Thursday, October 22, 2009

Preparedness should be a lifestyle

We received a message from one of our readers this week with some great ideas about being prepared for emergencies large and small.

Dwight Racke has experienced all types of disasters, including hurricanes and earthquakes. He thinks disaster preparedness should be a lifestyle.

Here are some of Racke's suggestions:

-People should think of the family car as an RV. Keep a box full of snacks and bottled water under one of the seats. When running errands with active kids, they can snack instead of becoming crabby. (I did get an interesting call on this one saying this is why American's are Obese - especially state workers, but I think you get the point)

-Nighttime sporting events often get chilly, but you could have your lap blankets tucked away in the trunk.

-Emergency preparedness supplies always should be handy for small or large disasters and should be enough to help you "camp out" if needed following a larger event.

As Racke said in his e-mail, most of "disaster preparedness" boils down to camping.

That's a great way to think about it. You need the same items that you would take if you were on a camping trip.

Keep your camping gear stored away from the home. If an earthquake strikes and your family has to flee the house, you may be able to get to your camping gear and have everything you need to get by for two weeks.

During many large scale disasters, some areas are so devastated that people have to camp out on their front lawns for days or weeks waiting for assistance.

Let's do as Racke suggests and take baby steps in the way of disaster preparedness.

Jennifer Bailey, formerly of FEMA, is the public affairs coordinator of Oregon Emergency Management. She may be reached at (503) 378-2911, Ext. 22294 or

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