Disaster Kit
February 11, 2003 12:48 PM   Subscribe

US government suggest that all homes should have a disaster kit, in case of terrorist attack.
posted by Beholder (59 comments total)
 
just curious...am I the only one not the least bit scared of a terrorist attack?
posted by mcsweetie at 12:52 PM on February 11, 2003


No you are not.
posted by jennyb at 12:55 PM on February 11, 2003


>>A: A battery-powered radio (with extra batteries) so you can listen to instructions from authorities.

I'd like to annouce the name of my new band:
Instructions from Authorities
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:55 PM on February 11, 2003


I think it's time to bring back Bert the Turtle.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:59 PM on February 11, 2003


Game over, man! Game over!
posted by vraxoin at 1:00 PM on February 11, 2003


Duct tape. Don't be home without it.
posted by konolia at 1:06 PM on February 11, 2003


at present, i fear my own government far more than i fear any terrorist.
posted by quonsar at 1:07 PM on February 11, 2003


Q: What else should be in a kit?

A: At least three days' worth of water (one gallon per person per day), canned and other non-perishable food, over-the-counter medicine and regular prescription medicines. Flashlights. A non-electric can opener. Diapers and baby food. A wrench, if needed, to shut off utilities. Copies of important documents, such as wills, deeds, bank account numbers, insurance papers and immunization records in a fire- and waterproof container. Duct tape and plastic sheeting.


Uh, right--I'll go buy these things right away. Is this the gov't's last-ditch plan to stimulate the economy?

Perhaps I should buy a hunting knife and shotgun, too, as this is what many of my neighbors will be toting.

But who doesn't keep duct-tape in their cars already?
posted by Shane at 1:08 PM on February 11, 2003


it's a pretty sad state of affairs when you're more afraid of your own government than the terrorist network bent on destroying your way of life.

on preview: what quonsar said!
posted by mcsweetie at 1:10 PM on February 11, 2003


One columnist's disaster kit: a big bottle of Jim Beam in a large-sized, zip-locked plastic baggie.
posted by soyjoy at 1:10 PM on February 11, 2003


Duct tape. Don't be home without it.

Just don't use it on your ducts.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:10 PM on February 11, 2003


Anyone else thinking of the cartoons in the '70s that said, "In case of nuclear attack, bend over and kiss your ass goodbye"..?
posted by Shane at 1:10 PM on February 11, 2003


This is the kind of stuff you should have anyway. Keep your documents in a fire safe, and keep everything else somewhere in your house. The only thing I don't have is the plastic sheeting, and I'm not worried about a terrorist attack anyway.

Every area has natural disasters that do happen, be it tornados, snow storms, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, etc. If you camp (Like me) you don't need to even think much about having a 'kit'. If you don't, it would probably good to think about keeping at least a few small things around, just in case.
posted by klaruz at 1:11 PM on February 11, 2003


at present, i fear my own government far more than i fear any terrorist

I would imagine that un the UP you would have not much need for fear of either, not likely that suddenly they are going to cramp down on yoopers' civil rights or that Al Queda is going to suddenly go ballistic in S St. M. I live in DC, I fear both, I think I'll get some water just in case.

Shane, you don't also happen to carry a ski mask and a length of rope in your car do you?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:14 PM on February 11, 2003


Present and accounted for, Sir!
posted by ducktape at 1:17 PM on February 11, 2003


I'll give up my plastic sheeting when you pry my cold, dead fingers off it.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 1:18 PM on February 11, 2003


Shane, you don't also happen to carry a ski mask and a length of rope in your car do you?

I have such bad luck I have those plus a mini-crowbar, various wrenches and multi-tools, water and snacks, old lockpicks and car-openers, multiple jacks, superglue, string, disposable razors (why be stranded and stubbly?), a good book, gloves and hat, Loads-O-Stuff, etc, plus a Leatherman Squirt constantly in my pocket. You're right--I've often wondered what the Highway Patrol would think of my trunk-stash.

"Be Prepared": It's not just the Boy Scout Motto. It's what you tell yourself as you kick yourself in the ass for not having the right size tire-iron.
posted by Shane at 1:24 PM on February 11, 2003


Q: What should I do in a radiological attack?

