If I’d only stocked in a few items, planned for a few contingencies

By Campbell McClusky

There are many things we do that we regret and recall with anguish, but what about the steps we could take that we put off or simply didn’t even contemplate? Now those would make a long list. Forget them. Let’s build on a few simple actions we do take, such as telling children, “visit the bathroom before we go” or, “unplug the iron,” or, “turn off the lights,” or, “bring a jacket,” or, “lock the door,” etc. Add to those, as many of you already have, stocking some jugs of water in case of emergency. Or stock small “go bags” of minimal essentials in each car just in case of rushed departures; think of such measures in the same way we routinely check the fuel gauge or check when oil changes are due. Think like parents who have set contingency plans for their children to cover delays of after-school pickups. Tailor “go bag” essentials to each member of the family. Then too there is the matter of important family documents to either duplicate or store lest the main set become soaked or burnt.

Community steps have already been taken for us: streets, stop signs, road markings, fire hydrants and fire departments, EMTs and even clinics and in our location, border guards, etc. It seems like some of the lesser steps could reasonably be left to us, householders, homeowners, residents, etc. Yes, we do not know what emergency we might face next, but even without emergencies, things happen: water heaters fail, trees fall on roofs, refrigerants leak (with or without power outages), and, as we have seen all too often, power outages themselves confound our expectations. Point Roberts Emergency Preparedness (PREP) is simply a small group of concerned Point residents seeking to awaken us all to painless measures we might consider to better protect our families, be ready and supportive to our neighbors and the larger community. PREP, as always, is all about “neighbors helping neighbors.”

Start by knowing your neighborhood: phone numbers, addresses, numbers of children and pets and any skills or resources that might be helpful in whatever emergency might arise. Carry the pocket-sized list of emergency phone numbers we’ve passed out, something useful for each family member to keep in wallets or purses. Then make it a point to attend a PREP meeting: first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the community center – all are welcome.

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