I just have two things to say about the upcoming 9/11 anniversary:
1. I don’t care how much of a stud you are — this was an emotionally jarring event in everyone’s life. For all the turmoil it caused in business and politics and global stability, the lasting effect deep in our souls is just as damaging. Even if you skip all the cheesy TV specials (and I’m pretty sure every network we have will embarrass themselves), there will be vibrations throughout the collective unconscious.
Just be ready for a little emotional shockwave. We took a hit, and we absorbed the blow and held steady.
But we did take a hit.
2. I’m hoping there are no nasty surprises Monday.
Still, it’s just a good habit to be prepared. Americans tend to get lazy about being ready for anything — we’re spoiled with well-stocked supermarkets open 24/7, and communication lines that stay open (mostly) without interruption.
It’s a mistake to get complacent. Every aspect of modern life is dependent on people and technology and infrastructure that can go down in a blink.
Few people remember the grisly details of surviving disaster. On the day after 9/11, for example, banks were allowing withdrawals of no more than $500. No matter what. (Thought it was your money they had in your account? Think again. Banks are free to limit hours and withdrawals however they see fit during emergencies. “Your” money, ultimately, is just dots on a screen somewhere.)
Have a little cold cash on hand.
I’ve been through earthquakes where radio, TV and phone lines went down with the electrical grid. Now, that’s a scary feeling — being out of touch, and in the dark. Radio Shack sells wind-up radios with flashlights for thirty bucks. When you’re out buying enough bottled water and canned goods to last you a few desperate days, don’t forget about light and communication. (I know several people who also have satellite phones stashed away with the first aid kit.)
I don’t need to give you a full list. Dig out your old Boy Scout guidebook, or go find an Army suvivial manual. Even just having the basic necessities covered (food, medicine and shelter) should be a habit, all the time.
You’re not being paranoid… you’re just being sensible.
Somebody has to be sensible while the rest of the world goes nuts.
Might as well be you.
And really — please stay frosty. We’re gonna be okay. But if you’re the go-to guy in your family or business, be prepared to take control and have your ass covered.
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