COLUMN: On being prepared for the big ‘shake-up’

If the life ‘goes to hell in a handbasket’ for a few days thanks to a significant tectonic shift, I’m about as prepared as can be.

While there appeared to be a great deal of short-term angst emanating from the recent major earthquake off Haida Gwaii, at least in the way of preparedness for the ‘really big one,’ I’d guess that for most the issue is now on the back burner.

I’ve got to admit I thought about what I’d need, should the shaker cause my house to collapse (without me in it, of course), and if that occurred I’m sure my home would be irrelevant among the damage caused across the Lower Mainland.

However, a mental inventory (though no action) was taken of what would be accessible to me in the event of such disaster.

The most important object on my list was keeping the gas tank on my truck full. It would be a ready source of fuel for generators, chainsaws and other devices, in addition to possibly keeping a pressure lantern working (though I don’t recommend that as a practice other than during a disaster).

As for water, I’m fortunate to have a well that, with buckets or aforesaid generator, will keep me supplied. My garage, like so many others, is filled with ‘junk’ rather than as a place to park and as it would be the least likely of my house structure to collapse, gives me ready accessibility to a freezer full of food, chainsaws and other handy equipment.

The saw, should the need arise, would come in handy cutting through the wreckage to get to tents, sleeping bags, propane stoves and other camping gear (already stored in totes so I’m always ready at a moment’s notice to head off to the boonies should the opportunity arise).

The garage also holds a number of folded tarps (living in the country, you can never have enough of them), as does the garden shed.

The truck can also provide a warm refuge. Its radio eliminates the need for portables or the infernally useless hand-cranked units. There’s always a couple of flashlights in the cab, and the ‘dry box’ in the box contains enough gear to get through almost any emergency. When you travel the remote backcountry in B.C. with any frequency, you learn to be prepared for any eventuality . . . beats having to walk 50 miles in the snow, uphill the entire way, to find someone to yard you out of a mud hole or snow bank.

About the only thing I don’t regularly carry in the truck is packaged food. Tried that once in the back seat area. The dog enjoyed it.

The other thing I rarely carry is cash – debit and credit cards have virtually eliminated that practice – but I’m now thinking a little stash of folding money might come in handy when the power grid fails.

In other words, if the life ‘goes to hell in a handbasket’ for a few days thanks to a significant tectonic shift, I’m about as prepared as can be.

Of course if all this happens while I’m abed, and the roof falls in, earthquake  ‘preparedness’ would be the least of my concerns.

On the other hand, south of the border today there is a great deal of shaking going on that will require preparedness.

Not only could there be a significant tsunami of change in Washington, D.C., the State of Washington is likely to approve the unprecedented: legalized and potentially taxed marijuana in the U.S. And if both Washington and Colorado voters decide to repeal its prohibition, can B.C. be far behind?

If I were in the greenhouse industry I’d be getting prepared.

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