176 - Now... this is a story about how my life got flip turned upside down

Good blog titles are hard to come by, so from now on I'm going to pilfer from 90's sitcoms if I can't come up with anything else.

For some reason I've gotten on a 'what would I do if there was an Apocalypse?' kick. I've always had a bizarre fascination with it, but lately I find myself starting to think of it in terms of reality rather than mere fantasy (The Stand, awesome book, favorite #2, second only to 1984). I guess it's a combination of having made it through Ike, the hype about the H1N1 virus, 2012, remembering 9/11, hearing Capt. Sully speak, and now Haiti... whatever it is, I'm starting to feel like I should prepare for something.

Only problem is... I don't know what kind of Apocalypse I'm preparing for (or even if I'm spelling it correctly). That makes it hard to prepare... Am I preparing for another hurricane, a big flood, meteorites, a pandemic, terrorism, global warming, zombies or Skynet?  ;)

I usually start out thinking 'pandemic,' so I think along the lines of staying home and sheltering in place. I can get filters and water purification tablets, I can cook on the grill, if I stock up on certain items (powdered milk, vitamins, toilet paper, pre-moistened cleansing cloths, hand sanitizer, canned goods, water, jerky, cat food, water) I can probably last a while. Especially if water and electricity stay on. If not, things start to get more complicated.

Then I start to consider the breakdown of social systems... the police force isn't necessarily immune to all this, what if they aren't in the equation? Lawlessness, vandalism, roving gangs of thugs looting people's empty homes a la New Orleans... the scenario morphs to something much more dramatic... now I may have to leave my home and head for a more remote area (or find a more secure home).

So in the new scenario I need a compass, thermal blankets, MRE's, a flint so I can start a fire, something to carry water in and cook in, some fishing line and hooks, a first aid kit, a crankable flashlight, an inflatable boat -- I'm getting serious!

And, admittedly, a little paranoid...

I know how bad the roads were when we evacuated for Rita... I can only imagine an emergency where sick people are also stubbornly trying to leave, then they die on the roads and clog the freeways, cars break down, people have accidents... that part is all too real to me. During the evacuation for Rita, we spent 18 hours on the road, going to a family member's house that is normally less than 7 hours away. For hours at a time we sat in the car and didn't move, not knowing if the car was going to overheat, the cats were in cages, we were exhausted... That experience is the reason I stayed behind for Ike. That experience is the reason that if traffic doesn't move -- to this day -- I literally start hyperventilating. I don't like to feel trapped.

In this scenario I don't know what to do with my cats. I don't know if I'll have a vehicle, whether I'll be in a group or flying solo. This scenario is more terrifying because it's outside the box and if I encounter other people I don't know if they're trustworthy. There are no locks on a tent. And when everyone is desperate, all bets are off. And animals get hungry when they aren't fed...

Of course, the worst case scenario -- hands down -- is the Skynet Zombie Apocalypse.

That was a joke to lighten the mood.

The other stuff I'm a little serious about...

Good new is, there's so much neat stuff out there... There's a collapsible straw with a filter in it that's good for 20 gallons of water, and it filters out nasty bacteria. It doesn't take up much space and if you can't get a fire started, it's a way to get some water into your system. Some of the survival knives have hollow handles for carrying water or stowing things like needles and thread, matches, etc. Some of these things might even be good to have on hand in case there's another hurricane that comes through. Last time wasn't too bad for me, three days with no power, questionable water supply for a few days... if I had some of these supplies they might have been helpful. As it was, I had plenty of charcoal, my refrigerator kept things cold, and I'd stocked up on water. If it had gone on much longer I might have had to improvise.

Am I the only one who sometimes thinks 'what would I do if I had to survive?' Is that paranoid or is it just me testing myself as a writer? I tend to put myself into the story when I'm reading a book or watching a movie, so I start thinking about these things... what would I do if I were in that situation? As a writer, I try to write myself out it, I think of every possible scenario. I think that's probably a good tool to have in an emergency... like an Apocalypse... but sometimes I wonder what it does to my psyche...

