next big one is already developing.
We at Dumbarton's Beer have come up with a simple and fool-proof master plan for surviving natural disasters. The plan: Have Kids. We can almost guarantee that if you have kids real disaster planning pretty much takes care of itself. We can prove it. Below are some of the supply kit highlights for hurricane survival as prepared by the fine folks at NOAA. This list is child's play (we couldn't resist).
Water: This is America. Nobody drinks from the tap and you all have a case of bottled water in the house. This item is moot.
Food/Booze*: If you're under the age of 25 you only have a stick of butter, expired ketchup and 2 cans of a six pack in your refrigerator. If you have kids the shelves are always stocked with both fresh foods and non-perishable items. We have kids and there is no shortage of food in our house - ever. And because we have kids there is no shortage of beer. Preparing for Irene in our house meant getting bread and cottage cheese. (Seriously, what kid likes cottage cheese?) We were already stocked with craft beer from several brewers.
Blankets/Pillows: Kids love their blankies. Sure, they have various names for their favorite blanket but if you have kids chances are you have several because you never know when and where the kid is going to throw up.
Clothing: You can no longer afford clothes for yourself and you're perfectly comfortable wearing the same items for several days in a row (like college but for different reasons). Your kids get new clothes every 4-6 weeks. This is a result of either the child's rate of growth or the changing seasons. Everybody's covered.
First Aid: You're house is already a MASH unit. Kids fall, jump, and run. They also spend the better part of the early years perfecting motor skills so from the moment of the first roll over you are stocked with all your first aid needs. In fact, you could probably put in a couple of stitches in a pinch.
Toiletries/Moisture Wipes: Wipes are one of the best things about having children. They are multi-purpose cleaners from children's skin to the hard surfaces in your kitchen. If you wear glasses you'll find they are every bit as effective as glass cleaner. In our house the wipe of choice is Pampers.
Flashlight/Batteries: OK, you might need to purchase a flashlight but if you need batteries in your house then you probably hate your kids. The grandparents and your always-clever friends love to buy kids toys with lights, bells, whistles, and music. All require batteries ranging from AAA to D and even 9-volt (yes, they still use 9-volt batteries).
Radio: It's 2011. Nobody has radio.
Telephone: Nobody has land line either but you probably have a cell phone with all the key phone numbers - like the Poison Control Center.
Cash/Credit Cards: If you have kids you don't have cash and your credit cards are maxed out (on things like batteries, clothes, blankets, etc).
Full Tank of Gas: Kids need to get out. A lot. They have gymnastics, play dates, doctor's appointments, trips to the zoo, and a host of other travel needs. Besides, you need a full tank of gas for those nights when you run off to the bar after the kids go to bed so you can watch the game while not sitting in chair stained with baby food.
There you have it. All of your disaster preparedness needs take care of themselves if you have kids. If you don't have kids get to work because that's the easy part.
*NOAA does not actually recommend booze but when's the last time you saw any news footage of people preparing for a disaster that did not include a beer run?