Blackout Survival

Well, it’s about 1,000 degrees here, so the mayor has called a “heat emergency.” This means that city agencies will try to conserve energy, and ordinary New Yorkers run their air conditioners at maximum, continuing the unending competition to see who has the coldest apartment when the power grid fails.

But don’t you worry about Justine and me. We have a terrorism/blackout/zombie invasion survival kit in the pantry.

It contains the following:

8 liters of water
1 tiny plastic flashlight
1 AA battery of dubious charge

Okay, it’s a pretty crappy survival kit. Especially seeing as how that flashlight needs two AA batteries to work. (Where did the other one go?)

Still, I figure that any American home is full of batteries if you really need them. We must have 36 AAs in strategic reserve (that is, remote controls), and I happen to know that the VCR remote hasn’t been used for four years. If those two batteries aren’t covered with green mange, they’re bound to be full of juice!

The only problem is, I can’t even find the remotes when the lights are on.

Luckily, I know exactly where the refrigerator is, and it’s stocked with all sorts of bonus survival gear, namely:

12 liters of seltzer
1 young coconut
fuego mega-hot sauce from our favorite brunch place
1 bottle of prosecco
1 bottle of champagne

That’s how we roll. A whole lotta survival going on there. But not to worry: I just moved the pantry water bottles into the fridge, so they’ll get cold and keep the fridge cold for much longer when the inevitable blackout comes. That way, it’ll take ages for the mustard to spoil. Genius!

Feel free to panic.

This charming image adapted from Global Warming Art.

35 thoughts on “Blackout Survival

  1. Ick. No power sucks, especially when it’s hot out. When the hurricanes hit Florida it was a lot like that, but the stars came out because there weren’t any lights on ^_^ But now a lot of people have generators to fix that.

    Good luck with the blackout situation, and hope there’s no need for those batteries.

  2. you need some SpagBol in that survival kit:)
    or at LEAST some PadThai.
    have you been checking your email lately Scott?
    I sent an email with a question on Uglies….

  3. I find the heat a little jarring– like, in the disturbing sense. Isn’t it weird to know that it’s hotter outside than it is in your own mouth? You are practically walking around in the mouth of the world. Being consumed.
    And I do not understand your choice of mega hot sauce (and mustard and tobasaco sauce) as a part of your survival kit.
    Except unless you want to make your mouth hotter to defy the mouth of the earth. Which of course I’d understand. We humans must have the highest of everything! Birthrate, intelligence, mouth temperature. Um. I don’t make much sense. But you are from Texas. Everything is hot there. I suppose it is in your nature to have tobasaco and all that jazz on your survival list.

    That chart is insane.
    Did you check between the couch cushions for the remote?
    I hope you and Justine survive without being cooked.
    This has been a long and meaningless comment post.

  4. Kudos for posting the Carbon Dioxide Chart. I’d suggest that you post the future projections, but I don’t want to scare all your readers away.

  5. omgar…WE’RE ALL DOOMED! GLOBAL WARMING! IMPENDING DOOM! *goes to hide in underground shelter*

  6. hurray for ppl prom texas (not really, i live here and is sux)
    if you want moore on global warming, watch an inconvenient truth
    it was so good
    we got home and the next day my parents switched to a non poluting energy company and are wondering if they should buy a electric car….
    go see the movie,
    and scott,
    make sure you don’t die (of heat stroke or something)
    we really need your next books,

  7. Holy crap!!!!

    Well, in Austin a few months ago, it got so hot at the end of April that people were doing just what you said, running their A/C at maximum level and such. The city had not anticipated this (um, TEXAS, hello?) so they had to turn out power all over the city at various intervals all day. The only upside was that classes got cancelled. 😛

    Global warming is scary, especially considering our government doesn’t give a crap about it. Grrr.

  8. please dont die!!!

    global warming is frightening, its totally… whats the word? umm… i’ll think of it… give me a minute for my brain to go through its little process… crap, i cant think of the word. oh well. our *in extremely sarcastic tone* lovely president says global warming is not upon us, so it must be true! cause we KNOW hes always right. dont even get me started. im sorry if i offended any republicans here. im going way off subject. ok, ive rambled long enough.

  9. Just make sure you don’t get heat stroke on us and keel over. We’re expecting more novels from you and we WILL haunt you past the grave. You know it’s true. And really who can you blame but yourself? You’re the one that chose to write the brilliant novels! I’m sure my fellow readers will agree: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. And get more batteries!


