Bringing home the lessons
From water storage to ham radios, we’re making changes, too
When the editors of Community Vitality began researching this issue, we learned much more than we ever expected. Like a lot of you, we know that the possibility of a disaster is always present. We know that earthquakes (and train wrecks and forest fires and floods) could happen in our area. And we know that being prepared is always a good idea.
a windstorm toppled a fir tree that just missed our house
As we interviewed, read, wrote about and discussed the lessons of recent disasters, we also discovered during an editorial meeting that each of us has taken the lessons to heart.
Megan Monson, who was in the process of replacing an older wood stove, decided against a natural gas system in favor of a new, more efficient wood stove. Her motivation? Having an assured source of heat (gas lines break), and knowing she could fire it up even if the power goes out. She’s also dusting off her old ham radio manuals and plans to take the Technician Class exam.
I now have 49 gallons of water and a three-week supply of food in our basement. My husband, Jon, bolted our wood stove to the wall, and installed extra latches on our cabinet doors to keep them closed if the ground starts to sway.
It’s not just the predicted catastrophic earthquake for which we prepare. All of these efforts can pay off for lesser disasters. A few years ago, a windstorm toppled a massive fir tree in our yard, just missing our house. But it blocked us in and cut our power. Trees were down throughout the area, overwhelming power and tree removal crews. Our generator kept our lights on. Our wood stove kept us warm, and with Jon’s tools and help from the neighbors, we removed the tree.
Wayne Stinson is right. Stinson, the emergency manager for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, warns that we must be prepared to take care of ourselves.
That’s what this issue drove home for us. We hope it strikes you in a similar way, because it’s the small things we do today that can help us all survive later.