Planning for an emergency: Week 8

With the holiday weekend here, many of us have lots of things to do and places to go. Let's make this week's emergency preparedness work simple to accomplish.Most importantly, let's remember what this holiday is all about. Without the work and sacrifice of the millions of men and women in the American military, our country would be a much different place. Please take the time to thank those who have done so much for our country. In many ways the military is an excellent model of preparedness. Each branch of the service must be prepared for many different problems and emergencies. The preparedness of each branch of the service also rests on the shoulders of the individual men and women assigned to that branch. All members of the service train, have a plan, have supplies and know their duties during and after an emergency. This week let's follow the same path of improvement. We always want to work on our supply inventory, improve our knowledge and expand our emergency plan. The recommended additions to our supplies, for this week, are easy to obtain. During and after emergencies small and large problems occur that require remarkably little to remedy. This week add the following to your supply kit: scissors, tweezers, thermometer, needles, liquid anti-bacterial soap, disposable hand wipes, petroleum jelly or other lubricant, zip ties, wooden tongue blades and duct tape. All of the above items are readily available and fairly inexpensive if you need to buy them. Most importantly, all of the items can be used for many different repairs and uses. Whether they are used for first aid purposes or to repair something, there is a level of comfort knowing that you have the right tool or supply in the time of need. This week for our knowledge improvement, let's round up a sturdy pair of shoes for each member of our family (and a flashlight) and station them near our beds. Be sure everyone knows what to do if an earthquake occurs when they are in bed. Then take a few minutes to look around your sleeping areas. Is there anything in the area that could easily topple over or break? Are there two ways out of each sleeping area? Does everyone in the family know how to exit their room using the 'second' exit ? If you or anyone in your family uses eye glasses, be sure you have extra pairs on-hand. Consider placing a pair with your first-aid and sewing kit. How about another pair of glasses or a magnifying glass for your family emergency communications document (the place where all of the emergency numbers should be written down)? It's tough enough to get on-track immediately after an emergency. Having the right equipment (like eye-glasses) in the right place makes things a little less stressful. Have a nice, safe holiday. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to Mark Sauter is deputy city manager in charge of emergency preparedness for the city of Downey.

********** Published: May 28, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 6