(This is a guest post from Big Al, who attended the presentation last week.)
Senior University at Franke Tobey Jones presented a program from the Mt Rainier Chapter of the American Red Cross. They discussed the actions residents can take before, during, and after a natural disaster to eliminate or mitigate the problems they might face. Fortunately we, in this area, don’t have to worry about most natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, but we are at risk for earthquake and wildfire.
The representatives first explained the chain of help should an emergency situation arise: local fire and rescue, state disaster response teams, and federal emergency management.
Earthquakes occur when two sides of a fault line move due to plate movement. Earthquakes can occur in this area either as part of seismic activity or as discrete events.
In the event of an earthquake they stress three points:
Have an emergency plan for what you and your family will do. This includes a potential meeting point in case of home destruction and a person out of state (preferably) that everyone of the family, if separated at the time can call with the status of the caller.
Try to earthquake proof your home to include ensuring hot water tanks are strapped to the wall and anything else that could tip over possibly on a person. Also have a place in the home to go that is structurally stronger like the cubby hole of a desk or under a table.
Try to have an emergency kit with emergency clothing, food, and water for approx. seven days.
- Clothing shouldn’t be anything fancy or new but things you can do labor in.
- Blanket and something to keep warm at night.
- An old pair of shoes so that you are not barefooted and having to walk on glass or other sharp items.
- Food should be canned and/or dry.
- Matches for a fire.
- A mechanical can opener.
- About two gallons of water/person/day. Food and water would be rotated out and used and replaced periodically.
Generally the suggestions in case of wildfire are the same as for earthquakes, except that you usually have more time to prepare in case of a wildfire. In any case be ready, AND WILLING, to evacuate if you are threatened by a wildfire.
In addition to all this good information, the representatives referred us to several Red Cross Apps that you can get for your iPhone and Android to remind you of what you need to know.
The hour-long presentation included numerous questions with helpful answers. Attendees were encouraged to call or visit the Red Cross if they had further questions.
Get a Kit
Make a Plan