Are you a survivor? If the city of Chicago were to announce, like Toledo did last summer, that our drinking water couldn’t be used, what would you do? Or if mother nature decided to snow for two weeks straight, would you starve or would you simply have to go to the freezer or cabinet to prepare a meal?

 What if any of the multitudes of “what ifs” were to happen? If the electricity goes out, do you have a flashlight? Or are you like the mother who sent her son to camp with a rechargeable flashlight as if there were some place in the middle of the woods to plug it in?

 What about candles? Do you have a houseful but not a match to be found? As the winter approaches, how will you keep warm if the gas supply gets interrupted? Trying to stay warm holding your hands next to a light bulb just won’t cut it if it’s 10 degrees below zero.

 Why all of a sudden have I become a town crier of potential disasters? It is not a position I relish. But we are living in times where most people are totally unprepared for any emergency just when they seem more and more likely to happen. Why just this past week, I was headed home and all the lights from the railroad tracks to Cicero Avenue went dark on the north side of North Avenue. Both Walmart and Walgreens sat in the dark. Despite joking that they hadn’t paid their ComEd bill, I truly don’t have a clue as to what happened. But it did happen. So for all the naysayers who never prepare for any kind of disaster because you live based on “It ain’t gonna happen,” where will you be when it does happen? 

I don’t travel far to get to my “just over broke,” but if I were to run into a winter storm where the cars get stuck, like on Lake Shore Drive in the past, I don’t have a blanket or jumper cables in my truck. So before it gets into real winter, that is something I need to address. It is always good to keep bottled water in your vehicle, along with something to eat.

Speaking of eating, I have again seen a notice on the front door at Aldi’s announcing that SNAP (food stamp) recipients will again be having the dates they get their benefits changed. I know for sure that this is the second time it is happening. So I gotta ask, is this a plot to take away a month’s benefits on the sly? If a person were getting their benefits on the 3rd, then it changed to the 13th, then again to the 23rd, at some point they will lose a month. Every time they push the date back by 10 days, are SNAP recipients surviving for 40 days on a 30-day allowance? Is that a testimony to perhaps our very generous payout of food monies that most would never allocate for food if they had to pay for it out of a paycheck? Do it three times in a year and the state will save a month’s benefits. Sneaky but slick. 

If I’m wrong, someone will correct me, but it is strange that when the LINK system went down one Saturday, I heard plenty of sob stories over the radio, yet changing the benefit dates happen without a single moan. Very suspect.