Thursday 26 October 2017

Siege mentality

I was on about my pal Aedin's list of requested-and-required equipment and consumables after Hurricane Maria's tromp through Puerto Rico. It reminded me of a really useful list that was posted by a survivor of the Siege of Sebrenica 25 years ago . . . or was it Beirut in the 80s? Sebrenica went on for 3 years, so certain things could be used as currency because the most useful thing to do with folding money was to wipe the baby's bottom. I never made a copy of that list but I remember it included eggs, cooking-oil and toilet paper.  It is impossible to get google-help on retrieving the list  because, depending on the key-words and their order, I either get dumped into Betty Crocker cake advice OR into medieval sieges, rats and bubonic plague. It's important to reflect on the issue because we've had two damaging storms sweep though Ireland in the last 2 weeks compromising the infrastructure. Bottled water ran out in Dundrum! The Drummies had to make do with gin.  The thing is that people buy 5 lt of  drinking water in the supermarket and then send the empty container to land-fill. We have a few dozen of these things about the place ready to be filled with our own chlorine-free lightly-coliformed well-water. With a poly-tunnel needing to be watered, we are unlikely to be short of flushing water.  It's a bit different from Dau.I and Dau.II living in the city. A 4th floor apartment is not the place to store large quantities of water. Then again, cities are the first places to have power restored.

I was listening to a couple of talking-heads on the wireless re-churning the information that filling the bath with water before disaster strikes will sort out the flushing water supply for a few days - you need a bucket as well. Then I came across AquaPodKit, a product (basically a large plastic bag capable of holding 300 lt of water) which costs $30 and doesn't seem, to me, to have more utility than a bath-plug . . . which most folk have aNNyway. Customers Who Bought This Also Bought: Mountain Home Beef Stew $34.95 and Mountain Home Chili Mac with Beef $27.95 and Instant Nonfat Fortified Emergency Dried Milk Large Can $17.95.
Even with a freeze-dried 25 year shelf-life, (so it will stay fresh on your shelves until the [Armageddon] day you need it), and supposed 10 servings, these prices are so eye-watering that you won't need to tap into your AquaPodKit.

Where did I 'come across' and their expensive long-life food-products? By googling up emergency rations. And getting 20 Must Have supplies for a Hurricane. Most of these are applicable to a Zombie Apocalypse including the Hurricane Proof Window Shutters.  Some of the items are surprisingly mundane including a pack of playing cards and the list thankfully don't include those All American stand-bys Guns & Ammo to go with the beans. Everbode kno that zombies can take a bullet or two without harm, anyway.  Needless to say, all the items on the list are for sale on-line at  Another top-hit source of information is which is a Feds-approved site of authoritative information.  So get yourself:
  • Playing cards: piquet is a very civilised two-hander
  • Plenty of paracord, or an equivalent which I've been scooping off the beach these last several year. 
  • A plastic tarpaulin or two for when the roof disappears into the next county.
  • A whistle to keep folks digging because you're in there somewhere.
There was an unfortunate Irish mother on the wireless over the weekend talking about the downside of being without running water for a couple of days "the eldest girl succumbed to the winter vomitting bug on Sunday night before Ophelia" eeeuw, that's a lot to cope with if you only have wet-wipes and tea-towels.

Now here's some advice for those who, like most of us, have far-flung family. This Thanksgiving or Christmas, when you're all together, agree on a rendezvous for AYSHYF - after ye shytte hits ye fan. There won't be any phone coverage if it's a Carrington Event for example. It would be a sadly ironic state of affairs if we set off for Cork to rescue Dau.II and she sets off to Dublin to succour Dau.I and she heads off towards our mountain because she knows there will be wool to knit sweaters against the Ice Age. It should be like it was when The Beloved and I were courting. No txts then, so you'd have to make a date to be there, then by post-card and not be [tooo] late. 

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