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Perhaps your subconscious, like mine, has reserved 3AM-5AM for an exercise I like to call "Panic Town", a half-awake, blurry, mental recitation of anything that could go catastrophically wrong for the country, or for you personally, or for... literally anyone. It's a fun two hours!
Illustration by Sam Woolley.
Lately, these fear ramblings largely focus on what will happen in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack. (I know there are other things to worry about too, maybe even more pressing, how about you not tell me about them in the comments.) And while I've always laughed at the doomsday preppers who build bunkers and stockpile canned food, I've recently started to consider that they might be on to something. Not for an apocalypse, necessarily, but for a disaster on an ordinary scale: Cyclone Debbie, September 11, and natural disasters that might cause empty grocery shelves and no clear routes to the hospitals. In my early-morning panics, I ask myself, how on it do I think the government will be?
I started ordering canned food.
And so, while I don't think I'm newly paranoid, I am newly... prepared. Fortunately, the internet provides both camaraderie and online shopping for people who can vividly imagine literally every terrible scenario, and I quickly found myself down a rabbit hole of opinions on what I, my husband, and two small kids need, for, say, two weeks in an apartment with no access to food, water, heat or medical attention. Or what we'll need for a fast skedaddle out of town. But I persevered, and bought what I think is the bare minimum for health and safety in the event of a disaster. Below, everything I have in either my emergency supply kit or our "go bags", or both.read more: