Island Senior: Emergency! Are you ready?

Posted October 1, 2022 at 7:22 pm by

It’s fall and time to think about tak­ing stock and stock­ing up on sup­plies in case of an emer­gency. Thank­ful­ly we are not in the path­way of hur­ri­canes, but if you’ve been around here for a while you know that we can get some mighty dam­ag­ing win­ter windstorms.

The most com­mon events to be ready for here are pow­er out­ages and get­ting snowed in. Due to our rel­a­tive­ly mild and wet cold weath­er, our snow can melt and freeze and have more snow fall on top of it, cre­at­ing treach­er­ous­ly slick sur­faces. Seniors espe­cial­ly should avoid walk­ing on icy snow.

Earth­quakes are anoth­er pos­si­bil­i­ty. They could be any­thing from a bare­ly felt jig­gle to the big one. Unlike the win­ter storms we are more famil­iar with, an earth­quake is less pre­dictable but nonethe­less a like­li­hood if not an inevitabil­i­ty. Emer­gency con­tacts in your neigh­bor­hood and in a loca­tion out­side the region are good to have in place.

The San Juan Coun­ty Depart­ment of Emer­gency Man­age­ment cau­tions, “Here in the islands, every­one who is able has the respon­si­bil­i­ty to pre­pare them­selves to be on their own fol­low­ing a dis­as­ter — in the islands, we’re pri­mar­i­ly think­ing earth­quake or win­ter storm. We strong­ly encour­age peo­ple to have at least two weeks worth of sup­plies on hand.”

Emer­gency Man­age­ment also has a prepa­ra­tion cal­en­dar on their web­site with a month-by-month guide to get­ting ful­ly pre­pared. Among their first sug­ges­tions of what to have on hand are 10 gal­lons of water per per­son, a hand-oper­at­ed can open­er, two flash­lights, and bat­ter­ies. Dur­ing our most recent pow­er out­age I was glad to have the bat­tery-oper­at­ed lantern that I bought recent­ly from REI.

Food that does not need to be cooked is good to have on hand — things like peanut but­ter, crack­ers, sar­dines, canned or dried fruit, and gra­nola bars. In a pinch, hav­ing a stash of instant cof­fee and canned milk could save the day.

The Emer­gency Man­age­ment web­site is a valu­able resource that spells out in detail what islanders can do to be pre­pared. Stay safe my friends!

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Categories: Island Senior

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