Sunday, June 11, 2006

Disaster planning

My job can be very exciting at times. One of the fun parts of my job is to visit Paratransit applicants.
When someone signs up for Paratransit here in Island County I read the application, assess the disability then visit them to interview them personally. During the interview process I am still assessing them and question them about their disability.
Sometimes I just need to travel train them. Teaching people to ride the regular fixed route gives them the freedom to ride the bus at any time. On Paratransit you need to call in at least the day ahead to reserve a seat. Some people live too far from our 3/4 mile corridor to ride the bus, and some live right across the street from the bus stop. Those are the ones I travel train. I love meeting the different people and seeing where they live.
The other day I was driving to one house and noticed this sign in front of their driveway. I see these signs all the time and think nothing of them, but I saw it the other day and thought of so many people that live inland from a coast and have no idea what the sign means. It means literally: Get the heck outa here if you feel a strong earthquake or if the radio warns of a Tsunami approaching!!
Some people live right on a beach here and even though we live in Puget Sound away from the open Ocean, we can get Tsunami's after a strong earthquake.

We all have our disasters to plan for. There are tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, or whatever weather zooms in on us. I say zoom because no matter how hard we plan, we are always taken by surprise!
Everyone needs to plan for disasters. Now they are talking about the upcoming avian flu epidemic. If or when it hits, it can be very devastating to the world. I am hearing that 40% of the work force could be out at one time. The flu will kill alot of people and our supplies will be taxed as there won't be many people to deliver them. Here I go again, preaching to people to have a plan!
Plan on being able to take care of yourself for at least a week. I plan on a month. Actually I could probably survive three months or more with the supplies I have in my house.
If you don't know what to plan for, or what supplies to keep visit the FEMA site the Center for Disease Control site or the RED CROSS site.
I keep water, food and clothing close to grab and take with me in case of an evacuation. Actually I just reminded myself to check my van at work. I replenish the food and water supply every year. I have granola bars or the like, and individual water bottles, a blanket, a candle and lighter, flashlights, spare undies (instead of throwing away the old ones, put them in the emergency pack) (clean, of course). And some packets of waterless wipe ups. Of course I have a first aid kit in each vehicle. Now with the threat of an Avian flu epidemic, I also have some disposable face masks, rubber gloves and Vionex wipes. Ya just never know! I just pray I will never need them!!
And don't forget your pets!! They depend on you to take care of them!!

Now please go check your supplies and see if any needs to be replaced!
Hurricane season is sneaking in on us!

God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list.
He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.
That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.