We’re midway through our nightly series of Disaster Preparedness Month updates – each night a specific topic and/or tip. This week, we’ve been reminded that there is no more important reminder than: IT’S UP TO YOU. You can choose to ignore the topic and take the risk that a big quake, long power outage, or other crisis will catch you dangerously unprepared – or you can take a step here, a step there, toward really being ready. The whole point of personal/family preparedness is the knowledge that authorities will be overwhelmed, at least in the beginning, and potentially unable to help everyone who needs it, so you have to be ready to take care of yourself and your family for at least the first few days. Preparedness leadership is happening on a one-by-one basis too; the West Seattle Be Prepared website isn’t a government or other-institution project, it’s the work of citizen volunteers (who discussed it at this week’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting). The Emergency Communication Hubs – featured on the WSBP website – were planned by volunteers, at least one for each of the nine West Seattle neighborhoods that has a hub so far; they started getting the word out two years ago, with neighborhood-info tabling events at each of the ones that were in place by then. And then there’s the person-to-person aspect: That’s the heart of the “3 to Get Ready” campaign that the city is promoting on WSB and elsewhere this month – take 3 preparedness steps yourself, and teach three others. (Go here to get started with that, and be sure to follow the “register for prizes” link too for fun freebies.) Tonight at the Alki Community Council meeting, ACC member Penny stood up and offered her fellow members a few words of advice, as she has done at other meetings – this time, she shared that she’d learned rollaway luggage might be a more convenient way to keep your readiness kit than a soft carry bag, and she noted that whistles – recommended as potential signals for help – are readily available at Junction TrueValue. Got a favorite tip? Share it here – or at least share it with somebody you know, person-to-person.
West Seattle, Washington