February 11, 2003
The war is already hitting home . . .

The war is already hitting home. I haven't been able to post because this very good friend of mine -- ok, my wife -- has been very concerned about the threat of a terrorist attack and I've been scurrying around getting supplies for the next disaster. We live in New York. (Don't try to find me -- I have an intelligence network on the street that will sweep you up and spirit you away to an undisclosed location in the Bronx. Ok, Yankee Stadium, but you won't get out of there until you buy a $6 Coke and a humongous soft pretzel for $10.)

The spectre of 9/11 looms large here. I don't know a family who doesn't have a disaster plan or kit or something. (My single friends are like, I'm prepared. I have voicemail and stuff.) I have a friend who keeps 20 gallons of water somewhere in his small, cluttered apartment and rotates his stock once a month.

I notice that Tom Ridge has been careful to say that the elevated terrosist threat alert has "nothing to do with Iraq," and today the White House is suddenly handing out detailed advice on how to prepare for a chemical or biological attack but saying that "there is no specific, credible intelligence that says an attack using chemical or biological weapons is imminent."

Just an amazing coincidence.

Our disaster kit includes calamine lotion in case someone gets smallpox. I don't really think that will be much help.

I'm not sure how much the kit will help us in an emergency. I know that stocking the kit is giving us some sense of control -- that there's something we can do to prepare us for a disaster. And how I wish that there was something we really could do, that there is something that we can do today, besides putting some bacitracin in a bag, to make us all safe.

My wife just returned from the hardware store triumphant. She got the last roll of plastic sheeting. It all sold out today.

Posted by Tom Burka at 11:12 AM in Commentary