Every night in April, in honor of Disaster Preparedness Month, we’re spotlighting something you can do to be ready in case of the unthinkable – simple steps, in many cases. And this one really is simple: Since it’s Easter and Passover, you may well have been seeing, or at least talking to, more of your out-of-the-area family and friends than usual. And they are the key to this hint: In case of a localized disaster – like an earthquake – you may be able to reach someone outside the area more easily than someone close by, so it’s important to pick a distant relative/friend who will agree to be your check-in point, then make sure everyone in your family has their phone number handy – so you can at least coordinate messages through that person, if you can get a call through to another area but not someplace locally. Put this person in your cell speed-dial, and in case land lines work but mobiles don’t, have their number in your wallet or something else you carry with you. Meantime, an option for checking in locally is to arrange to rendezvous at your nearest Emergency Communication Hub – there are now nine in West Seattle, chosen as part of a volunteer coordination/planning effort that’s been in the works more than two years, and it’s vital to know which one to go to if ALL lines of communication are down and you need to get information and/or help. They’re all on this map, which is part of the thorough West Seattle Be Prepared website, which was the subject of our Disaster Preparedness Month Night 1 report, while “getting important documents together and putting them in a safe place” was the topic for DPM Night 2.
West Seattle, Washington