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Jeff Whitten: It's September, so be prepared
editor's notes

It’s September, in case you haven’t noticed. You need to be prepared.

This because September is National Preparedness Month and there’s nothing worse than being ill prepared – except probably being unprepared.

I have been one or the other or both and sometimes still am one or the other, or both, but in my defense as a kid there was something about seeing adults in Scout Master uniforms that cracked me up and I tended to smirk. As a result of that and other shortcomings, I only got to Webelo Scout before being cashiered out.

It was a low water mark, and it not only went on my permanent record, it also left me with a semi-permanent smirk during times of stress. I think it annoyed my drill sergeants at Fort Sill to no end, but I couldn’t help it. Some people shirked. I smirked.

I have since mended my ways, however, which is why this column noting the Georgia Emergency Management Agency is busy reminding us all that September is National Preparedness Month.

By the way, I think government thinks adults can’t do anything anymore without being told 1,000 times how to do it, when to do it, why to do it, etc.. Don’t forget to set back your clocks. Don’t forget to change your batteries. And that’s just the half of it.

We pay them good money to tell us not to plug our fingers in electrical outlets or how we shouldn’t plop our toddlers on the roof of cars and leave them up there when we zip down to the Zip-N-Out-N-Back-N-Again for a pack of smokes, some beefy jerky and a Jumbo Gulp of leaded Mountain Dew. Oh, and some scratch offs because if we win big we won’t have to look for a job.

Lucky for you we have dumb little smirking editors on deadline like me, creating a one-size-fits-all list of simple steps you can take to be prepared in the event of anything, from a national disaster like a hurricane to a more personal emergency, say if you sneeze in a restaurant and stuff comes out both ends.

In short, bring wet wipes and a gun. Wet wipes are self explanatory. Guns are mostly important in case you’re attacked by a gang of illegal drug smuggling human traffickers from Effingham County. I’ve kind of a done a 180 on that policy issue, by the way.

I now believe we should take guns with us everywhere, and make sure people see us packing by wearing them in holsters, or waving them around at people we don’t even know. Not only is it legal now, but it’s apparently even fun to scare people into thinking you might be deranged or really, really mad at everybody. It’s especially fun to scare the liberals who believe the only people who should have guns are the police they just tried to defund.

Editor’s note: I’m kidding. I’ve got two shotguns, two rifles and a handgun. I’ve also got a couple aluminum baseball bats and a 5-iron I keep handy in various key locations in case I feel the urge to play golf or softball. But, and this is a big but, I don’t tote weapons around and I don’t want people I don’t know toting them around me. Unless it’s the cops, or we’re all going on a safari.

Anyhow. Here’s a list of helpful preparedness hints.

1. First thing, no matter what, put on some clothes. People in pajamas aren’t prepared for anything except going to bed or laying on the couch all day turning into drags on the economy. If you want to be prepared, put on your clothes. Tidy yourself up a bit while your at it. Brush your tooths, too.

2. Have some coffee. Even if you don’t normally drink it, drink it anyway. Coffee has vitamins you’re going to need to survive National Preparedness Month.

3. Have a plan. You can’t be prepared without a plan. Start by writing down, “Put on some clothes.” Then take a break. No since in overdoing it.

4. Get you some pogey bait. In the Army, pogey bait was the snacks you hid in your TA50 so you wouldn’t have to live on MREs in the field. Do they still issue MREs? They probably have Chic-fil-A and Starbucks in the field now.

5. Don’t watch the Weather Channel, or local news broadcasts. Goodness, they try to scare you silly every time it rains in the tropics. There’s such a thing as too much information. If it gets serious, don’t fret because there’ll be no end of people telling you trouble’s on the way. And if that happens, then the smartest thing you can in the event of a real disaster is get the heck out of Dodge.

If you can get yourself prepared for that, you’re prepared.

Whitten is editor of the Bryan County News. He’s helped cover two hurricanes and a tornado and has an abiding and sincere respect for GEMA and first responders.

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