Day 6. I can definitely tell a difference in my endurance. I don't breathe as heavily during the cardio. I used my 5 lb weights for about half the routine. Attempted regular pushups and failed miserably... The muscles in my biceps are certainly more toned though (they might actually be a little swollen, because they're pretty big when I flex.. ba-BAM -- welcome to the gun show...). My jeans don't fit differently yet, at least not that I can tell, but I do think my belly is flattening a bit. I'll do level one for a couple more days, then (God help me) attempt level 2... I have a feeling the pain is going to come back stronger than before...


  1. The Stand is one of my all time favorite books, probably the most favorite which is why I can't imagine this kind of scenario any better than King already did. So I don't. I hope it plays out the way it did in that book because I know I would be called by Mother Abigail. On the other hand if the whole 2012 thing happens to be the Rapture I'm screwed and left behind. The Discovery Channel or one of those kinds of cable channels had a show last week about surviving this very thing. It was eye opening and just proved how not ready I am for this kind of thing. And frankly it was a whole lotta scary in the aftermath.

  2. Pretty sure that was EXACTLY the show that got me thinking! I hadn't thought about the looting and the utilities until I saw that, then I thought SHIT I'm so naive... I'm dead...

  3. Me to the apocalypse, "bring it."

    What's really funny is I've already been prepping material for next week on my blog. The theme next week? The end of the world.

    Course I always felt that when the end come I'd be one of the poor suckers who survives. *sigh* Rebuilding just sounds like work.

  4. The Stand....my all time favorite....Movie and book...just remember rifle and handgun and might wanna learn to load your own :)

    also remember charcoal can be crushed and put into a towel or perforated bag and it will filter your water if you don't have fire..(marine corps taught me a few things.)

    Yeah the whole Mad Max scenario has come into my mind more than once. I don't sweat the whole global warming (oops climate change) thing too much, but I do wonder about a breakdown in society sometimes (I"m crazy too I guess).

    Oh yeah back to The Stand...I would be a scout (which means I would die for a noble cause..right? right?)

    Good to see the exercise is making a difference for you..Keep it going!!!!

  5. Haven't read or seen the Stand although I really want to now.

    Kind of hoping to not find out what happens though! I read somewhere supermarket plastic bags will survive longest which i thought was weird.

    Kate xx

  6. I'm with you...I have always thought that if civilization collapses, it's time to just abandon the house and all the crap and head out to the wilderness with my family. Love the cats, but my family is more important. I would rather fight nature and wilderness than crazy humans.

  7. This was a great post. This type of topic always fascinates me and I hope I'm long gone before I have to even think about it.

    Titling after sitcoms is great. For an entire year I used to pick a song title that was along the lines of what the subject matter was going to be. For example, this one would have been titled "It's the End of the World" (REM)

  8. Oh No! Teh 2012 shows are getting to you! They are everywhere aren't they? I am not sure I could survive a fallout or Apocalyptic event. I feel I may be too reliant on modern technology. I am no Bear Grylls or Survivorman, I mean who am I kidding?
    Love this post... very thought provoking indeed :)

  9. The cats will be fine in the Apocalypse. Don't worry about them. ;)

  10. Wooooww!

    To be honest, I don't really think about that. I figure that if it happens, it happens. That's it. :P

    Since I won't be prepared, I'll come over to your house when the Apocalypse starts! :D

  11. Ooh The Stand still creeps me out. I can't drive through the tunnels in NYC without thinking about that scene.

    And congrats on the exercise. It feels so good to get back into it. I'm working on it!

  12. This post hit close to home for me. I am reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and I have been thinking non-stop about an apocalypse for days now. I am planning on writing about it myself! Great minds...

    Keep up the goo work with the exercise! You must feel great!

  13. I've heard of that one but haven't read it yet. I assume it's good?