Island Senior: Emergency! Are you ready?
Posted October 1, 2022 at 7:22 pm by Peggy Sue McRae
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