I find that on this day in both 2004 and 2005 I wrote snide things about the homeland defense site. I must tell you, in fairness, that they have improved a lot. Their site looks way better, and they — perhaps because of the lessons they learned from Katrina — have updated to suggest a phone card as well as plenty of quarters. They also link to the Red Cross and recommend having plenty of water on hand.

No, it isn’t actually useful, exactly. If you have, say, snowstorms or earthquakes in your area, then you already know everything they suggest. But at least they don’t sound like complete idiots any more. They have expanded it a bit, and aren’t still trying to come up with some kind of suggested plan for how to cope with terrorist attacks. By including the possibility of natural disasters, they have managed to sound reasonable. This was a good strategy, I think.

I don’t like to think of the amount of taxpayer dollars involved in this. I can imagine the conversation, though.

“Gee, Scooter, I just can’t think of anything to tell them to do for an Orange Day. We already had them check their duct tape on Amber Days.”
“Yeah, I see your point. Hmm….” taps teeth with pencil… “Hey, didn’t those guys in New Orleans have trouble evacuating? Maybe we could put in something about evacuating!”
“Sure! Hey, I found a list of clothes to take to camp. We could adapt that!”
“Yeah! And, hey, put in something for pets!”
Pets? What are you gonna pack for pets?”
“I don’t know, but they were on the TV a lot. Would buying an extra bag of dog food for the emergency closet work?”
“Oh, I like that!” Gets back to work….

Obviously, it is too hot to do anything serious. And I am easily amused.