Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Advertizing, brought to you by FEMA

Nicole and I went to the grocery store last night, specifically to Food City. This is not unusual, we regularly shop there, especially since there is a store less than a mile from our home. While we were there, however, I saw something I never thought I would see: In the canned goods aisle, there was a yellow arrow pointing to the Chef Boyardee canned pastas with the notation:

“The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends having a supply of this item in preparation for an emergency.”

Since when is FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security mandated by the Constitution to be concerned about whether or not Americans have an ample supply of beefaroni in an emergency? I suppose the President should declare a national emergency for the ravioli supply.

Some of you are saying “Oatney, that’s just a stunt by Food City…the FEMA lists aren’t that specific.”

True enough. However, FEMA/Homeland Security makes the mistake of assuming that all Americans are clueless about what to get in case of an emergency. The problem is not that the people don’t know how to supply themselves, the problem is that many don’t know they need to.

Shame on Food City for attempting to profit shamelessly off of our need for preparedness. Yes, stores need to keep preparedness lists and distribute them. When you point to specific items in the floor (as opposed to other equally important items, that is an attempt to con a buck. If that is the intent, it would be perfectly fine to put an arrow in the floor with the words “makes a great Saturday lunch for the kids.”


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