> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Lessons from Alas, Babylon: Lists



Lessons from Alas, Babylon: Lists

Started Alas, Babylon last night, looking for what learnings could be gleaned from the novel. For those who haven't read it, Alas, Babylon is set in the 60s, during the height of the Cold War. The protagonist, Randy Bragg, gets a telegraphed message from his Airforce-officer brother, ending in "Alas, Babylon," their code for "it's about to hit the fan." No one else knows that danger is imminent, so Randy has a head start on reacting to the problem.

Randy's first realization is that he doesn't have much in the way of preparations--he's a bachelor and lives as such. He has money though, and quickly jots out some lists and runs out to the store. He buys up three or four grocery carts full of food, but by the time he gets home, he's realized that he's forgotten essential stuff--water, for example--and bought a bunch of useless stuff.

The lesson here? Think out your lists beforehand. Some people are good at thinking on their feet, but a thought out plan of action will beat out flying by the seat of your pants most any day. A crisis is the time you want to be sure and decisive, not wondering about what to do.

Of course, you probably won't have advanced warning that Randy Bragg has, and you hopefully won't need to head out to the local grocery store to buy up supplies in the 11th hour. But make your plans and write your lists before the crisis.

Homework: Identify one area of your preparations that is lacking, come up with a game plan and list it out.