With the earthquake in Japan in the news these last days, I thought it might be a good time for an update on community preparedness planning in our own back yard. Nothing like a big disaster to get people’s attention about making some basic preparations.
You might be wondering what the headline has to do with this subject. One thing that emergency preparedness folks have realized over the past couple of years is that texting is often more successful than a call at getting messages through when major communication systems are down or struggling. A simple “IMOK” sent between family members lets you know that your child/wife/husband/parent is, in fact, OK. This is just one of the many new ideas floating around about how to react, respond, and recover in the event something happens here.
Hopefully, you have been reading previous posts (OK, it’s been awhile…) about the neighborhood level community preparedness project with several communication hubs identified where people can share information and reach out to help their neighbors if a big earthquake hits. Please note on the pyramid how many of us are in the botttom two levels and how few there are to respond at the top. Have you taken the time to put aside 3-7 days worth of water and food to rely on if utilities and transportation are offline? If so, have you rotated the supplies to make sure they are still fresh? Interested in learning more? We are launching the revitalization of Wallingford Community Preparedness planning by hosting a:
Preparedness Potluck Breakfast
Wallingford Community Senior Center
Saturday March 19th, 2011
Breakfast at 9:00AM – Preparedness Discussion 10:00AM-Noon
Guest Speaker: Debbie Goetz of the Seattle Office of Emergency Management. We will be discussing the planning to date at the neighborhood level and coordination that has been ongoing with other nearby neighborhoods and around the city. Most recently, there was an exercise where we practiced how the communication hubs function as a neighborhood resource. It is evident that there needs to be a lot of awareness in the community at large and volunteers that will be willing to step forward in the event of an earthquake like the one in Japan today.
Please come and join the conversation. Monthly meetings resume on April 6th, first Wednesday of the month, 5:30-7:00PM at the Wallingford Community Senior Center, lower level of the Good Shepherd Center.