Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mission Critical

I have been classified among “mission critical” personnel. I’m neither pleased nor flattered nor threatened. Should a pandemic of avian flu sweep the planet, the university will be emptied for several months but some employees must perform critical functions. I’m expected to continue working.

It’s not as dangerous as it sounds. Many years ago, quite by accident, I began working with computers. I develop software. In the event of a pandemic, I’ll work from home.

My first question was “If the university is emptied, why would I be needed?” Part of the answer was that all students will be given a sum of money to enable them to return home. More significant, there are over 2,000 married students, international students and other persons -- some with families -- who live on campus and have no place to go. The university must maintain the infrastructure needed to support these persons and to respond to the crisis. Yes, computers are essential.

The meeting I attended reminded me of the obvious. We -- you and I -- live precarious lives. In the event of a pandemic, how will most people survive if basic utilities such as gas, electric and water are disrupted? What about food?

With the exception of food, Julie and I have everything needed to survive at home for several months. I didn’t plan for a disaster. It’s just a natural part of living off the grid in a sustainable way. Julie and I discussed food and thought it wise to increase our supply of staple foods.

There is one item that I don’t have a sufficient quantity to last several months – bird feed. I have twelve feeders around the house. Birds enrich our lives so much. Last Sunday a motley flock of Robbins, Juncos, Bluebirds and Sparrows arrived together and left together. They were beautiful in the bright morning sun. In my life, I classify them as “mission critical”.

But…do I really want to attract the cute little critters in the midst of a pandemic of avian flu? Oh, well. If I’m trapped at home for weeks on end, I’ll need some entertainment!


Blogger Buffalo said...

Mankind is a fragile species, ill equipped to survive on this world. Always, in the midst of life, we are only a breath away from grave, from disaster.

Surviving a pandemic or other catestrophic event - or not surviving - in the midst of an environment we deem beautiful and worthy is not a bad thing.

11/15/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

We're beginning to build up a small supply of rations, nothing too extensive but something that might last for a few weeks considering there's the normal build up of food in the regular supply -- cupboards and fridge.

11/15/2006 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Pandemic is Gaia's way of bitch-slapping us when we get to numerous for our own good. I say we are long overdue for a good pandemic, and if it gets me, well, it gets me. Only the strong should survive, and Bob knows the gene pool has been getting shallower and shallower thanks to advanced medicine. I think what's good for the rest of nature is good for us as well. Since we have no real natural predators, microbes are all that's left, other than ourselves and nuclear weapons, and that would mess up the rest of the planet. I vote for the microbes.

11/15/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Whitesnake said...

It is human nature to survive.
Instinct and all that goes with it.
When faced with the need to provide we would.
We are pack animals by design.

11/15/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Round Belly said...

Maybe, I should team with you. I have good staples of food, but will lack useful items like electricty or it's equivalent.

And if you would like some help on "food storage" I have all the basic calculations :)

11/15/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with The Michale. We are in need of some"thinning of the Herds" I have been prepping since July. I know what we are in for. I have researched this topic for many months now. I have been telling everyone I can about it and they look at me like I'm nuts, but when TSHTF, they will hear me whisper "prepare" if they knew what I knew they would be very frightened.

11/17/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

We're definitely prepping here too. We need to figure out how to get off the grid. That's going to be quite a project. I agree completely with the michael. He says it very well.

We have one birdfeeder that has 12 feeding stations. We also have a platform feeder. Lots of birds call our yard home, but I think they'd be okay if we had to stop feeding them for a while. I've watched them find seeds all over the yard.

11/17/2006 10:05:00 AM  

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