Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us

by Dave Robinson

Dave Robinson

Ready Kids
Originally published August 31, 2012

None of us would consider going on any kind of road trip without a spare tire. Few women would entertain leaving the house without their purse. Just in case. If you are low on Band-Aids at your house, you stock up, just in case. Yet often the same people can’t see the need to prepare for a disaster, just in case. Go figure.

A really great resource is our own Coos County Emergency Management website. Click on the “Fun For Kids” link. It will take you to FEMA’s preparedness page designed for kids. There are games, exercises puzzles and even a scavenger hunt to get the kids involved in being prepared. Every child needs their own kit and this will help include them in the conversation. Kids like to be a part of what’s going on with preparations. To them it’s like getting ready to go camping. In fact when you do go camping, take their kit along as a sort of shake-down cruise to see whether or not you’ve missed anything. Each child should have their own backpack with extra clothes, flashlight, games, and other items they would need in the event of a disaster. Use your judgement in supplying age-appropriate items such as a pocket knife, hatchet or fire-starting implements. And remember to keep it positive! Do your best to keep out the fear-factor. Keep in mind you don’t have a spare tire because you’re afraid, you have it “just in case.”

Hardly a day goes by without someone asking me whether or not I watch “Disaster Preppers.” (I don’t happen to have the National Geographic channel in my satellite TV package. Yet.) I am aware of it and have watched a few episodes on YouTube. The thing that strikes me is not only are they obsessive, but they are all afraid of a particular disastrous event. Some choose coronal mass ejections (solar storms), some are afraid of economic collapse, and some have picked nuclear holocaust as their disaster of choice. It seems that they have “picked one” and planned entirely around that event. Some of the information is excellent, but keeping it balanced is definitely not in their plan. Just my humble opinion.

Another link on the Coos County Emergency Management site is the “Are You Ready” booklet. This booklet is free, and designed to let you print your own copy. I mentioned this resource a few weeks back, but it contains a disaster supplies calendar including a shopping list and a “to-do” list for each week. It will give you a starting point and keep you on track for being prepared in six months.

As always contact me with your questions or comments atdisasterprep.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