© Cindy Beck, 2008
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, emergency preparedness, floods, disasters, Sanpete Messenger, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)
Some time ago, I mentioned a valuable news clipping that we found in our walk-in pantry ...
OK, I’ll be honest—the clipping was old and tattered, but I thought you’d pay more attention if I said it was valuable.
The newspaper article (Messenger-Enterprise, 1984) was on emergency preparedness, which is a euphemism for, “Hold onto your socks ‘cause this piece of writing will scare the bee-jeebers out of you.” A sense of panic fills my entire being—including my socks—when reading preparedness articles, so I normally burn them and watch as the hot ash floats into the neighbor’s drier-than-a-piece-of-split-kindling pine tree. Despite my burning inclinations, I’d saved this particular article so that if there were ever an emergency, I’d know what to do. Or not to do. Or how to hide under the bed until someone else—like FEMA—handled the emergency.
No, wait. I’d be better off calling in our dog, Corky Porky Pie, rather than enlist the aid of FEMA.
Below, for your edification, and since you probably don’t have a Corky Porky Pie to help you in a calamity, are quotes from the article. My comments follow the newspaper’s suggestions. Please note that for the purposes of today’s blog entry, I’ll only deal with impending floods. I can calmly discuss deluges, since the only water we’re liable to have at my home is from the in-the-ground sprinkling system … installed by my husband. The bathroom faucet pours out dirt.
If you have any other form of disaster, please feel free to call directory assistance for help. Once connected, a recorded voice will ask you—in Swahili—if you’d like to speak to an operator in French, Chinese or Chewbac-ish.
Also, please note that I realize calamities are not a laughing matter. However, due to my vast disaster experience—gained from watching the Poseidon Adventure and Titanic—I feel compelled to give my scientific opinion that the hysterical laughers get better seats on the life raft. And the compulsive weepers are always the first ones fed to the sharks.
So, drum roll, please …
Scary News Clipping: “In the event of a flood, fill available containers, including bathtubs, with water.”
Cindy: The purpose behind this is clear. If there’s an impending flood, we’re all going to need a long, hot soak in the tub to calm our nerves.
Scary News Clipping: “Move important items, such as food, furniture, rugs … electric motors and controls to upper floors.”
Cindy: The only electric motor at our house sits on a 1922 Weed Whacker. No doubt, I’m supposed to save it from the flood because it’ll come in handy to shred the seaweed that grows after the watery event. With a little luck you’ll own an electric trolling motor, which will give you a way to steer your house as it floats downstream.
Scary News Clipping: “Collect valuables, important papers and small appliances such as toasters, etc. …”
Cindy: Wow, really? Collect my toaster? Oh, yes, of course. That’s so I can eat buttered toast while taking my hot bath. And who’d have ever guessed that my hand-held soup blender or electric marshmallow roaster rated right up there with my birth certificate (which states I’m only twenty-nine) and Corky Porky Pie’s AKC registration?
Scary News Clipping: “Shut off utilities (electric, water, gas, etc.) at main switches. Do not touch electrical switches while wet or in standing water."
Cindy: Zzzzzzzzzt! Uh-oh, do I smell burning hair?
Scary News Clipping: “If possible, move frozen food to a locker plant.”
Cindy: This statement leads one to believe that a locker plant is impervious to flood waters. In that case, I say forget all the other advice and check yourself into the locker.
Just don’t forget to bring your parka, mukluks … and the dog’s registration papers.
(For less-humorous-but-more-usable emergency preparedness information, check out: Provident Living, Safely Gathered In, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--US Government)
What's playing in my head: A Day in the Life ( I Read the News Today) by the Beatles. Aaack, it's an earworm that's stuck in my head. Quick, someone comment and suggest another song!
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