Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us
by Dave Robinson
Originally published July 13, 2013
When I began writing this column nearly two years ago, Disaster Preparedness was virtually looked upon as akin to joining a cult. “You believe what?” “You’re going to do what?” “That’s a little weird!” Those are all comments that preppers used to hear from their non-prepping friends. In the past couple of years, Disaster Preparedness has gained some respectability with the help from National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers” and a couple of dozen articles in the local media regarding the earthquake danger in our region. While I’m not exactly in full agreement with the case studies on “Doomsday Preppers” there are some things to be learned from them. In my opinion most of the groups depicted on there have settled on a favorite disaster scenario and focused totally on that particular perceived threat. You can get good ideas from their plan-making and incorporate their experience into your own preparations. I can’t imagine the disappointment of the group who gets hit with a hurricane and all their planning has been how they’re going to survive a nuclear holocaust. That may be just a tad bit facetious, but you get the hint. I believe that you should prepare for natural disasters that are common in your area. For example, here on the Oregon Coast, we rarely see tornados, so it would be foolish to build an underground “safe” room to go to in case of tornado. Rather the threats here are of high wind storms, (and the ensuing power outages) local flooding,(and the accompanying road closures) and of course earthquake.
Some have decided there will be a collapse of society through the demise of our economic system, political structure or a worldwide meltdown of both. Those folks tend to be a bit more hard-core than simply storing up a couple cases of Spam and some Ramen noodles.
If preparing for a disaster interests you, I have collected some websites that could be of value. Surprisingly one of the best sites is www.ready.gov. This site is sponsored by FEMA and is continually updated with accurate and valuable information. This site has links for individuals, businesses and even an area for kids. Included in the kids’ section are some resources for teachers and parents. Another is www.redcross.org. The focus of The American Red Cross has always been emergency relief, but one of their primary missions is to provide training for anyone wants to improve their skills in First Aid, Caregiving and even Life Guarding. They even provide services for people who are displaced in disasters so they can re-connect with loved ones.
Our own Coos County Emergency Management is a division of the Coos County Sheriff’s Office. Their website is well-designed and very informative. My favorite part is the “Are You Ready” booklet. This little booklet can be downloaded and assembled for your own reference. The best part of the booklet is the week-by-week Disaster Supply Llist that, if followed, will take you from Zero to well prepared in a six-month period.
The best time to prepare is before disaster strikes. That time is NOW!
As always, send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Dave Robinson is Bandon's Postmaster and has worked for the postal service for 30 years. He has a background in law enforcement, served in the Air Force in Vietnam, worked nine years for the Coos County Sheriff's Department, and serves on the Myrtle Point School Board, where he lives.
additional columns by Dave Robinson