by Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

During the Storm of Aught-19 when the highway slid and traffic couldn’t get over the Hooskanaden Grade, many of us will remember the hardships we faced.

Allow me to take this opportunity to describe but some of those hardships so those in Florida and Houston who lost their homes in hurricanes and lived without electricity for weeks can understand what we went through. Check us out, Midwest flood victims.

We ran out of milk and had to go to a strange gas station instead of Fred Meyer because trucks were delayed. Travel became a hellish nightmare as well, requiring weary travelers, weakened by a lack of milk, no doubt, to traverse the treacherous Carpenterville pass. We were forced to purchase gas without redeeming points.

I will confess, having lived in Florida for 16 years and having partied my way through hurricanes Francis, Jean and Charlie all in one year — my generator used more gas than my car that summer — I found the 2019 milk-panic a bit perplexing.

“Is everyone here under 6,” I thought.

I can think of no other reason to drink milk (or eat American cheese), and besides, every kitchen in the world has a can of condensed milk hidden on some back shelf –– just add water.

People are different I guess. A quick look through local Facebook pages and one would have thought Brookings or Gold Beach had slid into the ocean. Did you really think the local economy was being irrevocably harmed because it took 59 minutes instead of 36 minutes to travel between the twin cities of the Curry Coast?

And milk, the absolute worst food in an emergency. Really? It’s too heavy to carry in a crisis, it spoils quicker than a toddler’s mood — quicker if you’ve already poured your cereal — and it is not necessary for survival. After hurricanes, floods and blizzards, no one trucks in milk.

Take a deep breath. Highway 199 was open and so was 101 South. Supplies could have come in from the east and south. California is still part of the USA –– whether or not you think so is the subject of a future column. For now, know they’ll help, and they have milk and gas.

What are we going to do when the Big One hits? You scared me people. Are we all going to walk into the ocean lemming-like on the third day after the quake mumbling about spoiled milk and life without cars?

Me, if I make it through the shaking and manage to trudge out of the tsunami zone, I’m hoping to get back to my house where I’ve stashed some supplies. If not, I’ll pull my go-bag to the edge of town with my water filter and Cliff bars, my HAM radio and tent, sleeping pad and some info on long-term survival. I’ll settle in or start hiking to Medford — going south won’t work this time.

At a preppers meeting a month ago, people who were prepared for a disaster were worried about unprepared people taking their supplies, and most agreed it was wise to have a gun for protection.

I’m just going to carry a sign: “NO MILK.”

Reach Boyd C. Allen at ballen@currypilot.com

22871446