A: Seek shelter below ground and stay there until told otherwise. If you're caught outside, lie on the ground and cover your head.


Cause that's really gonna help.

posted by lilboo at 1:26 PM on February 11, 2003


A: Seek shelter below ground and stay there until told otherwise. If you're caught outside, lie on the ground and cover your head.

Cause that's really gonna help.


They left off the part where you're supposed to cover your ears and scream "La La La I can't hear the attack this isn't happening!"
posted by bondcliff at 1:28 PM on February 11, 2003


A: Seek shelter below ground and stay there until told otherwise. If you're caught outside, lie on the ground and cover your head.

Cause that's really gonna help.


It keeps up morale by hiding your horribly burnt and scarred face. We're all gonna die. BOOGA!BOOGA!BOOGA!

My disaster survival kit is a single envelope containing my voter registration card. Can't wait for a chance to use it!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:31 PM on February 11, 2003


I think you're supposed to duck and cover so that your face won't fry off and they can identify your remains better, should there be anyone to identify anything left.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:32 PM on February 11, 2003


When the bombs go off, I will be drinking my disaster kit.
posted by yhbc at 1:41 PM on February 11, 2003


pollomacho: whatever made you think i live anywhere near the UP?
posted by quonsar at 1:51 PM on February 11, 2003


Use the plastic and tape to seal off doors and windows. This will help prevent lethal agents from seeping into your home.

You'll know you were successful when you die from a lack of oxygen. Have a nice day! :-)
posted by Dick Paris at 1:56 PM on February 11, 2003


Location: Outer Pennensula, MI USA, maybe? Am I missing something?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:57 PM on February 11, 2003


Use the plastic and tape to seal off doors and windows. This will help prevent lethal agents from seeping into your home.

Does this include agents like John Poindexter?
posted by soyjoy at 2:01 PM on February 11, 2003


This sounds like my earthquake kit (those of us in California have kits like this in our cars or other areas for earthquakes) Except the plastic and duct tape.
I, for one, am scared of a terrorist attack, and am under no illusions that I am safe in the San Francisco Bay Area. That said, I try not to think about it because there's not a goddamn thing I can do about it. (again, kind of like earthquakes!)
I wish the govt. would stop putting this crap out there. It creates even more fear and terror an doubt in the public. If there's nothing we can do about it, why bring it up over and over again?
posted by aacheson at 2:02 PM on February 11, 2003


Shane - re: kiss your ass goodbye - I believe that was a Bloom County strip...but I can't find a link
posted by vito90 at 2:03 PM on February 11, 2003


Actually, the news is on in the background...I am starting to bel a little less sarcastic about this, especially when I realize that I live in what could be construed as a target.

Now what did I do with that duck tape?
posted by konolia at 2:03 PM on February 11, 2003


A small paper in Canton, Ohio ran the AP feed story on this under the headline "BE PREPARED IN CASE OF MUSLIM ATTACK". They have since taken the story down.
posted by laz-e-boy at 2:14 PM on February 11, 2003


It's a good idea to crouch down and wrap your head and body in a white sheet. Using a few sheets and rolling yourself up like a mummy could also prove effective.
-Survival expert Hisayoshi Tsuge on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack
posted by gottabefunky at 2:15 PM on February 11, 2003


Yeah, the gov't may well get some mileage out of scaring us, and there's not a whole lot you can do and etc. etc. but I have a big barrel of water in the basement and plenty of canned food around cuz you never know what might happen, via terrorists or just good ol' Mother Nature.

But the plastic sheeting? The chances of aerosol terrorism seem pretty remote to me, and if I heard there was a Piper Cub spraying nerve gas in the neighborhood, I wouldn't want to be mucking about by the windows for an hour or two with tape and plastic. I'd be in the basement with my radio listening for Instructions from Authorities and trying in vain to find good music among the dreck from Clear Channel.
posted by kozad at 2:18 PM on February 11, 2003


BTW, the "kiss your ass goodbye" thing I remember from the Sixties, well before Bloom County.
posted by kozad at 2:20 PM on February 11, 2003


ladies and gentlemen, welcome to WWIII.
posted by mrplab at 2:32 PM on February 11, 2003


If there's nothing we can do about it, why bring it up over and over again?

