Pointless CounterpointBy Keeker & Loomis
Brandon: Hey Korry. If you had to, could you survive for seven days?
Korry: Perhaps, if I had my blankie.
Brandon: Well then, good thing the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has thought about it. In the accelerating blitz of government hand-holding comes now the "Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness 7-Day Survival Kit" - because nothing says counter-terrorism initiative like canned meat. On the cover is one photo of a rift in the earth and another of an apparent rescuer in the World Trade Center rubble. "Take the next 24 weeks and build a 7-day survival kit!" Sounds simple enough, and efficient.
Korry: I feel vulnerable.
Brandon: In a sly attempt to avert mass hysteria over impending chemical and biological attack, the agency put duct tape in Week 2 and plastic sheeting in Week 21. Because I was a Boy Scout, I've already got this handled. But otherwise we're weeks behind. I just found the three-page pack rat guide on the Internet (www.ak-prepared.com/dmva/press-releases/calendar.pdf), but they already handed them out to thousands at the Alaska State Fair and the Tanana Valley Fair this summer. We've work to do.
Korry: Let's take my scooter to Super Bear. You can sit in the side car.
One gallon water per person (pp); 1 jar peanut butter; 2 large cans juice pp; 2 cans meat pp; 1 hand-operated can opener; permanent marker; pet food; diapers; baby food. Date perishable items with marker. Decide on and notify out-of-area contact who can coordinate information for scattered family members.
Korry: It's a good thing I have hands, so as to operate the can opener.
Brandon: Keep your hands off the canned meat, Korry. By the time our kit is complete, in Week 24, we're supposed to have 10 cans of meat per person. Dip into the canned meat early and the terrorists have won.
One gallon water pp; 2 cans meat pp; 2 cans fruit pp; feminine hygiene supplies; paper and pen; local map; pain reliever; laxative; 1 gallon water per pet. Find out about what kind of disasters can happen in your area. Encourage your neighbors to develop their own plans. (Then they'll tell two friends. Then they'll tell two friends. And so on. And so on.)
Korry: I really felt like a pervert in the check-out line with four boxes of feminine hygiene supplies and 10 cans of meat.
Brandon: Let's use the paper and pencil to tally up what we've got: Paper and pencil, for playing hangman and writing messages in bottles. A gallon of pet water, for when Gold Creek flows backward. A permanent marker, because who would think to buy one in peace time? Laxatives, so we'll have a use for the feminine hygiene products. Lots of good eats.
Scissors; tweezers; thermometer; liquid antibacterial hand soap; disposable hand wipes; sewing needles; petroleum jelly or other lubricating cream; two tongue depressors; extra eye glasses.
Brandon: Say "ah."
Pet litter and box; extra water; pet first aid kit. Make sure that all pet vaccinations are current and obtain medical records from veterinarian for disaster records. Keep emergency supply of any special pet medication needs. Photocopy important papers and store them safely.
Korry: The earthquake may decimate our town, but at least I've documented my puppy's case of rubella.
"Child-proof" latches or fasteners; quakehold museum putty to secure moveable items of shelves. Secure doors and moveable items.
Brandon: Let's simplify this one and putty the kids in their cribs.
Korry: We could, or we could simply photocopy them and store them safely. There's space in the jar of peanut butter.
Brandon: Hey. We've got canned salmon and we've got peanut butter. Let's have a recipe contest.
Korry: Flambé 1 salmon fillet. Add bourbon. Mix peanut butter and petroleum jelly. Smear on chest. Drink more bourbon.
Brandon: Did we get pet bourbon?
Two cans meat pp; 2 cans vegetables pp; 2 boxes facial tissue; 2 boxes quick energy snacks; dried fruits and nuts. Assemble an activity box with playing cards, games and other favorite toys.
Korry: The power has been out for days. The lack of clean water has left me with dysentery, typhoid and SARS. All my neighbors are dead.
Brandon: Give me the paper and pencil. I want to remind myself that on this day in 1787 the U.S. Constitution was completed and signed by a majority of Constitutional Convention delegates, and that in 1964 the situation comedy "Bewitched" premiered on ABC.
Brandon Loomis and Korry Keeker do not live together. Loomis is city editor of the Juneau Empire and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; Keeker is the Empire's arts writer and can be reached at email@example.com.