From Frankenstorm to the Apocalypse: Are You Prepared?

Store shelves are empty in Virginia. Connecticut’s almost out of gas. Thousands are without electricity. And, most foreboding of all, Starbucks has closed.

This is the story of Sandy, the 1,000 mile mega-storm that’s now bearing down on the East Coast.

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As people scramble for batteries, water, and flashlights, and start queuing up their Netflix to watch marathon sessions of Law and Order, I got to thinking about the implications of this storm for even more serious scenarios. Like, I dunno, say, a global economic crisis, an unprecedented natural disaster, or, like, I dunno, maybe…an apocalypse.

Let me explain, when I say ‘apocalypse’, I don’t mean of the face-eating zombie type, or even end of the world through bloody revolution type, or attack by locusts, bird flu, or anything like that. I’m talking about the inevitable breakdown of economic structures, the crisis of peak oil, climate change, and exploding population growth.

A scenario that looks a bit like this. (These aren’t conspiracy theorists. This is M.I.T.)

Storms like Sandy kind of make you think of how dependent you are to the “grid” to everything like “creature comforts” to the very basics of your own survival (like food and water). Think about it. What happens when you can’t go to the supermarket to get food because the supermarkets are all closed because distribution can’t get in? Sure, you’ve got some SPAM or what not tucked away, but what do you do when that runs out?

And it’s great that the Government has things like FEMA, but not so great when it doesn’t work so well. Also, if Romney gets elected, it looks like we might have to kiss FEMA goodbye.

Three things about the storm that strike me as positive:
1. It brings the community together. It’s kind of like a wedding or a funeral. Neighbors and families come out of the woodwork to help each other out.
2. It encourages preparedness-thinking. Usually unmotivated people are now forced to think about things like food and water sources.
3. People get crafty. Check out my twitter sidebox or go to Twitter and search for #DIY #Sandy and you’ll see what I mean.

A Milk Carton Flashlight DIY Emergency Hack. Click on pic for more DIY ideas.

It’s a great opportunity to think about ways you can be more self-sufficient and self-reliant. Check out at all the awesome and creative ways you can do DIY emergency preparedness by repurposing household materials. It’s also a great way to think about the most vunerable people in your community: the elderly, the homeless, and how you can help out during this time.

So I urge everyone on the East Coast to stay safe!  Get some crafts done, read art books by candlelight, bond with your pets and family, check in on your neighbors, and think about ways you can make yourself more self-reliant during emergency situations.