On the one hand, the Center for Disease Control would really like you to be ready to handle your family’s continued health and wellbeing during natural disasters or regional/national emergencies, to the point of even fully embracing the zombie meme. This makes all kinds of sense, simply because the federal, state, and local government cannot take care of every single person in a disaster zone – transportation is a bear, getting the materials to the scene is sometimes impossible, finding people to volunteer to help can be hard, finding the people who need the assistance is literally like looking for a needle in a haystack, and the raw expenditure of money is just mind-boggling. A little bit of preparation on our part, as private, independent, self-reliant citizens would do great things towards keeping ourselves and others safe and happy.
I cannot say as though I agree with their entire list (specifically, they seem to have omitted more than a few things), but the CDC’s ideas are a good starting place:
•Water—one gallon per person, per day (3day supply for evacuation, 2week supply for home)
•Food—nonperishable, easytoprepare items (3day supply for evacuation, 2week supply for home)
•Batterypowered or handcrank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
•First aid kit
•Medications (7day supply) and medical items
•Sanitation and personal hygiene items
•Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
•Cell phone with chargers
•Family and emergency contact information
•Map(s) of the area
•Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
•Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
•Games and activities for children
•Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
•Extra set of car keys and house keys
•Manual can opener
•N95 or surgical masks
•Tools/supplies for securing your home
•Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
•Household liquid bleach
•Blankets or sleeping bags
On the other hand, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force wants your fellow citizens to turn you in as a "potential terrorist" for following the CDC’s advice. No, seriously:
Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Military Surplus Stores
What Should I Consider Suspicious?
People or Groups Who:
Make bulk purchases of items to include:
- Weatherproofed ammunition or match containers
- Meals Ready To Eat
- Night Vision Devices; night flashlights; gas masks
- High capacity magazines
- Bi-pods or tri-pods for rifles
Ignore, for a second, the sheer inanity of getting one’s panties in a bundle over people buying basic hunting gear (the bipods) or evil normal-capacity magazines (at least they called them "magazines"), and likewise ignore the fact that "bulk" typically means "cheaper", assuming you are able to work out that kind of deal with the shop owner, and instead focus on how the two above lists correlate.
Ammo cans? Well, you are going to need something to put all that stuff into that the CDC wants you to buy, and it needs to be something that will keep moisture and air out (oxygen and water will destroy most long-term storage foods and supplies faster than almost anything else… barring mice), and they do happen to be cheap, easy to use, and modular.
MREs? Sure, they taste about as good as the cardboard they come packaged in (honestly, they have gotten a lot better), but with one of them being able to keep an average person running for about day (assuming light exertion, at most), it becomes an easy, space-saving way to feed your family in an emergency. And assuming an average 3-4 person family, with a 2-week recommended supply, buying "in bulk" makes a damned lot of sense.
Night vision devices? I guess it is safe to say that the FBI has never heard of hog hunting, or seen the positively absurd prices for newer NVGs out there… Surplus stores and beat-up equipment are about the only way some folks can afford toys like that.
Flashlights? Seriously? The FBI has nothing better to do with its time than get angsty over flashlights? Coming from the background of an Electrical Engineering Officer onboard a US Navy warship, I know just how disabling and disorienting darkness can be, and it is only a matter of time until I have a cheap, durable flashlight in every room in my house (or, if I keep buying EDC lights, an expensive, durable flashlight…), but if I were to buy those all at once, that would put me on some list somewhere? Screw that noise.
So, basically, if you follow the CDC, the FBI would like your neighbors to turn you in* as a "potential terrorist". Good to know.
Even more hilariously, the FBI would like surplus store owners to consider people who "insist on paying with cash" as "potential terrorists". Uh, Mr. FBI Agent, is American currency legal tender for all debts, public and private, or not? Well, it may not be for long, but that is not the point…
*shakes head* I wonder if this has anything to do with the general devaluation of words and concepts we are engaged in… For the past few decades, everyone has been "special", and everyone "wins", so now no one is and no one does. More and more people are "victims" even though they have never been victimized by anything more dastardly than your average mosquito. And now the government is going out of its way to create "terrorists" out of thin air**.
Once everyone is a "terrorist", what then?
(* – And do not even get me started on the patently disgusting, 1984/Fahrenheit 451-esque tactic of citizens spying on and reporting on one another – that ranks right up there with "ethnic balkanization" as a "Surefire Way to Destroy a Country".
** – No, I am not alleging collusion between the CDC and FBI; I am merely amused by the coincidence. I do firmly believe, however, that this new push by the FBI is going to create "terrorists" where there never were ones to begin with.)
(Courtesy of Say Uncle.)