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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Time for a preparedness checkup

Working in the world of emergency management I have constant exposure to the tenets of emergency preparedness . . .make a plan, build a kit, be informed, inspire others.

Our division director requires all employees to have a family emergency plan. The plan is a fill-in-the-blank form for contact information and meeting locations. It’s a piece of cake to do. Mine is good to go.

Last month I noticed it was time to revisit step 2, the disaster kit.

When I arrived home I spotted the City of Phoenix vehicles/equipment at the end of my street. I didn’t really pay close attention to what they were doing. After bringing in my groceries, I started to think about dinner. When I turned on the faucet. . . no water. Uh oh, I walked down the street to inquire about how long the water outage. The outage was expected to last until midnight.

No problem, I have a couple gallon jugs of water (plan A). Oh wait, one I had been using for the iron and the other was used to make sun tea.

Oops. On to plan B.

I was in the habit of having a case of bottled water on hand, but I am trying to be more environmentally responsible. Now I have just a few and some not even completely full.

Uh, plan B not looking so good. On to plan C.

I do have a disaster kit that I keep in the trunk of my car. When I put the kit together, it contained water. Unfortunately those bottles had leaked since the last time I looked at them.

As it turns out, I only had about 20 ounces of water . . .leaving me a little short for all the things requiring water; washing my hands, washing vegetables, brushing my teeth, filling the dog’s dish, washing my hands again, boiling water for the pasta, more hand washing, etc.

Of course, I could have gone to plan D, go the store and buy some water. But what if I couldn’t get to the store? What if the power was out at the store and I could not pay with my debit card? What if the store was out of water?

That was a wake up call for me.

The only thing I did not miss during the water outage was doing dishes.

How is the water supply at your house?  How would you fare during an emergency preparedness checkup?

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