Emergency Preparedness Knows No Season

Debbie McDonald

Summer is fast approaching and, while emergency preparedness is important year round, there are some considerations for summer time. We go on vacation visiting areas relatively unknown and leave our property vacant. Kids may be home by themselves from time to time. Summer invites us to be outside recreating, picnicking, and enjoying the heat and longer days. Are you and your family prepared in the event of an emergency?

An emergency situation might be a natural event such as wildfire being blown towards your home (whether you are there or not), or being stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire far from AAA. Having a plan and supplies can give you great peace of mind. Water (lots of water), snacks or food, appropriate clothes, shelter, and a plan can make all the difference in your comfort and maybe even your survival. But how to start?  

The answer is one step at a time, just do it. You can’t rely on others to come to your rescue but you can be the one to take responsibility for your situation. The following resources might be helpful in getting you and your family prepared. (Don’t forget about your pets and livestock.)

Getting Started is Easy—Being prepared for disasters and emergencies can seem like a big job. Many people don’t know where to start, so they never start at all. With Do 1 Thing you can take small steps that make a big difference in an emergency.

Do 1 Thing is a 12-month program that makes it easy for you to prepare yourself, your family, and your community for emergencies or disasters – one task, one month at a time.  You will receive an email at the beginning of each month with links and a reminder to Do 1 Thing.

Red Cross Prepare! Brochure
Comprehensive guide for a wide range of emergency situations.

Klickitat County Department of Emergency Management
https://www.klickitatcounty.org/249/Emergency-Management—lists general information regarding operations, wildfire, burn bans and registration for emergency notifications.

Hood River County Emergency Management
Do you work or shop in Hood River? Go to www.co.hood-river.or.us  – Click on Get Ready Gorge! Preparedness Tips – Download preparedness tips, publications and sign up for Citizen Alerts. Get READY Gorge! (What will you do if there’s an earthquake and you can’t cross the bridge?  Were you caught in stopped traffic for hours when the train derailed in Mosier?)

From the website: “Get READY Gorge residents! We live in a beautiful and remote area with extreme weather and natural hazards. Be prepared. Disasters and emergencies can happen at any time. Citizens and businesses are encouraged to be self-sufficient for at least 3 days and up to 3 weeks, should an emergency or disaster occur.

Download your copy of Get READY Gorge
8 pages of online tips. Prepare your home, family or business for power outages, winter storms, landslides, floods and earthquakes. “

Wasco County Emergency Management

Do you shop or work in Wasco County?  Sign Up for Citizen Alerts, and get emergency preparedness information.

A Sampling of Equipment and Food websites:
Note:  check out the camping departments in big box stores including Walmart, Bi-Mart, Kmart, Costco and Fred Meyer. You can be prepared without spending a ton of money. This is by no means a complete list or endorsement.

Survival Frog – www.survivalfrog.com 

Emergency Essentials – www.beprepared.com 

Wise Food – www.wisefoodstorage.com 

Mountain House – www.mountainhouse.com

Food Storage Moms is an email blog written by Linda Loosli “to help one family at a time” prepare for all kinds of emergencies. Her Document Binder link available to download is at https://www.foodstoragemoms.com/my-favorite-things/. Remember the recent California wildfires when people who were interviewed about their evacuation experience said they couldn’t decide what important papers to take in the 10 minutes they had to get their stuff together?  Create a document binder or upload scanned copies on a USB drive to grab and go.

High Prairie is a FireWise Community. Contact local coordinator Tom McMackin by email at firewise.onhighprairie@gmail.com or by phone message by calling 509-365-2786.

Find out how to create a wildfire defensible space on your property: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Firewise-USA/The-ember-threat-and-the-home-ignition-zone 

Neighborhood Resources
While it is important for you to be self-sufficient in a variety of situations, finding out what resources your neighbors might need or be able to contribute is also important. Who has first aid skills? Are there elderly or special needs neighbors to be checked on?  Who has alternate energy sources?  Who might have items you could barter for and what could you use for barter?  Who has meat processing skills?  Who has alternate communication skills?  

Once you start thinking about what you have on hand already, you’ll find being prepared for day-to-day emergencies is much easier, and if you are prepared, others will be more willing to share what they have on hand. By definition, once a disaster happens, it is too late to prepare.

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