A disastrous stockpile

“Be prepared.” —Boy Scout motto

As Boy Scouts and people who stock up on MREs at Twin City Surplus know, the concept behind “being prepared” is planning, not money—a concept applicable to all aspects of life, not just disasters.

So just for giggles, I tried a little experiment.

First, I imagine that I’m a reasonably functional adult who can walk and chew gum at the same time. Next, I imagine the radio announces a serious S.H.T.F (Stuff Hits The Fan) scenario, and I’m completely unprepared for any type of disaster. Anticipating a run on generators, I get myself to the nearest everything-under-one-roof-mart and give myself 30 minutes to stock up.

Here’s a sampling of items I picked up in 19 minutes and change: two loaves of bread, a jar of grape jelly, a jar of peanut butter, toilet paper, wet wipes, 12-pack ramen noodles, a dozen candles, a flashlight, a four-pack of Sterno, eight packages of Kool-Aid, two pounds of trail mix, five pounds carrots, five pounds of bananas, a small nylon bag, 12 gallons of distilled water and other assorted necessities.

In short, for less than $48, I laid in a stash that would keep me, the missus and the two young-uns reasonably well off for roughly two weeks in the event we had to … oh, say … camp on the roof.

But let’s face it: $15 would lay in enough trail mix and water to last a week. I could do it on half that using the free tap water at home and filling empty containers.

While I’m all for accountability, I also believe that to be held accountable, one must first be responsible. The person responsible for me and mine is, well, me.

As of this writing, caterwauling Democrats are busy excoriating former FEMA Director Michael Brown and his qualifications—and getting a start on their 2006 election platform by morphing two hurricanes into a dialogue on poverty.

We could debate who was responsible for the city of New Orleans in the wake of the hurricanes, but in truth, the last time I looked at the Constitution, it wasn’t the president.

But let’s see. We have a governor who needed 24 hours after Katrina to consider the president’s offer for assistance. We have a mayor who was more concerned about finding “licensed” drivers for evacuation buses. And we have a (now former) police chief who, by his own admission, had 249 officers who abandoned their posts and another dozen implicated in looting.

While insufferable Democrats lay New Orleans at the president’s feet, perhaps they can take five minutes to look at the state and local ding-dongs who share some degree of accountability there.

Even before Brown resigned, some democrats wrote the president a letter asking to have him fired. (Among those who signed was our own Sen. Harry Reid.)

“The individual in charge of FEMA must inspire confidence and be able to coordinate hundreds of federal, state and local resources. Mr. Brown simply doesn’t have the ability or the experience to oversee a coordinated federal response of this magnitude.”

Conspicuously missing, of course, is the fact that Brown got his job with the constitutionally mandated “advice and consent” of the Senate—not once, but twice. (First, as deputy FEMA director in 2002, then as its director in 2003.)

Any pious, load-mouthed Democrat senator who questions Brown’s qualifications now should perhaps first explain why they didn’t raise that question when it would have counted—as in during two Senate confirmations.

Of course, that would require admitting that perhaps Brown wasn’t the only one unprepared.