Opinion

Everything Bremerton: Are you prepared?

Last week it snowed in Bremerton. It did again last Wednesday.  Granted it was a dusting at best to start with, it ended with a with several inches and many roads closed.

We received a mere sneeze of snow compared to other counties around Western Washington.

As I wrote this column on Monday, the looming threat of a major snow event for Wednesday had me reassessing my household and individual preparations as well as what I would recommend to others. So many questions popped up.

If it snowed a considerable amount would you be prepared?

Could the supplies you have on hand today support your household for a minimum of three days with food, water and warmth in the event of a natural disaster or emergency?

If you could not get to the store, gas station or the bank for a week would you be OK? In the event of a regional disaster do you have a plan on how to connect with your family members if you are separated at the time of the event and phones and Internet are down?

Do you know where the closest community shelter is to your neighborhood?

If you are stuck on the side of the road do you have the shoes and clothing necessary to walk yourself to safety? Do you have water and food in your car if you cannot leave your vehicle?

If you answered “no” to most of these questions, then you need to spend some time turning those answers into “yes.”

When adversity or disaster strikes, community emergency resources are stretched very thin. As individuals, it is our responsibility to prepare for our own immediate survival and safety as much as possible. Every community resource we personally do not need to draw on directly, we then free up that resource for someone who critically needs it.

Start by making sure you have food and water for everyone in your household for three days. Make sure you have important identification and household documents secured and copies ready to go.

In 1992 the home of some of my in-laws was struck by lightning and burned to the ground while they were away. The best advice from that lesson learned, in a very hard way, was to make a video recording and or take pictures of your furnishings and possessions. Secure a copy of the video and or pictures with someone you trust outside of your home or in a safe deposit box.

If your home is destroyed you will then possess a complete visual record of what you have lost. Check with your insurance provider and understand your coverage. Most providers have literature on how to prepare and what to do if disaster strikes. Make use of it.

A prepared community is a community that helps itself and ensures its own recovery.

Do your individual part to make Bremerton a prepared community.

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