October 14, 2006

SO WHEN I WAS AT THE MALL THE OTHER DAY, I saw that Eddie Bauer had a prominent display featuring this Disaster Emergency Kit for 2. It’s not bad, especially for a car or apartment, though I’d certainly want to supplement it.

But what struck me more than the kit itself was the prominence of the display. Put that together with the fact that Target is marketing survival kits with the American Red Cross, Slate has run a series on disaster survival, and Consumer Reports is pushing disaster preparedness and it looks like we’ve got something of a trend. (Popular Mechanics is on the job, too, but you expect that from them.) And walking through J.C. Penney the same day I saw hand-cranked dynamo lanterns and radios prominently displayed by the entrance.

It’s a trend I approve of, of course, as I think that everyone should be prepared for emergencies. And it’s one that’s being pushed by government — my brother recently got a mailing from the State of Ohio telling him he should have a month’s worth of food set aside in case of avian flu or other disasters — but it seems to be more than that. I think that it’s something that goes to the Zeitgeist. We know that the world isn’t the warm, fuzzy place that it often seemed in the 1990s (it wasn’t then, either, but it was easier to ignore that if you tried, and most of us tried). Modest preparations now, of course, can have a big payoff later, so I’m glad to see people giving the subject some thought. Whether or not Eddie Bauer sells many of those kits, everyone who sees them will at least have disaster preparation cross his/her mind.

More on disaster preparedness here and here. Remember, though, it’s not just about buying things — it’s about learning things, too.

UPDATE: A reader emails: “Picking up your disaster kit at Albertson’s is always part of the back to school routine in California.”

And another reader writes:

You know survival kits are mainstream when Costco is selling them. And last weekend at my local Costco, in the food section, there was a front of the aisle display of survival food buckets. They were going for $110 and had about 275 servings of freeze dried vegetarian meals.

10 years ago, this was the stuff of Soldier of Fortune.

Yes, that’s exactly what I’d noticed. No Costco in Knoxville, alas, or I’d go take a picture or something.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Blue Crab Boulevard reports: “Cheaper than Dirt has some survival kits that are, well, cheaper than dirt.”

And Eric Klien of the Lifeboat Foundation sends a link to some really serious disaster preparedness.

Finally, reader Eric McErlain emails:

I just signed up for a Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team class here in Virginia. The ads for the training were in the local paper only a few weeks ago.

I’m wondering if this is all coming together at the same time.

I doubt there’s a grand plan. But I think it’s a convergence of several cultural forces.

And reader John Richardson recommends Kim du Toit’s posts on “grab and go kits,” found here and here. Excellent advice, and for most people some sort of firearm — perhaps less elaborate than these setups — should be part of anys survival preparations. My point in this post, though, was not so much on the need for preparation, but rather the way in which that need seems to be much more widely appreciated.

POSSIBLE WARNING: I hope that Costco has upgraded those disaster kits since this post. Beware the daily calorie-count!

Comments are closed.
InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.