I was able to have a serious discussion about emergency preparedness with my husband as a result of all the news this week, including a local story about a neighbourhood we once lived in where the residents were being advised to stay inside with all doors, windows and ventilation closed because of plumes of toxic smoke from a hardware store fire. Likely the city's tiniest hardware store, but crammed with paints and chemicals and a fresh delivery of self-lighting barbecue briquets (the fire has been deemed accidental). So we talked about what measures we should take to protect ourselves in case of some natural or other disaster. And we even talked a bit about living in a world with too many people, using too much stuff, with margins that are just too thin. Then we went to Home Depot.