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Preparedness

With hazards ranging from severe weather, wildfire, volcanic activity to seismic events, hazardous materials spills and terrorist attacks, it is very important that everyone take preparedness very seriously.

It is very likely that First Responders will be over-extended in a disaster situation, and WILL NOT be able to help everyone who needs it.

Each of us has a responsibility to be prepared.


Prepare! http://www.govlink.org/3days3ways/

Washington State Public Health has some good preparedness info here.

Download a Preparedness Calendar from the Red Cross.

“It is not a question of if, but when.”

Mitigation

Another key to preparation for disasters mitigation. Taking proactive steps to minimize the effects of winter storms, wildfire, floods, earthquakes and other hazards before they occur.
  • Winter Storms: Preparing for extended power outages, insulating your home, winterizing you car and other step may help reduce the impact from wicked winter weather. The Red Cross has more information available.
  • Seismic Mitigation: Securing hot water tanks, installing catches on cabinet doors are just two things that have proven effective in reducing the damage from earthquakes.
  • Creating Defensible Space around your home and out buildings is a critical mitigative step in preparing for wildfires. Check out the Firewise web site for more ways to prepare your property.
  • Educate yourself: If you are on your own in the aftermath of a disaster, do you have the knowledge and skill necessary to meet the challenges you may face? The CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program educates folks for just such an eventuality.

The more done before a disaster strikes, the better the chances of reducing the impact to your life and property.

Have a Plan!

Each household should preplan the actions to take in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Remember most disasters strike without sufficient warning to take meaningful protective measures; Prepare Before!!

72 Hour Kit

Key to preparation for many disasters are critical supplies for at least 72 hours (three days).

Often referred to as "72 Hour Kits," the contents of these kits may vary - but should include at least the following items:

  • A minimum of one gallon of water per person per day. This means at least three gallons of water per person.
  • Sufficient non-perishable food for three days. Ideally, these foods will be lightweight and high in energy. If you pack canned foods, remember a can opener!
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications. Include a spare set of glasses, if you need them.
  • Battery powered portable radio. This may be your only source of information during a disaster.
  • First aid kit. The small camping kits work well. Remember to get enough supplies for the number of people who may be using them. As important as a first aid kit, is basic first aid training.
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • Clothing and bedding. A spare pair of socks and a space saver blanket would be a minimum.
  • Special items such as baby needs or contact lens supplies, etc.
  • Personal comfort items. Books, games, personal electronics, etc.
  • Took Kit containing basic tools for minor repairs. Include gas shut-off wrench.

Remember, this is only a basic kit. You should add things to this list that you or your family will need. Brainstorm the possibilies: What if power is lost for an extended time? What if you become isolated? What if you are evacuated?

It is wise to have a kit not only at home, but in your vehicle, and at work.

A search of web for "72 Hour Kit" will generate an enormous list of web sites offering their version of a preparedness kit - and many will offer to sell you such kits.  Let common sense be your guide.

Amateur (HAM) Radio

Amateur (HAM) Radio provides those with a licensed a valuable means to communicate during an emergency. The Radio Room in the Skamania County EOC has good coverage of Amateur Bands; HF, VHF and UHF.

The EOC Staff volunteers are working to provide both training and exam services. Contact Neal Sacon for information.

A good tutorial is on the web at www.hamquick.com/tutorial_main.php.

Some of the practice exams are on www.eham.net/exams and www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl

Terrorism? In Skamania County???
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While arguably not at the top of any terrorist target list, Skamania County may well be dramatically impacted by terrorist activities in the Portland/Vancouver area, or even Seattle...

Imagine the impact on services and disruption of daily life if hundreds, possibly thousands of folks flee the metropolitan areas for the "safety" of smaller communities?!!


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Skamania County Emergency Management

PO Box 790 - 200 Vancouver Ave. - Stevenson, WA 98648
509/427-8076 - Fax: 509/427-7555

Sheriff Dave Brown, DEM Director | John Carlson, DEM Coordinator