For those of you not completely familiar with the concept of the Worst Case Scenario you can check out an earlier post I wrote about turning this concept into blog entries involving emergency food storage, survival kits and overall emergency preparedness with scenarios that could happen, but also might be very unlikely. So today I wanted to rekindle that idea and present a worse case scenario situation I’ve been thinking about recently. My house is 110 years old, and to access the cellar you’ve got to go outside and down a crooked set of concrete steps underneath my deck. It’s relatively scary down there, and if for some reason I ever forget I live in a house as old as I do, I just need to go down there to see the crumbling dry stack sandstone foundation and century old spider webs. There’s also a window that used to be used as a coal chute. It’s a scary place, and my wife won’t go down there unless her life depends on it—which brings me to my point.The crypt in my house is also where I store everything that has outlived its use, doesn’t get used very much, or only needs to be accessed on rare occasions. It’s also where I keep all my emergency food storage, extra propane tank, generator, and in the wintertime I even put a fair amount of my camping gear down there. So while I was recently going through the process of adjusting my home owners insurance a horrible thought occurred to me when I got to the section about earthquake coverage.If my house were to collapse, or even just fall into the foundation from ‘the big earthquake’ they’ve been predicting to occur in Salt Lake City for years now, practically everything useful that I’ve ever accumulated would be buried under the pile of rubble that was once my house—in which case none of it would actually be that useful.Now I do have a friend who owns a landscape business, and if he could make it to my pile of rubble in the aftermath then perhaps we could remove the debris and uncover my emergency food storage and camping stove. Then I could make him lunch as payment, or perhaps I could loan him my extra tent if his house had fallen down too. Regardless, I don’t think my wife and I would be able to move the pieces of our fallen house on our own in order to access our all the important items stored in the basement. So this brings me to an interesting question, and some recommendations for this week’s Worst Case Scenario. What should people do in order to make sure they can access their emergency food storage when there really is a disaster serious enough to make your house fall down?
1.Cross two fingers on each hand at the same time, close your eyes tight and hope really hard that this never happens. This is a long shot, but it can’t hurt. 2.Try moving small sections of your food storage upstairs into your living area in hopes that the main levels will stay in tact and you’ll be able to access at least some of your food storage. 3.Consider moving into a house that a) is in a disaster safe area or b) isn’t as old as mine or as likely to fall down during an earthquake.4.Reinforce your foundation—a lot.
The point of these Worst Case Scenarios is to create highly unlikely situations that are meant to provide a little lighthearted relief from the serious nature of being prepared for real emergencies. When you see these Worst Case Scenario posts just remember, the point of them is not to make light of the importance of being prepared, but rather to have a little bit of fun.
—Jared Matkin—Jared Matkin is a Salt Lake City based freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast who is continually on the lookout for innovative and usable products designed to help improve the way we live.