November 5, 2013

By Staff

Weekend wind storm was call to readiness

The big winds blew last weekend and sent residents scurrying. It wasn’t about the leaves and branches. It was about the need to get emergency ready.

Many experienced the dreaded power outage — without the luxury of a generator. Luckily, the daytime temperatures were mild, but the threat of winter’s pending cold was a reminder of the need to set in supplies.

Flashlights and batteries. Propane for the gas grill, fuel for the camp stove. Bottled water in stock, one gallon per person per day (check the expiration date!) Prepared foods like granola bars and dried fruit on hand. A hand-crank can opener. A portable radio, with batteries.

That’s the easy part. But are you prepared for the crippling snow and ice storms, the earthquakes and even a house fire?

Start with a plan. Know where to take cover in an earthquake. Know the best exit routes in case of fire. Make a plan if the family is separated at the time of a storm that causes roads to be blocked. Complete a list of emergency phone numbers and review it with children. Partner with a neighbor or two to check on each other.

It wouldn’t hurt to practice with a disaster drill. Flip the breakers and experience the dark. Now, where are those flashlights? Are there some easy foods, i.e. hot dogs, in the freezer you can cook on the barbecue? And after the basics, what will your family do while sitting in the dark wrapped in blankets?

Practice a fire drill, or drop, cover and hold for an earthquake. Chances are youngsters know more about what to do than parents!

While the lights are still on and you are planning ahead, make a date to take a first aid and CPR class, offered by Eastside Fire & Rescue. Collect your important family records and store in a water and fire-proof container. Be sure all adults know how — and when — to turn off the water, gas and electricity.

Disasters happen, but emergency preparedness is the key to keeping your family safe.

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