Pack the cat Sydney!

July 23, 2007 at 3:00 am 1 comment

Freephoto Webshots“Let’s Get Ready Sydney” – I’m afraid this is not the latest PR campaign preparing Sydney to welcome a horde of tourists or host some athletic games. This latest slogan is aimed at getting Sydney-siders ready for a terrorist attack or natural disaster and in particular to prepare a Worker’s Go Bag. In the event of a terrorist incident or emergency situation, Sydney’s CBD workers are urged to have their Go Bag packed and ready to go, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Intrigued, I followed this up on the City of Sydney site and checked out what contents are recommended for the Worker’s Go Bag. What I didn’t expect was the advice to pack a cotton pillow case in the bag, just in case you want to schlepp your cat with you when you flee. No mention of what to do if you have a dog – pack the kennel in the Go Bag? Actually, this could be a golden business opportunity – “Pet in a Bag: a product for those emergency situations you and your pet may face together.”

Other handy recommended items are:

  • toilet paper – okay, may be quite useful. If you’re fleeing by the local public loo and need a pit stop, at least you have your own loo paper, none of that tacky public toilet paper to deal with.
  • sunscreen – should the terrorist alert or emergency situation strike during the sweltering summer months, no doubt sunscreen would be a handy Go Bag addition.
  • umbrella – a girl certainly doesn’t want to get her hair wet if it’s raining during a terrorist alert.
  • comfortable running shoes – good idea, wouldn’t want to be tottering around in stilettos.
  • a hat or baseball cap – as you’re running through Sydney’s clogged and panicked streets, fleeing with thousands of fellow citizens, you gotta look the part and have a trendy hat.
  • first-aid kit – this is sensible advice for sure and presumably you’d need to pack a ton of antiseptic cream because I doubt that your domestic cat (who probably wasn’t working at the office alongside you when the emergency struck) would go willingly in the cotton pillow case. You’d need to prepare for the nasty scratch marks – forget the terrorists.
  • sticky-tape – I have no idea why this item is recommended! Possibly, to tape a “Lost Cat” poster on some building urging fellow citizens to look out for a domestic tabby cat that recently jumped out of a cotton pillow case somewhere in the CBD.

Should there be a terrorist alert or natural disaster, there is little doubt in my mind that Sydney’s streets would be clogged up in a matter of minutes and transport would grind to a halt. As a long distance commuter (4 hours per day by train), the slightest bit of rain or wind seems to adversely affect Sydney’s trains, so we don’t need terrorists to cause havoc with our transport system.

The Let’s Get Ready Sydney campaign also urges Sydney CBD workers to hot foot it to one of three safety sites: Darling Harbour, Hyde Park or the Domain. This will be a handy bit of information for would-be terrorists – strike once, then strike again when Sydney-siders are congregated together at safety sites with cats in bags.

Really, I’m sure the Go-Bag is a well-intentioned piece of advice, but the “cat in the bag” business makes it vulnerable to a good bit of ridicule. I can just imagine us all with checklist in hand, ready to flee -Toilet paper? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Cat? Check.

And of course the cynical amongst us might suspect that this is just another attempt to keep Sydney-siders in a constant state of fear – expecting a terrorist attack at any time from anywhere or anyone.

I did detect a glaring omission. The recommended contents for the Go-Bag did not contain lip-gloss. What would you pack in your Go Bag?

Entry filed under: News opinion.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Oohlala  |  July 23, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    What I would pack in my Go Bag are

    * torch (without battery, you just shake it and then it gives light)
    * water
    * cracker or biscuit (I’m a great eater)
    * FM / AM radio
    * my family photo
    * my personal medicine + first aid kit for myself and other people
    * pencil + note paper (no pen. I think pencil is far better than pen)
    * swiss army knife (to make the pencil sharpen… and for other reasons)



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