A frightened public more easily forgets about the economy and a giant budget deficit.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:32 PM on February 11, 2003


Hoarding food will be useful when there isn't much to go around.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:34 PM on February 11, 2003


Actually I think they did the plastic thing in Israel during the Gulf War along with the gas masks.
posted by konolia at 2:34 PM on February 11, 2003


Re: The ass-kissing thing: No, they didn't originate it, but XTC made good use of the phrase in 1980's Living Through Another Cuba, a song whose alarmist paranoia never goes out of style.
posted by soyjoy at 2:42 PM on February 11, 2003


pollomacho: Outer <> Upper. how come you don't have email listed in your profile?
posted by quonsar at 3:06 PM on February 11, 2003


I assumed "Orange Alert" meant "carry another clip".
posted by jbelshaw at 3:18 PM on February 11, 2003


Q: What's the most important item in a disaster kit?

Guns & Ammo - with those you can get everything else you want.
posted by LowDog at 3:45 PM on February 11, 2003


Oh man. We live in the Bay Area, and we don't even have an earthquake kit. Come Armageddon, we're going to be reduced to eating cat food and drinking the water out of our radiators.

But I do think we have some duct tape in the junk drawer, so it will probably be okay.
posted by padraigin at 3:48 PM on February 11, 2003


Any idea which member of the Bush administration (or their relatives) is set to make a killing (if you pardon the pun) on the sale of 'disaster kits'? Will we see these come from a subsidiary of Halliburton? Or Exxon-Mobil?
posted by riviera at 4:05 PM on February 11, 2003


Why not just settle down with a good book?
posted by ed at 4:08 PM on February 11, 2003


Two excerpts from Skinny Puppy's 1988 song "VX Gas Attack":

like scalding water
a side effect of
their faces and lungs
burn a sudden harsh smell
2 weeks after still
coughing and choking
livid skin blisters burn often

instructions in the use
of such basic devices
as a damp towel lined with charcoal
to be applied to the face and mouth
when the beep beep beep
gas attack warning signal sounds
posted by sharksandwich at 5:11 PM on February 11, 2003


Riviera: Any idea which member of the Bush administration (or their relatives) is set to make a killing (if you pardon the pun) on the sale of 'disaster kits'?

Well, isn't plastic made from petrochemicals?

NO BLOOD FOR PLASTIC SHEETING! NO BLOOD FOR PLASTIC SHEETING!
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:32 PM on February 11, 2003


Tonight on the news they said to forget the duct tape and plastic sheeting. If contaminated, cut the clothing off with a knife (so as not to get the crap in one's eyes) and shower.

Thinking Norma Rae here.
posted by konolia at 6:01 PM on February 11, 2003


Did I say knife? I meant scissors.

Remember not to run with them.
posted by konolia at 6:02 PM on February 11, 2003


Short of a major bio-attack, I seriously doubt that any local emergency would exceed something like a Cat 4 or 5 hurricane. After surviving Andrew and its aftermath in '92- no electricity for 3-4 weeks, debris-blocked roads, looters, broken/missing roofs & windows, etc. etc. we've already got all the stuff the feds say we should have. Just need to stock up on gas for the generator, and fresh ammo for the rifle.

If worse comes to worse, I already have enough plywood, 2x4's, duct tape and plastic sheeting in my garage to build a nice refuge camp for the neighbors.

I also remember the "kiss your ass goodbye" thing from the 60's. It was a poster or something, and went sorta like this:

In the event of emergency, bend over grasp legs firmly, and kiss your ass goodbye
posted by groundhog at 6:15 PM on February 11, 2003


Thinking Norma Rae here

Or Karen Silkwood, even.
posted by groundhog at 6:18 PM on February 11, 2003


-Shane - re: kiss your ass goodbye - I believe that was a Bloom County strip...but I can't find a link
-BTW, the "kiss your ass goodbye" thing I remember from the Sixties, well before Bloom County.
-ass-kissing thing: No, they didn't originate it, but XTC made good use of the phrase in 1980's Living Through Another Cuba,


All of the above? Wish I could find the Opus link too, vito.

posted by Shane at 6:23 PM on February 11, 2003


We faced a major Ice Storm here in Quebec a few years ago, along with severe power outages ranging from a few days to get this.... a few weeks! This in the middle of winter in the "Great White North". Can give you a whole new perspective on preparednes...

