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Disaster Planning

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I just finished reading a great book about a bioterrorism attack on the US capital (“A Heartbeat Away,” by Michael Palmer). Very fun, very engrossing. While I was reading it I actually had a hard time pulling out of it mentally and emotionally. I would look up at some interruption from my kids or the phone or whatever, and think “Do you know what is at stake here? Don’t bother me, I know you are hungry and it’s lunchtime, but America’s entire elected leadership is at risk from a fatal and rapidly mutating virus!” I didn’t say that, because, you know, it was pretend and all. But I thought it.

There is something about a good disaster scenario that I just love. I love disaster movies – the cheesier the better. (Exhibit A: See 2009’s “Megafault” about a massive earthquake bisecting the continental US which can only be stopped by an intrepid earthquake scientist and her quirky companions racing cross-country in an RV to get ahead of the fault with explosives…..delightful good times.) “Falling Skies,” about a post-apocalyptic, post-alien invasion Earth, is my favorite new summer TV show, and the list goes on.

Not only that, but I occasionally rehearse extensive “what if?” scenarios in my head. Dark, disturbing, “what would I do?” scenarios.  I’ll be driving down the road, and notice I need gas. Instead of going to  get gas, I’ll think about what I would do if right then there was an earthquake or terrorist attack. What if I run out of gas before I can get home/pick up the kids/get away to the wilderness where we’ll have to survive on our wits and what we can forage? And then I remember I don’t know what I could eat in the Oregon forest, and muse on how I could learn to catch fish with my bare hands long it would take my husband to learn to fish with his bare hands, ’cause fish are slimy and gross. (By which point I’ve forgotten I need to get gas.)

Or I pull into a store parking lot, and see a white van. Well, clearly, there could be a serial killer in that van waiting to capture me and keep me in a cage with his troll doll collection, or an international operative who has me confused with a spy that did him wrong, and I’m about to be captured and taken to a vaguely unfamiliar Middle East country until I’m ransomed. Except I’m not a spy, and my husband and friends will have to band together to free me when political interests prevent the government from stepping in.

Ya’ll do that too, right?

That’s totally normal, right?

Because this is why I know I need to memorize more Scripture. I shudder to think what might be stored in my brain when the terrorists or the Russian spies kidnap me and hold me hostage. Everyone knows that when you are held prisoner, you need to have things memorized that you can hold on to in the dark moments between interrogations and meals of bug and stick soup.

I’m confident my dear husband will use his inimitable (vocabulary points, thank you!) computer skills to somehow fool the bad guys while running through the dark city streets and subway tunnels to rescue me, but in the meantime I’ll have to stay strong with the things in my head.  How awful if all I could pull out of my head is that Cee Lo Green song sometimes known as “Forget You”, or Sesame Street songs, or the Coca-Cola jingle? Or Air Supply lyrics?

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

Guard my words as your most precious possession. Write them down, and keep them deep within your heart. Proverbs 7:1-3

Clearly, I’ve got some work to do. Maybe I’ll add this to the list too:

One response »

  1. You are not alone Tara! And the most terrifying 3 words in this post are “troll doll collection”.


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