Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Hurricanes. Extreme winter storms. Not exactly what we’d call good news. Sometimes, however, it is a possible reality.

Along with such topics, it’s inevitable that some type of information about disaster preparedness or emergency planning also comes into the discussion. Just a cursory online search can be overwhelming and range from not much information, to too-much detailed information.

Most of us are comfortable somewhere in the middle. What do we do first? Where do we go for more information? What is manageable to put in place?

Some will have 50-gallon plastic drums stored with weeks of supplies in each one.

Some will have the needed material in a centralized place ready to throw into said drums, boxes, vehicles, etc.

Some will have a tsunami pod parked in their backyard.

And some may even be revamping their parents’ Cold War bomb shelters.

Like I said, it can all become overwhelming — or even beyond our capabilities. However, even if we can’t all do everything, we can all do something.

Let’s look at just four areas we can do without investing in various survival options throughout the state — and each of these can be expanded in as much detail as you like:

• First aid kit: The generic ones are better than none at all. However, since most of us are the non-generic type, you may want to personalize it. Current list of meds, spare batteries for hearing aids, glasses, allergy notes, etc.

• Emergency contact list: Who do you want be contacted?

• Lighting: Flashlights or lanterns — and remember batteries. Your phone as a flashlight could be useful, but you might need it for other things — like calling someone. There are also inexpensive stick-up lights you can put around your home for when lights go out.

• Bedside items: None of the above will be of much use if you can’t get to them. Again, a flashlight helps. You might also consider a pair of shoes (not just slippers) by the bed, and a sweater or coat nearby.

I mentioned that all of these ideas can be expanded to more detail. One example that I’ve recommended more than once is a booklet (downloadable) titled: Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors. This is available on the Red Cross site (www.redcross.org) and is an easy, informative read.

Also, keep in mind the Pacific County Emergency Services at 360-642-9338 or 360-875-9338.

Sometimes all we need is a place to start.

Information & Assistance

Long Beach: 360-642-3634

or 888-571-6558

Raymond: 360-942-2177

or 888-571-6557

www.o3a.org

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