Call me Mr. Emergency. Seriously, call me that. Like the next time you see me.

I’m the guy you want to be with during an emergency. I’m ready for anything. I’ve got escape routes tattooed on my body. I’ve sewn spare batteries into every pair of socks that I own. I know, that sounds a little much, but I’ve got a system. In my thick, wool winter socks, I sew in one size D battery. And then for every other pair of socks that I own, I go down in battery size with relation to how much thinner the socks get. Like regular socks might have double-As, really thin running socks triple-As, and then for my wife’s ultra thin pantyhose and leggings, I’ve hidden away little watch batteries of various sizes.

You know how some people fill up the bathtub whenever a big storm rolls into town? I keep my bathtub filled all the time. You might think it gets in the way of taking a shower and staying clean, but it doesn’t. I submerged my whole body in the tub when we moved in and I filled the whole thing up to the brim. I used a straw so I could breath. After it was filled I got out and measured how much water was left in the tub, and I labeled it with a line around the perimeter. So I just always keep it to that level, this way while I’m waiting out any potential disasters, I can still take a bath without wasting any water. I mean, yeah I’m spending a ton of money on constantly keeping the water level up that high, but whatever, it’s totally worth it.

I just bought twenty-five packs of candles. I hollowed out the bottom of each candle and snuck inside little birthday candles. If I ever need an emergency birthday party, I’m set. If not, then I assume that once the big candles gets down to the little candles, they’ll just continue to burn like a regular candle. But another trick: I didn’t use regular birthday candles, I used those prank candles, the ones that relight after you’ve blown them out. That way if it’s really windy, I’ll be the only guy on the block with a functioning celebration. Also, I figure they might come in handy in case anybody needs an emergency joke.

I’ve got a backup generator for my backup generator. I even bought a separate computer and loaded a bunch of web sites and photos and videos on it. So when the power goes out for good, I can just crank up the generator, use my regular computer to wirelessly link up to the emergency computer, and there it is, emergency Internet. Yeah, it might not be as comprehensive or up to date as the regular Internet, but it beats playing chess or reading a book or having a conversation.

I’ve got it all. Emergency power, emergency entertainment, even emergency money. If the dollar ever collapses, I’ve printed up enough personalized currency to keep me in the black for at least a decade. Nobody else is going to have any. You know why? I bought an emergency money press, and so if people get wise to my idea and try to make their own money, they’re going to look up “money presses” on the Internet, and Google will tell them, “Calculating route to nearest money press,” and they’ll take out their phones and load up the directions and it’ll lead them right to my front door. And they’ll have to go through me. And sure, I’ll do business with you. But I only accept my personalized emergency money as payment. Sorry.

Flashlights? Please. I’ve designed our guest room’s furniture entirely out of flashlights. Canned food? Come on. I filled the basement entirely with cans, floor to ceiling. You’d literally have to eat your way out, which, in the event of an emergency, that’s exactly what I’d want to do. The only thing I think I’ve forgotten is emergency clothing.

Actually, the only thing I forgot is that I actually didn’t forget about the emergency clothing. I already took care of it. I got out the sewing kit and laid out all of my clothes inside out. Then I sewed another shirt or pants on the inside of every inside out pair. One, this saves so much space, because it looks like it’s only one shirt or one pair of pants. Two, once civilization has collapsed, after a year or two, everybody will look really haggard, all post-apocalyptic torn slacks and ripped blouses. And all I’ll have to do is flip my clothes inside out again to reveal a brand new unworn garment. People will be like, “Rob, how do manage to look so good throughout all of this societal unrest?” And I won’t tell anybody, because once they figure out how prepared I am for even the smallest of details, word will spread that I’m the emergency king, and people will think, what else has he thought of? Guest rooms filled with flashlights? Basements stocked with canned goods? Emergency Internet?”

And all of the personalized currency in the world can’t buy your way out of a mob of desperate people, all driven to storm your house and take whatever they can grab. Which is why I have an emergency self-destruct button. “It’s a fake!” some people will scream, to which I’ll reply, “Go ahead! Try me!” and even though most people will see it as the fake button it really is, there will always be that doubt in the back of everyone’s mind, telling them, well, he’s been this prepared for everything else. Maybe that button really does work.

And eventually they’ll all leave. And I’ll be put in charge of rebuilding, because I’d have shown tremendous wisdom in getting through emergencies and crises. And that old saying will be replaced by a new saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going, to line up in front of Rob’s house, to pledge allegiance, to beg for supplies, and see if there isn’t anything he might not need in return.” Yeah it’s a little long, but it’s practical, and as far as sayings go, in an emergency anyway, practicality always trumps catchiness.