Emergency Preparedness

June 11, 2006 | Comments Off on Emergency Preparedness

I recently heard an American Red Cross presentation about emergency preparedness. It was the usual stuff we all know and mostly haven’t taken care of, like keeping a pair of sturdy shoes and a flashlight tied to your bedpost, and not sleeping underneath mirrors, but it got me to thinking about emergency preparedness for travelers.

In the Bay Area we tend to think of an emergency as something like the Loma Preita quake but bigger, or the Oakland fire. Preparedness is all about clearing brush away from your house, having canned goods and other appropriate supplies at hand, knowing how to shut off your gas supply, and trying to remember whether the “pyramid of life” technique does or does not reflect the current thinking about what to do during an earthquake.

But what if you’re halfway around the world when a disaster strikes? What if there’s no one home to shut off the gas? What if there’s no one around to grab your special lightweight-but-fireproof box filled with “important documents”? What if roads are closed, and the pet sitter can’t get to your house to feed your best friend?

So consider this your reminder: approach emergency preparedness planning from the perspective of someone living far away, as well as that of someone living through the actual disaster. Like they say about the Big One, it’s not if, it’s when?


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