COLUMN: Local 20/20: Disasters, politics and emergency preparedenss

Danielle Turissini
Posted 7/11/17

As much of Jefferson County seems to be focused on the turmoil in the other Washington, I find myself most concerned about what is happening right here in our little corner of the …

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COLUMN: Local 20/20: Disasters, politics and emergency preparedenss

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As much of Jefferson County seems to be focused on the turmoil in the other Washington, I find myself most concerned about what is happening right here in our little corner of the Northwest.

Here’s why. While the activities and decisions happening on the national stage are certainly important, I’m afraid our preoccupation with that drama is putting us at risk of neglecting our own occupation – our families, homes, neighbors, community.

The stark reality is, if, and when, disaster strikes – earthquake, tsunami, volcano, manmade – it will be up to us, you and me, to take care of each other. Politics will be the least of our concerns.

In rural areas like ours, it’s expected to take several weeks and maybe even months for the state or federal government and general service providers to get things up and running again. Please note, “up and running” is not synonymous with returning to our sense of normalcy; we’re talking just the basic necessities. The best-case scenario will be if each of us takes responsibility for preparing our own households, which will in turn put us all in a better position for helping each other.

All things considered, it’s imperative that we prepare our minds for what to expect and what to do, our pantries for what we’ll need, and focus our hearts on how we can help others do the same in order to lessen the turmoil that will follow a natural disaster. The time to start getting ready is today.

What about you? Are you paying attention to the home front and the warnings? Are you prepared? If your answer is no, please make every effort to change your status!

Here are a few first steps to help you and your family get prepared, as well as help your neighbors:

PICNIC AUG. 20

Attend the annual All County Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 20 at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum. This is not only a fun way for you and your family to learn more about how to prepare for a disaster, but you will also be entertained and have the opportunity to savor some tasty local food. Invite your neighbors to join you.

While you’re at the All County Picnic, visit our “Organized Neighborhoods – Best Practices” booth. Visit L2020.org and check out the emergency preparedness section.

Don’t delay, start preparing today.

Visit the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management website at jeffcoeoc.org to learn more about how to appropriately plan and prepare for a disaster in our area.

(Danille Turissini has lived in East Jefferson County since 2001 and is a volunteer with the countywide Local 20/20 Neighborhood Preparedness Action Group. She is also the volunteer director of emergency management for Port Ludlow.)

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