Categories
Preparedness

Day 477 and Extreme Risk

It’s been hot, dry and windy today on the front range of the Rocky Mountains. A rare “extreme” fire danger warning was issued for much of the state of Colorado. One hasn’t sent been issued for over a decade even though clearly we’ve seen massive conflagrations just in the last four months.

As is typical for a day where I know a storm or natural disaster is looming I felt anxious. My whole body felt achy and inflamed. It was enough of a challenge I didn’t even try to do my usual shower and clean routine. I made an attempt at doing some food inventory as that seemed brain dead but I barely finished one drawer before I had to stop and rest.

I have been considering packing a more extensive go bag as the risk of evacuation seems to have heightened. If this kind of evacuation is a regular occurrence I’d rather have nice clothing and good skincare in my bag bag when I flee to a hotel or a friend’s place. Right now I’ve got boots, Mylar wraps and other traditional emergency gear. But if I’m going to have to maintain a normal life while the world crumbles I guess I’ll need mascara & little back dress just as much as water purification tablets.

I wish this was just paranoia. In just the past 48 hours we’ve seen two evacuation notices in Boulder. One evacuation was around a trailhead by a neighborhood where I lived in fifth and sixth grade and another one on the north side of town where I used to board my horse.

I cannot tell you how jumpy it makes me to see regular fire evacuation notices in your hometown. Our town sub-Reddit is filled with folks who are still recovering from the Marshall Fire and are rightfully concerned to be facing the possibility of another fire. I personally hate it. It makes me long to flee to somewhere with less existential climate change risk. Of course, those places are getting harder and harder to find.

Categories
Preparedness Travel

Day 460 and The Tropics

When I was a New Yorker, the flight to Miami was the preferred winter escape for everyone from Upper West Side Jews to Lower East Side hipsters. New Yorkers love Miami. We’d all decamp from the grey for long weekend’s beginning in December with Art Basel and ending in February as the various winter equestrian circuits wrapped.

Every restaurant that was popular in New York had its own branch tucked away in some form of boutique luxury hotel. The clothing stores had branches down here too. Even our preferred gyms like Equinox had their Miami outposts. Miami was in my mind the “Winter Borough” of New York City.

So I’ve been a little tickled by it’s adoption in the pandemic years as the New “New York” because it’s still the old New York for me. But it’s never been a particularly viable replacement as an all year respite as it’s the fucking tropics.

Even though it’s only April the muggy sticky soul sapping humidity is out in full force. I was awake at 7am and went outside to forage for coffee and breakfast. I could barely make it a block before I was perspiring. It was 79 degrees and 86% humidity.

Maybe I’m just a wuss. I fully admit that I’ve never liked the heat. I can barely tolerate Colorado’s dry heat. So I feel like I’m wilting in the Miami heat. I’m just not built for the tropics. And I’m not sure society is either if you have to run air conditioning year round.

I don’t think I’ve got the stamina to survive a power outage in Miami. The preppers and doomers that can make it through hurricane season impress me. Imagine going without power for several weeks after a hurricane. Days of a 72 degree dew point and 86% humidity are survivable but just barely. Hot weather doomers are nuts in my book.

Categories
Emotional Work Preparedness

Day 365 and Normalcy Bias

Today officially marks a full year of writing every single day. What should be a sense of accomplishment is mostly a sense of comfort at my own discipline. It’s an edge. I like to be improving and that takes good habits. Writing daily been an enormously positive influence in my daily life. I don’t have any plans to stop but as with hang habit you take it one day at a time.

I’m writing from Boulder Colorado after one of the worst natural disasters our state has ever seen. Though the experience was entirely unnatural. Gusting winds over 100mph combined with bone dry grasslands to start a raging wildfire in the middle of the suburbs. The front range hasn’t seen snow yet this season so Chinook winds must have rolled over a downed power line. The wildfire destroyed two towns in my county in the space of a few hours. Last I heard over 500 homes were lost.

I’m devastated. I feel genuinely traumatized even as I’m safe. But of course I feel the trauma of the hour. This is my home. My neighbors lost their homes. All the roads that are closed are my daily routes. My fucking grocery store was burning. Another climate driven disaster makes the national news. But it’s not somewhere else. It’s my home. Better active shooter I guess. A comparison we can make in Boulder. Gallows humor.

I was working through most of the fire. Just letting the apocalypse unfold around me as I went about my business. 8 miles away the world was on fire but I had no evacuation order. No reason to stop working. I closed the blinds as I found the hurricane force gusts unsettling. They shook the house. I would check social media on my phone in between pitches and worked on financial modeling. I took an Ativan to calm myself down so I could focus.

I had explicitly known something like this was coming. Maybe not this crisis. But more weird shit was inbound bWe named our fund chaotic.capital. Precisely because we believe stochastic shit will dominate the next decade. We are betting the future will be chaotic so we must bake flexibility into everything. There is good money to be made betting on chaos. Normally bias will lose you money. Chaos is good for business.

So what does that have to do with writing every day? I want to say something wise about bearing witness. But I don’t think I’m capable of living so large with this much fear around me. I didn’t expect the exercise of daily writing would mean writing through crisis. But I should have. Normalcy bias effects me too.

This year showed me stochastic chaos regularly. After only six days of writing the insurrection in Washing’s D.C. happened. And so I wrote because I made the commitment. And then a few months later a man shot dead 10 people in a grocery store down the road. And so I wrote. Because it’s my habit. I didn’t expect to be covering so much chaotic shit in a public journal.

And yet I must have in some sense predicted that life would take this path even if I wasn’t directly in it. Or I wouldn’t have named the fund chaotic. I wouldn’t proudly discuss prepping. This is the world I live in. Chaos is a given and I’m going to work towards a better future. I’m documenting it as it comes with these essays. And I guess we will see how far it goes. Thanks for joining me for the first year.

Categories
Preparedness

Day 169 and Heatwave

I’m pacing back and forth inside my apartment. I need to get in my steps for the day and it’s simply too hot to go outside. A record (isn’t it always) heatwave has been scorching the American West for the past week. It’s hot. It’s dry. It is miserable.

Earlier in the week I tried getting up at 5am to beat the heat. But even first thing in the morning it was still over 80 degrees making it downright unpleasant to go for my usuals hour long wander. So I haven’t been outside for several days except to sprint into my Subaru and then into an air conditioned doctor’s office. Frankly it’s driving me insane. My body hates it. My mind hates it.

I’m a cold weather person by temperament and culture. I blame it on my Swedish ancestors and growing up in a mountain town in Colorado where I don’t think we even had air conditioning when I was a kid. Now twenty five years later I haven’t turned off the air conditioner in weeks.

The National Weather Service says temperatures are 10-20 degrees above average because of a heat dome. And also because climate change. I honestly think this jet stream fuckery sucks. I don’t understand how we are supposed to live like this.

A backpack containing a first aid kit and other disaster preparedness supplies.

I am grateful we haven’t yet started fire season. Though I know it is coming. All this time indoors should have me going through disaster supplies. And indeed we did redo our medic kit and trauma supplies this week. We even made our list public if you have been considering doing some preparedness of your own. But disasters have a way of blunting your capacity to do anything. So I’ve been pacing inside, my mind racing but accomplishing very little. Fuck this heatwave.