Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Preparing for a possible bird flu pandemic

Recently I've been spending WAY too much time on a website devoted to bird flu (http://www.fluwikie.com). I tell ya, you can really get sucked into this. There's a lot of people - thoughtful, intelligent people, but probably leaning more than a little bit to the paranoid side - who are preparing to hunker down and have enough stocked up to be able to live on their supplies for months on end. The idea is that the flu will be raging outside, so the more that you can avoid going to stores, and contact with other people in general, the less likely it will be that you'll catch the flu.

I spent a few hours reading the posts, then starting making lists of what we need to buy in order to be prepared. And I actually did go out to Wal-mart and buy lots of canned goods, and other things that I thought would be useful. No harm done - I tried hard to buy things that keep, and that we use regularly anyway. Plus, this is earthquake country, and it doesn't hurt to be prepared for power outages.

Intereseting to note, though, that a few of things I bought - namely a wind-up, no battery needed LED flashlight from LLBean, and also a simple one-burner propane stove from Campmor - exactly what people would be buying when preparing for emergencies - were backordered, and only expected to be available in a month or so. Also some bulk food storage containers from the Container Store were out of stock. Coincidence? I don't think so. What with all the coverage of the potential flu pandemic, and also the New Orleans hurricane, people are stocking up on these kinds of items.

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