Pillar to Post: Preparing for the Worst


By Angie Huether Crutchley —

Lent began on Wednesday of this week. I decided to give up regular sodas for 40 days this year. As the clock ticked its way from Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, the impending doom set in. I drank a six-pack of Coca Colas in anticipation (which may account for my early morning ominous thoughts as sleep remained unobtainable.) My thoughts lead me to Armageddon and the apocalypse. That brought me down the sleepless road to one of my favorite topics: prepping.
It all started when I used to watch a TV show called “Doomsday Preppers.” I even bought supplies for a bug-out bag (BOB), a supply kit with everything a person would need to survive for 72 hours in an emergency. I’m pretty sure my kit had more toilet paper than any other bag in North America.
Admittedly, my take on survival is far less serious than most. It’s fun to plan how to escape in any given catastrophe. Most of my plans involve grabbing as many Kit Kats as possible. The real fun is in collecting supplies for my BOB. I’ve been collecting items for eight years. I really like the food that is supposed to remain edible for up to 25 years. I may never find out because I’m highly suggestible and when Doug gets hungry, he decides that the $5 bag of broccoli and cheese pasta would taste much better than the $1.79 bag. He is correct. I know this, because we get in our stash about once a month.
I have these really adorable little Capri-Sun-like water pouches. I’m certain I’ve got at least five hours worth of hydration in my pouch. That should get me as far as Oyster on foot.
I have a backup plan for food. A coworker, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of pillagers, has taken up worm harvesting. A worm has around seven grams of protein. When the inevitable winds of change come howling down Rt. 13, I’m headed to the house of worms. By my count, I could gorge on worms day and night for over a month. Now please don’t go out eating worms this weekend and blame me for whatever comes next. It takes a special constitution … and creativity … to devour worms. Worms are wriggly and soft. Most pallets don’t respond well. This is where seasoning comes into play. Just take my word for it: salt and pepper won’t be enough. Creativity and imagination will be my saving grace (chocolate, the secret ingredient is chocolate.)
Another coworker, we’ll just refer to her as our fearless leader (again, “anonymous”), has a real love of geography and knowledge of all things coronavirus. It’s a pastime in the office these days to call out a city or country and watch as she stops what she’s doing and yells, “You can’t go there!” I like to imagine there’s a map in her basement with many, many stick pins.
I’m sure I wouldn’t survive any type of coronavirus if it came to the Shore. I talk to strangers … a lot. I may or may not be a hugger.
I prefer to survive storms. We live on a peninsula and that ocean to the east of us is mysterious and more expansive than we can see at the beach. (Side note: the answer is “Yes, I do have sunscreen in my BOB.”) Have you thought of a plan of escape in a worst-case scenario – such as Fourth of July traffic on a weekend? What would you do if you suddenly needed toilet paper? These are important questions that deserve solutions.
Let it be said that I also hope everyone survives in my little survival fantasies. I just hope that I survive the most.
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