John McCullagh August 12, 2004
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Now be honest!!

After H M Government went to the trouble and huge expense of circularising every home with their timely and very informative booklet PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES, you simply browsed it quickly, read the final summary [Go In, Stay In, Tune In] and then threw it out! Didn’t you?

You may, like me, have mentally noted the contrast with the Fire Service’s advice of Get Out and Stay Out and remarked that one likely emergency would be of your home in flames after an attack.

Ah, but you’re just being pedantic! Fire’s fire but a terrorist attack is different!

Well, except for the Twin Towers, Bali, Philippines, Turkey, Iraq, Nairobi etc. Anyway there was much more to the booklet than that and we would like to summarize its contents, now you’ve already binned it.

HOW TO RECOGNISE A TERRORIST

As your Government Ministers, politicians and police repeatedly inform you, terrorist incidents are always instigated by outsiders infiltrating an area. So your typical terrorist is definitely NOT ONE OF US!

He/she is ‘from the other side of the house’, of different ethnic origin, swarthy, usually with an ugly scar across his face, some broken teeth and wears an evil grin at all times. Do not be surprised if he carries a heavy suitcase monogrammed with the letters WMD. Should he attempt to pretend that his name is William Martin Drennan, or some such, you may show your erudition by boasting that you recognise the initials as ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

HM Government, long seeking that very thing, would like to hear from you should this contingency arise.

TUNE IN

In the case of future emergencies, the Government will filter and control information released to the public.

This is to offset the panic that arose for example, on the morning of 11.09.01 when unfiltered data was aired to the effect that the US Air Force had been scrambled with orders to shoot down any civilian aircraft still aloft after a short period. It was also suggested then that dozens of hijacked planes were in the air and had been long enough to now have even crossed the Atlantic, should that be the intention. Later events proved otherwise: the US Air Force, for example, never left the ground (unless there’s truth in the rumour that the last plane that ‘crashed’ in open country was in fact shot down, that morning).

Rest assured that only good and reassuring news will in future be aired on radio! Remember, if it comes from your Government, it is GOOD.  Otherwise it is just propaganda.

DON’T PANIC!!

First VERY IMPORTANT lesson is not to PANIC.

All right, the imminent attack might take the form of a 100-megaton nuclear device landing in your garden. Frankly should that happen, you’ll never know a thing about it. It could be a deadly nerve gas seeping under your door or rising up through your drains. Again, you’ll have no call to worry, for you’ll be gone before you know it!

It could be a deadly toxic virus in powder form sent through the mail to you. Don’t at any cost open any mail that does not bear the H M Government logo on it. And even then, call the Army Bomb Squad before venturing to open any package leaking white powder.

Or indeed powder of any other colour.  Fiendishly clever, these terrorists!

TAKE TO YOUR SHELTER!

As soon as possible build a reinforced bomb shelter in your garden. Make certain you dig deep enough to access the local water table, for fresh water supplies might be a problem in the event of nuclear attack. Should you be fortunate enough to live on land with a natural spring, why not build a shelter large enough to accommodate your whole neighbourhood?

RECOMMENDED FOOD PRODUCTS

Stock up with enough food to last for years.

We recommend 36 sacks of Neill’s Flour, 12 crates of Nestle’s Pot Noodles, 4000 tins of Heinz Baked Beans and 20,000 6-packs of Harp Lager. [H M Government is indebted to Neill’s, Nestle, Heinz and Harp for sponsoring this booklet!]. Please don’t forget you will need a tin opener! With such a diet, don’t forget to include a double-valve flue system to vent off human gas. The second valve is to prevent the entry of radioactivity from outside, which, if such a thing is possible, is even more toxic!

DOMESTIC PETS

At first hint of attack, kill, skin and bone all domestic pets and store the meat in the domestic freezer you will naturally have included in your bomb shelter. A petrol-driven generator will be required, but we would urge people not to stock up with extra petrol/diesel supplies, otherwise our oil might run out soon – what with Iraq, Saudi Arabia and all the rest.

MEDICAL AND SANITARY SUPPLIES

Stock up with all the usual medical supplies. We recommend Haliburton brand products since the Board of that company has made a small contribution towards our costs.

This pamphlet, which is printed on recycled paper from sustainable forestry, might itself be recycled to make the equivalent of ten sheets of luxury toilet tissue.

Further recycling is not recommended.

BOMBS

If a bomb goes off outside your building, stay inside in case there is a second bomb in the area.

If you saw the explosion, stay in the area and tell the police what you saw (unless, of course, you have reason to believe there is a second device in the area). In the latter case, get out and tell the police later. They would like you to help with their enquiries – for example, how come you knew there was a second device planted??  Would you prefer to be questioned at the police station or Quantanamo Bay, Cuba?

IF ENGLISH IS NOT YOUR LANGUAGE

How did you get this far if you don’t understand English?

Anyway, the pamphlet is available, should you require it, in Urdu, Estonian, Malibu, Rhumbabese, Salami and Clotted Cream flavours. Gaelic and Ulster Scots versions will follow soon – emergencies permitting. 

TRUST YOUR GOVERNMENT:SAFEGUARD DEMOCRACY: VOTE FOR US!

The pamphlet is for emergency guidelines only. DON’T PANIC. Your government is in control.

Have we ever lied to you?

We promise, when it is time to PANIC, we will give you 45 minutes notice.

P.S. A few handy hints.

If you find yourself trapped in darkness in a bombed building, do NOT search for gas leaks with a lighted match or candle.

Stay close to walls and tap on pipes so that rescuers can hear you. If you don’t smoke a pipe, perhaps you could sing – or call out, if you don’t feel like singing!

If an escape door feels hot, there’s likely to be a fire at the other side. Don’t open it, unless it’s the only way out. In the latter case, go for it. You have no alternative.

Remember the old adage, Women and Children First. If you happen to be a man, you may choose to ignore the adage.

Get to personally know your local police, Fire Workers and Emergency Service Personnel. This may win you preferential treatment in an emergency! (But keep your hands off the big brawny fireman with the cute dimple on his left cheek. He’s mine!). Such familiarity will help you distinguish between genuine Emergency Personnel and terrorists disguised as such.

Yes, they will even stoop as low as that!

For further information, log on to our website everymanforhimself.com.

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