I wrote this at the end of August, but wasn't able to include it for technical reasons. Rather than let it go to waste I thought I'd publish it this month. Sorry if it's a bit out of date!
It's that time of the year again in my neck of the woods. We are all keeping track of the weather reports to see if Hurricane Earl makes landfall this weekend, and if so, what kind of intensity it will be. Latest estimates are that it will hit here as a Class 2 hurricane, which shouldn't be too bad as the Class 3 we had a few years ago flattened most of the province and left very little for other storms to destroy!
Every year at this time we are threatened with a number of different storms, and at least one each year is claimed to be a big one and more often than not it's little more than some wind and rain overnight, causing only minor damage to houses that haven't really been maintained properly to begin with. Even so, chance favors the prepared, and having a few items around the house “just in case” is never a bad idea. Simple things, like some extra water, canned or dehydrated food, a full propane tank for the barbeque and some extra fuel for my camp stove, as well as some flashlights and extra batteries. These are things that won't go to waste whether or not I need them for this emergency or not. Of course the wonderful thing about canned food is that these days, with so many pull tops, few people even have can openers, meaning that canned food is likely not going to benefit them too much- unless they have a SAK handy!
I'm reminded of an episode of the cartoon Futurama, in which all the robots in the city start rebelling, and reduce the citizens to little more than cavemen. While Professor Farnsworth starts work on his latest invention, a stick with a pointy rock tied to the end, the m,main character Fry tries to open a can of soup with his “trusty Swiss Army Knife.” In typical Fry fashion, he fails miserably, throws the SAK away, and eventually the can is opened by Dr Zoidberg, a humanoid crab and company surgeon (See SAKs on TV, Part III by GBurett). So, unless you happen to have a Decapodian lobster man handy, I'd suggest keeping your SAK close by!
Once the food problem is solved, the only other real concern is damage, and that is where having a SAK with can make a world of difference, in the preparation for, during and aftermath of the emergency, be it a hurricane or any other problem. Having to fetch tools for cutting, tightening, loosening or inserting screws can really slow down your work and increase prep time significantly.
This year I'll be using bags of kitty litter to keep water from seeping into my garage through leaks I haven't yet fixed, tying down garbage cans and lids so they don't blow away and maybe tie down my patio furniture as well. I'll probably also climb the lone tree in my yard and trim some of the branches as well, since a cube van made a mess of a few of them the other day when turning around. I'd hate for any larger limbs to hit my cars (or anyone else's!) in the event some larger ones were broken but didn't fall. And, for each of these chores, my SAK will be indispensable as it goes from cutting open sacks of kitty litter, to cutting rope to sawing wood without having to carry a number of different tools with me.
And, when this storm turns out to be nothing, my SAK will help me free my patio furniture and garbage cans, and chop up the branches further to fit into my recycling bin for composting! And, of course opening up a can of soup for lunch!