I contribute a weekly column to the Platte County Landmark under the “Rambling Moron” name. It’s a great Northland Newspaper and well worth a subscription. The following is an copy of my article which appeared in the 11/9/12 edition – printed with permission.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS KIT IDEAS
Posted 11/9/12

What an incredible disaster we’ve just seen on the East Coast. Seeing the devastation really reminded me of the 1993 Super Flood that impacted Parkville and Riverside as well as last year’s high waters. Just as people from across the country did for us, now’s a good time to go over to www.redcross.org and donate a few bucks to help.

After seeing all of the devastation that Hurricane Sandy wrought on the East Coast, I took a quick inventory of my family’s Emergency Preparedness Kit. It was… lacking.
At one point in time we actually made a kit with a case of water, some flashlights, a radio. But one Fourth of July we ran out of water, so we raided it. Then the power went out last winter so we grabbed the flashlights, then lost them. There is still a radio downstairs. But we don’t get a good signal down there.

So my goal this week is to put together a Northlander’s Emergency Preparedness kit. In addition to restocking the water, grabbing batteries for the flashlights and getting a better radio, I figured those of us North of the River would need some additional things that only Northlanders would appreciate:

•A copy of the Platte County Landmark – Who knows how long the power will be out after a storm? Your iPad’s batteries will only take you so far. The REAL thing you need to keep you company is this here Landmark. Plus, it doubles as toilet paper if you get in a pinch.

•Some Slim Jims from Casey’s General Store. Hey. Who DOESN’T love Caseys? We are big fans of them here at The Landmark – mostly because about 40% of our stories are about their managers and employees. So show them a little love and stock up some non-perishables from their shelves.

•Phone numbers for key public services in your area. Just write down the department and the phone numbers and not the names of the administrators responsible. Because most or all of them will be fired between now and when your emergency might hit.

•You should also pack whatever type of self-defense materials you feel comfortable with. This is Platte County – there could be any sort of emergency – from kangaroos escaping, to burrowing animals cutting your power lines. You never know what might happen from minute to minute around here. Lock and load.

•Beer. This one seems obvious. But you can never be too careful. This inventory also needs to be rotated regularly. For safety.

•Some “toys” to entertain you during the prolonged outage. You don’t know what emergency might befall you and for how long. You need to make sure you have enough “entertainment” to make it through your time with only the “bare” necessities. Platte County might be doing its best to outlaw sex of any kind – but in the wake of a disaster, you need to make sure you have enough to get you through the night.

•Golf cart. Hey, if you can afford it, you can now operate your golf cart on certain streets in Parkville. Better make sure that golf cart is charged. It’s likely to be chaos out there and you need to make sure you’re prepared.

Bottom line is that you can never be too prepared for emergencies. While our hearts certainly ache for those who have lost in the Northeast, we need to be mindful of the perils we live with daily here in the Midwest. Stock up. Be prepared. Keep the beer fridge full.