sufficient to save our hides in case the earth had a seismic Parkinsonian tremor one night while we were snuggled in our beds.
So the next day, Kenny brought home our new kit. Tossing the entire contents of the third shelf in my laundry onto the kitchen floor (yeah, I’ll be cleaning that up later), he lined up our survival items in pristine rows and handed me a checklist for inventory. Bottled water? Check. Flashlight? Check. First-aid kit and extra batteries. Yep. Matches, trail mix, and jerky? Check, check, and check. Looking good, Big Guy, but lacking a certain something. Hmmm.
I taped a large “HIS” sign to that shelf, and emptied out the one directly underneath it, taping a “HERS” sign in the center. Loaded it up with 3 bottles of Cabernet (and travel corkscrew), a super-size box of Milk Duds, half a dozen fabulously scented candles from Pacifica, face mask, pedicure kit, “Scarlett” (fat sequel to Gone With the Wind) paperback, and my fluffy pink Snuggie with feet (if there ever was a time…).
So bring it on, Mother Nature. The Claflin’s are READY.