Places I’d Visit in a Disaster/Apocalyptic Scenario {a rambling}

I primarily am alone for most of my work shift and have a lot of time for background thoughts as I do repetitive things that don’t require too much brainpower. This is a good and sometimes weird thing because stuff like this comes out of the ‘ole noggin. “You know…when I read books or see movies about disasters or end of the world stuff, there are totally places I would go that are never mentioned. I wonder why they aren’t? Is it because it’s really not the best places to go during or shortly after events unfold? Or maybe it is because I live in a smaller town so things are easier for me to get to quickly? Ponder, ponder…”

So! I’m going to do a little list and breakdown of places I would visit in my town (roughly 55,000 populace) were something devastating for long term effects happened and I had a little extra time to get more then the essentials. Besides the usual food marts, gun stores, and hospitals. Not that I expect this to happen anytime soon or ever, but it never hurts to have a fantasy mental list in your head.

1.) Local bookstores/Library

This might seem odd and a waste of time, but here me out really quick. Say that power will soon not be an option to easily access, you are forced to move out of the city, or general communication is hard to come by. Do you know how to grow your own food, and safely store/preserve it? How about basic first aid or natural remedies? Survival skills in the wilderness? Making your own clothes and tools? You may not know, but there are plenty of books to show you how! Places of books are filled with pages of skills and knowledge that the average person might not know, or that is not commonly used but will soon need to be common practice. This can also be a tool to help teach those of a younger generation to help them along with the older wiser folk aren’t around. In addition to skills, one thing that is really important for emotional and mental health is a form of entertainment. Books of poetry, of art, of fantasy, these can be simple and safe ways to unwind. Not to mention a good distraction for children and young adults who may be having a harder time adjusting to scenarios. Not to mention text books and other learning material.

2.) Hotels/Inns

This is more if I was apart of a small community setting or larger group. This would also require a lot of man power and transportation, but if it could be done then it can be handy. Say you all are moving into one huge building or a bunch of small housing together. Maybe even just tents. There are some things that would be nice to have as backup stock or extras for developing your community or to replaced damaged things. One example that I will take from the book “The Girl Who Owned a City” was the children took over a high school and broke off different classroom as different needs. The nurses office was the doctors office, dorm rooms, kitchen, supply storage, etc. Using that example, there are some basic comforts and what not that would be nice and useful to have. Beds, bedding, towels, toiletries, sewing kits, tools, kitchen supplies, cleaning and sanitation supplies, alcohol, office supplies (paper, pens, files), uniforms (extra clothing or designated clothing for say ‘nurses’ since many are scrub type uniforms). Just to name a few. Hotels have A LOT of stuff in stock and back stock depending on the size of the place. Having things like cleaning supplies and towels is even a big step in keeping everyone healthy and clean.

3) Emergency Supply Store

Now this may be a bit of a niche, and my town might be lucky, but we do actually have a very small shop that is dedicated to natural weather disasters. I know some of the bigger near mine have some as well, it is just that people don’t think about them as much because of lot of the basic things you can get at a grocery store or surplus store. If however those are already full and getting sparse, I would try and hit this first. It has everything from first aid kits, rain gear, shovels, maps, dry food, water sanitation, etc. Pretty much all the big and little things they tell you to stock up on in your ‘just in case’ emergency supply. Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like a really logical place to hit.

4) Agriculture/Garden Centers

Again, this is if I had enough planning time, in certain scenarios, etc. Lets say after a certain amount of time, you weren’t able to access food easily or readily. If you had the space, time, weather, and manpower, then I would hit one of these places up. Stock up on seeds for every season be they flower (some have great medicinal purposes) or food. Pick up starter plants that have already grown a bit, trees for food, privacy, and general good environmental purposes, soils, gardening tools and supplies, and clothing like gloves. If you’re super lucky they may even have beekeeping equipment and bees for home making of honey. Not only can you grow your own food to store this way, but it will also attract wildlife that you can then use as food!

