How I’m Prepared is an ongoing series on our blog to highlight how neighbors in Marin are getting prepared for a disaster. We want your story! If you would like to be profiled, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regardless of the cause, we think about what we would need if we had to survive at our house for several days or a week. What if we can’t get to the store or goods are not making it into the region and the store is out of resources? We have extra canned foods, water, and dehydrated backpacking meals in the pantry along with a large stash of rice. If the utilities are not available, we have camping stoves and propane we can use to boil water. If the house is damaged, we have camping supplies and water stored in a side shed and could live in the back yard as long as necessary. We have a gas powered chainsaw, hand tools (saws, axes, and shovels), and a generator.
First Aid & CPR
We are trained members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) which gave us emergency first aid training. We have also been certified in CPR including infant CPR since our daughter is less than 1 year old.
A dedicated emergency kit is in a weather proof box in the back yard. This kit has first aid supplies (splints, bandages, sanitary gauze, etc.), a few necessary tools (multipurpose utility knife, gloves, duct tape, flashlights, etc.), and non-perishable food. The camping equipment in our side shed includes tents, chairs, and sleeping bags. We are prepared to use our hand tools and plywood to cover storm-damaged windows, sheer up earthquake-damaged windows, or even construct emergency drainage improvements.
Our cars also have emergency kits which include water, energy bars, jumper cables, flashlights, hand sanitizer, and a few other tools. We keep the gas tanks at least half full and carry comfortable shoes and warm clothes in the car in the event we need to walk a long distance or have an unexpected delay.
Our CERT backpacks are ready to go with hard hats, safety goggles, and materials necessary for assessing the neighborhood once we have matters in our home under control.
Our block is organized into a group participating in the ReadyDominican program. We have shared pertinent contact information, medical needs, and available resources with members of the group. Currently we are encouraging every member of the group to complete four simple steps towards preparedness (1. Storing water, 2. Placing shoes under our beds, 3. Placing a flashlight by our beds, and 4. Knowing how to shut off our utilities).
Our family plan includes 1) an established out of state contact in case we cannot reach each other due to cell and landlines being flooded, 2) identified places we will go if we are elsewhere in the Bay Area and cannot return to San Rafael due to bridge collapse or road failures, and 3) a local place to meet if we are unable to enter the immediate neighborhood. This plan is documented and carried in hard copy in our cars. It has also been shared with our extended family.
In continuing to improve our preparedness, we are setting up a rain collection barrel system. To keep the water relatively fresh, we will use it to water the garden once a year. In the event of an emergency, the stored rain water can be boiled or treated with bleach to make it potable.
Preparedness requires ongoing attention. We check our kits and family plan twice a year and continue to make improvements.
How are you prepared? We want your stories! Send us an email at email@example.com.