Published: February 18, 2020

(Thank you to SEIU 503 union member and care provider Patty Falkenstein for the information in this article.)

Are you ready for ‘the big one’? Or the next forest fire?

Does emergency preparedness seem vague and overwhelming?

Just like everything else, you can do a lot if you break it down into baby steps.

Oregon Emergency Management is now cautioning people that 3 weeks of being without main services may be what we are in store for. As caregivers, we not only have to be able to function in our own homes, but we also may have a role in preparing our consumers. I personally would like to see emergency plans in place for every ISP,  at the very least communication and notification of local Community Emergency Response teams that a vulnerable person may need help in an emergency.

One way to start your steps to being more prepared is to create on your calendar small tasks that don’t take a lot of time- for instance:

Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home) get one gallon every payday ready until you have achieved what you need.

Easy task 2: set aside some cash in your new kit so that if ATMs are down you have some money on hand.

Another easy task is to develop the habit to fill up your gas tank when it reaches half empty. Always being at least a half full tank assures that you have gas for evacuation rather than having to wait in line when a crisis hits.

A ‘kit’ is a really helpful way to organize your items for preparedness. Not sure what to put in it? The Red Cross has put it all together for us, and you can adjust as needed:

Being prepared is not a ‘once and done’ task, but rather building yourself a framework so that when something happens, you know you have what you need to meet the challenges.

Here’s to a bright and prosperous New Year, and continued focus on living well!