Day 3 – National Preparedness Month Challenge – Seven Steps to Identifying your Local Disasters
I know it is impossible to be ready for every emergency that might happen in the world. If I take a minute and write down all the local disasters I can think of, my imagination runs wild – do I need too prepare for an earthquake? I think there is a fault in my area. What about wildfires, is my house at risk? Even with all the rain in the Pacific Northwest we still have that time in August and September when it gets dry and wildfire is a concern. Today we are under a heat index warning for temperatures near 100 degrees. The rain will start again soon and floods seem to be an issue every winter, don’t they? Am I prepared…and not scared…
Disasters can be natural, like earthquakes, wildfires and floods. Winter storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. We have no control over when they happen. A local disaster can also be intensely personal, affecting just your family – have you prepared for the loss of a much needed job or the death of a loved one?
Terrorism and pandemic disease are a real threat in today’s world. Do I need to prepare for everything? This is overwhelming! How do I even know where to begin?
Today’s Challenge: Identify the local disasters that might effect your family
Building on the principle that there are some GOOD things to do to get us motivated, BETTER things to gain more knowledge and BEST ideas to gain mastery – we present Seven Steps for identifying the local disasters that are likely to happen in your area:
1. Make a list of the common events which could occur at your home: fire, unemployment, wind, ice – you get the idea. How about your neighborhood: earthquake, hazardous materials spill, wildfire or landslide – the list may be long. Don’t panic, you’ve got this covered!
2. Take a look at the FEMA course “Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness” These parts may help you decide what local disaster you might be preparing for – Natural Hazards # 1 and Natural Hazards #2 information sheets or the Technological Hazards sheet
3. Visit the Red Cross website and see their “types of emergencies” page. Will any of these local disasters be something your family may need to prepare for? http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster
4. Visit the online atlas for Clackamas County and look at different risk area maps for your neighborhood. You will find information about earthquake, wildfire and watersheds at http://www.clackamas.us/gis/atlas.html. Check your county for similar websites.
5. Put your address into the http://www.clackamas.us/property.html and review the natural hazards information for your home. Check your county for similar information.
6. Go to usa.com and see what natural disasters are common for your area. http://www.usa.com/estacada-or-natural-disasters-extremes.htm
7. Take a deep breath! Prayerfully consider how you or your family will respond to each local disaster you have identified. Remember, this is doable – one step at a time. Keep your list of “possible” disasters in a handy spot for future Preparedness Planning Days this month.
MORE sites to visit – Can’t get enough of this stuff? Try these informative sites.
BETTER – You can spend hours at this site! http://www.oregongeology.org/sub/earthquakes/earthquakehome.htm
BEST – The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office has an excellent seven video series on what may happen during and after an earthquake. This is worth watching. I think it is especially interesting that it’s not the earthquake that kills most people, but what they do afterward. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8DoIZ5h-cE
Tomorrow’s challenge: Put your knowledge to use – Create a Family Evacuation and Communication Plan
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