diamond geezer

 Friday, September 17, 2004

Unprepared for emergencies

Back in July the Government launched a booklet called 'Preparing for Emergencies', written to provide advice for civilians in the face of impending terrorist threat. The booklet was generally laughed at, and brilliantly spoofed, but they did promise to send us all a copy sometime during August. Here we are halfway into September and my copy has yet to arrive. You've probably received your copy. My parents, tucked away in a Norfolk village miles from any known terrorist target, have received their copy. But me, living and working in Osama's bullseye, I have received no copy at all. I know that the Royal Mail is useless, and getting uselesser, but their organisational incompetence is now endangering my life and those of my neighbours. And yes, I know I could look up the booklet on the internet but somehow, with information of this supposed importance, I don't see why I should have to make the effort.

So, there are a few potentially urgent questions I need to know the answer to, just in case. Would you mind taking a look in your copy of the booklet and telling me what the recommended government solution is to each of the following? Many thanks.

1) Bottled water - still or sparkling?
2) If I suspect that one of my neighbours may be a terrorist, do I have to call the police or can I shoot them myself?
3) If a bomb goes off on the Underground, what emergency telephone number should I call for immediate assistance?
4) If there's a major power cut, how do I send an email of complaint to the Prime Minister?
5) If my supply of drinking water is contaminated, tuning into which local radio station will make it better again?
6) If a chemical attack strikes at the heart of the capital, how many cans of baked beans will protect me from the effects?
7) If any of my elderly neighbours should die during the emergency, am I legally entitled to take possession of their supply of spare batteries?
8) If fire forces me to leave my place of refuge, must I leave immediately or can I go back in to rescue my tin-opener?
9) If my body is wracked by radioactive fallout, how many spare blankets do I need before I start to feel better?
10) If my lungs start frothing and I begin to cough up blood, how long will it be before the ambulance arrives?

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