5) Mechanic/Car Shop

This one always seems a bit obvious to me because my step father is a mechanic. So I’ve gotten to see a bunch of the inner workings and areas of a mechanic’s shop.  Lots of things to get here, especially if you already have a car! Gasoline, fluids of all kind, headlights, wipers, tools of all different types, safety equipment, and cars themselves! If you only have basic knowledge of cars, it could still be handy in the case of low oil or spare tires. If you have a good sense about cars, you can find all sorts of replacement parts, extra cars for spare parts or to fix up to have as a spare. If you don’t know much about them, hey I bet the bookstore has a how-to manual…

 

That’s all I have for now! A little random but it was poking about in my head so I thought I’d share it with you all. Maybe one day I’ll write a story and throw these places in, who knows? What about you folk in the big wide web? Do you have specific places that you would hit if the time and place were right in a disaster setting?

 

 

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After the Dark (a movie review)

[credit: Rotten Tomatoes]

[credit: Rotten Tomatoes]

Quick Summary: Set in an international school in Jakarta Indonesia during the final class for philosophy, the teacher decides to test his students with a challenging thought experiment. The twenty students must put themselves in the aftermath of a nuclear blast, the bombs just beginning to drop. Luckily there is a bunker with food, air, and supplies for one year. Unluckily there is only enough for ten people, the other eleven (teacher included in the experiment) must be doomed to death. Each student is randomly assigned a career: organic farmer, housekeeper, carpenter, opera singer, etc. Three different scenarios are played out during the duration of the class, the students having to choose who lives and who dies in this hypothetical apocalypse.

 

During the film we are transported between the reality of the classroom and the projection of the project that the students are discussion with their teacher. It is very beautiful with the scenery, the bunker itself, and the transitions between the two. The students are a realistic mix of people: there are those who find the experiment disturbing, some jump in with gusto, and each has their own opinion on how the selection process should happen. Through the film some students are shown more then others, either due to their roles being chosen to be saved or because of conflict of morals or interests through the scenarios. Though only a couple of them actually seem to get some depth, so sadly you don’t really get an emotional connection with any of them through the film. The teacher himself seems to enjoy pushing his students into this difficult thought experiment, challenging them, questioning them, as a normal philosophy teacher should. He seems like a normal teacher until the experiment goes on longer and all the sudden he seems more like an evil nemesis then trying to actually help the students through this project.

Jumping back a bit, the choices the students have to make in and out of the bunker are thought provoking. If you had one of the more favorable attributes, who would you choose to go forth to death? If you had a questionable job, how would you fight to save yourself-or would you even try given who was around you? How do gender balances make a play for reproduction, how would the personalities be able to handle each other inside together for a whole year? Good things that make you want to watch the film to see if your own choices go along with the classroom. The first play through is mostly about survival, while the second focuses more on rebuilding the human race through babies, and the third…well I will get to that in a moment. So in the first two, very different choices are made, especially since the second go around you learn one more fact about each persons ‘character’ that could change who dies and who lives.

So the third section, it sort of takes a sudden turn and all the philosophy that had been playing out kind of gets lost under building and sometimes sudden emotion and underlying games. The teacher throughout the movie seems to put himself in a high role of importance and set differently from the other characters. It comes off as narcissistic and unneeded. Sometimes he comes off as cliche as his role as a teacher, though his actual acting is really good. I personally became frustrated at the end of the film because I felt like it changed its own role and went in a very different direction then what we had been sharing thus far. The end seemed a bit jumbled, stretched, and mishmashed together. A lot of the underlying messages and tensions are finally revealed (though not too surprising), and then it just sort of seems to drag on for a bit until finally ending. After a little over two hours given to this film, I felt like the rug was pulled out a bit at the end.

I digress, the first two parts of the film are really worth watching if you like thinking of that type of situation, and if you don’t mind it pulling away from the philosophical stand point the film had been doing in the end to be more emotional (etc), then you may enjoy it in its entirety.  Though none of the acting (with the exception of a select few) are really all that great, the students reactions are interesting, the locations of the apocalypse are beautiful, and it makes one think.

Overall rating 3/5.