Thursday, October 16, 2008

Election Fatigue

Thankfully we are now counting down the time to the 2008 election in days rather than months (or years). Phew - I know I'm tired so I can only imagine what Barack Obama and John McCain are feeling. Why do we do this to ourselves? The Canadians just had an election and they managed to campaign and vote within 37 days from calling it.

At this point it seems the candidates are not even covering the issues but rather biding time till election day with name calling and nastiness. I just hope whomever wins can pull this country back together because we are becoming severely divided over the wrong issues. Abortion and gay marriage are important - but if you are losing your home because of a bad mortgage, job loss, or worse - illness leading to huge medical bills then you would agree - something is wrong with this picture.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

More Disaster Preparedness Tips

Not sure if 'preparedness' is a word but hopefully you know what I mean. Can we really be prepared for a disaster? Hopefully you have the basics: canned goods, can opener, water (enough for a 2 - 3 days), cash, first aid kit, extra medications (if you take any), extra pet food (if you have one), a radio, and a flashlight or flashlights.

On the topic of flashlights, I keep several large and small flashlights in various places around the house, all of which I try and remember to replace the batteries from time to time. I purchased a couple of small crank flashlights that also have a built in radio. They worked fairly well for a year but the last time I went to use one I found the battery was dead (I turned the crank several times but there was no juice). And the argument a friend has against the crank flashlight is how would you be able to work crank to get light if you are trapped under rubble and potentially can't use your arms (fill in your own horrific scenario here)?

So how to make sure you have power when you need it most? I found this flashlight / radio combo on Amazon the other day and am going to try. It is not only powered via a crank but it also has a small solar panel and AA battery backup plus a DC power option if you want to use it on non-disaster days when there is power.