  10. You can never find the batteries when you need them the most. Funny. But not when you actually need them. That’s not funny until after it’s all over and you find them right where you weren’t looking. Even then it’s not funny. Hahaha. It’s when times are far better where you look back and go: “Wow. That was funny. ::laugh:: ::laugh::” and your friends are laughing at you and you’re thinking “hey. it’s not THAT funny…” hahaha. ahhh… goodtimes.

    blackouts suck.

  11. The Enhanced Greenhouse Effect! Sorry… too much geography frying my brain. Ack. There was something else I was going to write, but my brain refuses to function at the moment. Sorry.

    Why is this filed under Zombies?

  12. We’re all going to die anyway. By the time it’s predicted to really set in, I’m dead anyway..

    Yes, I’m only mildly depressed.

    But really, we Americans are ruining the world. No offense to anyone. n

  13. You’ve got champagne! You’ll survive!
    We’re through the heatwave here in Holland: it’s rainy and positively chilly now, so I’m giving myself a break from worrying about global warming. Head placed firmly in (wet) sand.

  14. You might want to put the Water in the freezer if you have room. That will make them really cold then when the power goes out put them in the fridge to keep that somewhat cold…

    Take it from the people living in Hurricane Central!

  15. i don’t know what y’all complaining about, the temperature here is only a mild 92 degrees. It’s almost chizzly enough to toss on a sweater. Seriously though, the weather guy has been cruel, he keeps preaching that “this will be the last day with a heat advisory” but it NEVER IS!! And then today, the day they’ve preached will be drop in temperature, the temperature has only dropped 5 degrees!! Summer sucks.

    P.S. You should buy one of those crank or shake flashlights like: or

    They don’t require batteries, and they can be used to take out zombies with blunt force trauma.

  16. You forgot the eggs? Think about it. When it gets so hot that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk (or a bald guy’s head, take your pick), then you can brag that you actually DID fry an egg on the sidewalk.

    It’s pretty hot in VA too. Feels like 115, but it’s only 105. Global warming sucks.

    Don’t Die. That would suck too.

  17. its not too too bad in colorado, its like 90, it was 105 the other day, and when i went to oregon it was 109. hotter than hades!!! seriously though, i would love to be in the antarctica right now… chup.

  18. You know, my husband and I also have a Zombie Survival Plan. It has kept me up nights thinking about it. Our plan mostly consists of lots and lots of bottles of wine.


  19. I sugest you go out and but some SpagBol (or other dehidrated or canned food) before the power goes out. Or at least something to put the mustard on.

    I feel for you heat wise. Only the mentaslly insane are going outside in my city right now. It’s… I don’t know Farenhieght (sp?)but feeling like 49 degrees Celcuis. Acording to the news. I think it’s more like 1000.

  20. So I hope you’ve gone down to the local pawn shop and picked up a manual typewriter. You don’t get to stop writing just because the power’s out, you know…

  21. Seattle never gets this problem. Well, okay, we had that wacked-out heat wave in June where it was 98 for about three days (thank you, global warming), but still. Although to all us sun-deprived pale troglidytes, it was terrible.

    Amanda is right. I have a crank flashlight and crank radio for when the clouds over Seattle actually get bored and electrocute us (which is often). They actually work pretty well.

  22. I’m near Chicago, where it was 99 yesterday. Of course, the air conditioning in my house decided to break this week. My family must now survive on a small militia of window fans. It’s really hot…

  23. Jeez. I used to be able to say, “Nyah nyah, I’m from Texas, therefore my heat wave problems are worse than everyone else’s north of the equator.” Seems I can no longer say such things. *sigh*

  24. I know that this is out of the subject but, Scott, I thought you should know that one of my favorite authors besides you (offf course) ,Stephenie Meyer, of Twilight and New Moon posted on her website a recommendation of good books to read which mentioned the Uglies Trilogy!!!!it was also her first recommendation:):

    “Since people often ask me for book recommendations, I will share with you my favorites from the summer:

    Uglies, Pretties, and Specials by Scott Westerfeld—I can’t recommend this series highly enough. I only brought Uglies and Pretties with me, so I had to have Amazon ship Specials to my rental house overnight. I plan to read his Midnighters series on my next plane ride.”

  25. Amazing. That’s exactly what my survival kit looks like. I’m not going to survive any zombie attack. Or even a blackout.

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