Canned Goods and Tinfoil Hats

Greg thinks I’m a bit of a weirdo for laying claim to a section of shelf space in the closet to create a pantry. After Hurricane Katrina, although we are nowhere near New Orleans, or any hurricane, earthquake, tornado, flood, forestfire or landslide danger zone, I got all “emergency preparedness” crazy. Because shit could still happen. It might be another big power outage, like we had in ’03, or an icestorm or an attack by Tara. Or, more likely, it could be an influenza pandemic that shuts the whole city down.

During “the SARS”, I was going for allergy shots every week, and had to do the whole handwash, mask, questionnaire deal just to get in to see the nurse (my doctor’s office is inside a hospital), so I’m familiar with the protocol. And the paranoia. That was bad enough, but a flu pandemic would be even worse.

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks of these things. The Toronto Star is reporting on a conference held by Canadian Grocers to ensure that grocery stores and supermarkets are prepared for something such as a flu pandemic. Turns out, most of them really aren’t.

So, because I don’t want to find myself crawling down the empty aisles of the local Price Chopper, wracked with fever and hacking up a lung while fighting some other flu-infected soul for the last can of soup or a box of crushed soda crackers, I’m making a pantry. Not a huge one, not one of those “six months of rations” kind of things that you saw people doing for Y2K, but enough food to get us through for a week or two after the stuff stored in the kitchen cupboards runs out. It doesn’t need to be emergency rations specifically, just extra stuff that we normally eat that we’ll use when we run out. Nothing paranoid, just a pantry.

How many of you keep a pantry of some kind, and if so, what do you keep in it?