Ever since then, we've always kept an informal "Just In Case Kit" in our home, with extra firewood, candles, several decaliters of bottled water, radio & extra batteries, extra warm blankets, manual can opener and food that doesn't need refrigeration or can be cooked/warmed over the fire. We also keep our cell phone battery fully charged at all times, with a list of important numbers.

We also have a "Winter Car Kit" that goes into our car every winter with all the necessities, such as warm blankets, emergency reflector blankets, jumper cables, flashlight & extra batteries, candle & tin, matches, cold weather munchies (granola bars, juice boxes, chocolate energy bars), a folding triangular reflector, emergency flares, folding snow shovel, kitty litter for traction, and a few other extras. Of course, I have a Saturn wagon, so I actually have room for all this... ;-)

It can sound like a little paranoia, but it only takes living through one major natural disaster, emergency situation or winter break-down to appreciate being a bit prepared.

It's not like any of us like to think of potential scary situations (whether natural disaster or terrorist-caused), and that they cannot affect us; but even if *that* one doesn't happen, your emergency kits can also be used for many other unexpected situations. If you can afford it, I'd recommend putting together a general purpose emergency kit for your home or car -- just think of it as insurance... and if you never have to use it; just consider yourself lucky!
posted by Jade Dragon at 8:51 PM on February 11, 2003


I knew I should have bought duct tape futures.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:12 PM on February 11, 2003


Those of us who are old enough to duck and cover without irony know this: a natural disaster ain't nothin' compared to a wily evil foe. Unless you're convinced that God is after you with that earthquake, the anarchist (oops, excuse me terrorist) with that round black bomb w/fuse, running towards your sister/brother/mother/son/etc, is much scarier. Why, he (or, much more unlikely, she) might even be as crafty/vengeful as you!

Of course, slapping some duct tape over the fuse would return us to normalcy um normalcy, err, there, normalcy.
posted by skyscraper at 11:22 PM on February 11, 2003


Now where's my y2k survival kit again?
posted by brettski at 1:46 AM on February 12, 2003


What about an anti-terrorism fridge magnet? That'll learn 'em!

'Ever since the government announced earlier last week that it was sending millions of 'anti-terrorism kits' to every household in the country, the reaction from ordinary Australians has ranged from amusement to deep-seated cynicism.'

'Jim Soorley, the mayor of Australia's third largest city, Brisbane, has urged people to write 'return to sender' on the pack and mail it back. In the letters pages of one major newspaper this week the response of one member of the public was sceptical to say the least: 'Roger, wilco. Received the terrorism kit at 0400 hours. Held secret briefing with 2IC in garage to discuss contents -- blackout conditions, of course. Mother-in-law asleep on picket again. Slapped her on a charge -- can't afford slackers here, what. PS: Opened kit but can't find bully beef. No instructions for fridge magnet.''

Don't know whether to laugh or cry.
posted by asok at 6:44 AM on February 12, 2003


All this reminds me of an animated film I saw a few days ago, "When the Wind Blows". It's the saddest film ever, featuring your normal retired British couple dying after a nuclear attack in the WWIII. Half of the film is spent in simular "preparation" for the disaster, also following governmental instructions. Of course, the instructions are fairly useless against a nuclear bomb.
This is just being morbid, of course, but the simularity is a bit disturbing.
posted by adzuki at 11:41 AM on February 12, 2003


"While I put together my survival kit of duct tape and canned soup, I hope an administration spokesman will explain why we are sending 150,000 troops to overthrow Saddam Hussein when we wouldn't send in 5,000 to capture or kill bin Laden."
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM on February 12, 2003


I have some stale toast and apple cores in the backseat of my car. That ought to be worth something.

Oh, and don't forget to stock up on taco sauce packets from Taco Bell.
posted by briank at 12:27 PM on February 12, 2003


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