Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Are You Ready?

We've had quite the week, but it was no where near as difficult as others in our state had.

It started last Monday with something called a derecho. I had to look it up, but apparently it means a really bad storm with exceptionally bad winds - pretty much a tornado's first cousin. That storm traveled in a straight path down the highway that is behind our house. We experienced downed trees and power outages, but our power company was pretty fast to respond. Amazingly our power was only out for about 8 hours, but for others it was a couple of days.

Then just as things were starting to get back to a normal, sweltering summer, two more storms hit. Again they were called derechos, but this time they brought their cousin, the tornado. By Sunday morning, our power company had said this was the worst non-hurricane event our state had ever seen with 1 million people without power. Our governor declared a state of emergency, and the heat began to soar over 100 degrees.

God's hand must have been covering my house because through it all we never lost power. The worst event for my state short of a hurricane - 1 million without power - and we who lose power if a squirrel sneezes - were fine. The weather guys called it a derecho again, but I called it a miracle.

What all this highlighted for me was the importance of a family disaster plan. I've addressed this several times in the past, usually right after a disaster hits. And here I go again, but this time I am determined to get our plan worked out BEFORE the next disaster.

How about you and your family? What are your plans in the event a disaster - wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, floods, derechos - hits and you must leave your home? Below are some links and a video I found to help me refine my plan. Maybe you will find them useful also.

Red Cross, Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities

FEMA, Planning and Preparedness for People with Special Needs

Disability.Gov - Emergency Preparedness

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