As I’ve mentioned before, I am a former Army nuclear, biological and chemical warfare officer. What I didn’t mention is that I am also a disaster-preparedness junkie. In elementary school I brought a first aid kit to class every day in the off chance another child, or better yet, a teacher, would get injured and need me to fix them up. I catalogued the contents of my kit each week in anticipation of getting to help during an emergency.
I got my big break in fifth grade when Lynn P., a loud, boisterous girl, punched a classroom window and sliced the tendons of her right wrist. I pulled my kit out of a pocket in the shorts I was wearing under my uniform skirt (I wore shorts so I could, with modesty intact, hang upside down on the monkey bars). I pulled a wad of gauze out of the kit, picked a big piece of glass out of the spurting opening, clamped my gauze-filled hand down over the wound, and together we ran to the principal’s office. A teacher took over from there and I got to be a hero for as long as I could milk it.
Imagine the tingle of excitement I experienced when I drove under one of those electronic billboards festooning the interstates surrounding Atlanta. “September is preparedness month” the board announced in orange-glowing lights. Hot dog! I thought. Time to freshen up the kit that lives in my living room closet.
When I got home I dug out the back pack I use as my emergency preparedness kit or what I really call my I-have-to-run-away-from-home-now bag. I dumped the contents onto the floor and started to catalogue the goodies: rope, compass, bandaids, soap, insect repellant, … It was woefully inadequate. I downloaded some apps on my iPhone and set to making shopping lists for all kinds of disasters: hurricane, flood, tornado, earthquake, blackout, fire, snowstorm, and nuclear attack. I had work to do.
When I thought about food to buy, I was sort of stumped. Just like when I get ready for a camping trip I dread the idea of hauling a bag full of canned goods. I started thinking about all the food possibilities. I knew something was going to be heavy, but which item beside a big bottle of water, would I be willing to carry?
I looked at survival and hiking websites and even though I wasn’t thrilled with some of their suggestions, I did understand that protein and fat are essential. For protein I decided on a couple of boxes of protein bars, and for fat what better than extra virgin olive oil? Not only would evoo work great as a human-digestible fatty acid, but it has so many additional health benefits. With completed shopping list in hand off to the store I went.
Olive Crazy is now ready for any apocalyptic event, it just better happen before the “best before date” on my olive oil bottle is reached.
May the sun shine through your branches.