Kids with plastic sheeting

When I was growing up, not infrequently I had nightmares about nuclear attack. I have always looked for ways to hedge against the worst case. A large-scale nuclear war, though not likely, was clearly a very real possibility, and about as worst-case as you could get (at least until I read this in the 7th grade). I was convinced that neither the USSR or US would jump into MAD, but that it wouldn’t be hard for a rogue state in the Middle East (at the time, all terrorists were going to be Middle Eastern), probably Libya (or someone else), to buy or develop their own bomb.

To be honest, I am shocked every year that goes by without a nuclear device being used. I’m sure the wait won’t be much longer.

There was a lot of material available on how to survive a nuclear war and what to do after an attack. Most of this material dated to the 50s and 60s, but I figured that this was better than the utter defeatism indicated by the lack of preparation that was prevalent in the 70s and 80s.

September has been declared “preparation” month by Homeland Security. And what better way to make sure that the family unit is safe than by hitting the surest consumer of propaganda: the kids. So, be sure to have your children fill out and send the form to the DHS indicating that your family is in compliance, and that you have plenty of plastic sheeting and duct tape on hand. Don’t worry if you forget: you’re school will probably help out. Actually, this is a great excuse for buying some of the new clear duct tape — as if you really needed an excuse.

But a lot of the things I had on my list didn’t make theirs. Where are the iodine pills? The atropine, valium, 2-PAM, pyridostigmine bromide, and antibiotics? Field surgery kit? Knife? Items for trade (ammunition, gasoline, gold, Clash vinyls)? Survival manual? Dog? Certification of party membership?

If they were serious about this, they would put an emergency kit in every home. Figure, in bulk, there is no way such a kit would cost more than $40. Figure there are 100 million households in the US, and we have a total bill of $400 million. A conservative estimate of the direct costs of the war in Iraq puts it at about $3.9 billion/month. So, for about 3 days worth of the war, we could put an emergency preparedness kit in every home — and that money would be helping the US economy. But then, we wouldn’t want to spread terror among the populace. Best to keep it low key, and make sure no child is left behind in our fight against -Eurasia- terror.

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