Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us

by Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

Getting That Kit Together
Originally published July 10, 2012

Whenever the topic of Disaster Preparedness comes up, one of the comments I hear most often is, “I don’t know where to start!” I always try to soothe their fears by telling them they don’t have to build their kit all at once, nor does it have to torpedo their budget in the process. I subscribe to the “Just Do Something!” school of thought. Even though you may be at a loss as to how to get started, just buying new batteries for your flashlight, maybe a few candles and some Spam (for the shelf, of course) is a move in the right direction.

Someone recently handed me a booklet produced by Coos County Emergency Management. This little book is chock full of great ideas. There is a rundown of all the various kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made that could conceivably affect our lives here on the south coast. Included are sections on planning, document storage, evacuation and helping children cope, among others.

All of the information in the booklet is good stuff, and very relevant to our area. The best part of the publication is the section titled “Your Disaster Supplies Calendar”. This chapter takes you on a 24 week journey that will assist you in creating a family disaster supplies kit. The step-by-step guide gives you a list of practical things to purchase each week. Not only a shopping list, but a weekly to-do list as well. If you follow this guide, by the end of the six-month period you will be well-stocked and ready to face any disaster that may come your way.

Many of the items on this list are things you probably already have on hand, but it never hurts to have an extra pair of good work gloves in your kit. At least you know where they are. Both of them.

Now for the really best part. This booklet is free and it is available online to print off on your home printer. Just go online to http://www.co.coos.or.us/Portals/0/Emergency%20Management/Preparedness_Booklet.pdf, or Google “Coos County Emergency Management” look for “Are You Ready Booklet” on the left side of the page. I’m sure you’ll find it a valuable resource as you move toward being prepared. As always send your questions or comments to disasterprep.dave@gmail.com.

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