July 5th, 2008

Hat

Safe and Well

Calif. has wildfires.

Hurricane season is started.

Tornado Season is well underway.

Winter, and the possibility of blizzard is coming.

Earthquakes will strike when they will (and not just Calif., New Madrid anyone?).

Local disasters exist everywhere. When we lived in Grover Beach we were in the shadow of a nuclear plant. Flood wasn't a huge risk, but the ocean was only about 2 miles away, and tsunami could have done a fair bit of damage.

So you need to have a Go bag/Jump bag ready, just in case you are one of those affected.

Back in 1993 I was in Monterey. Back home they had an earthquake. As is the case with earthquakes of any note, it got a name. You may have heard of it; The Northridge Quake. It was about 48 hours before phone service was reliable restored. The only news I got (until late Tuesday evening, about 36 hours after I found out about the magnitude of it) was a phone call, at far too early of a holiday morning, telling me there was a quake, and most of the common friends that caller and I had were fine.

My family, in the most affected area, no word until Tues. The friends with whom I'd almost headed down for the weekend... managed to get out of town and back to Montery by Tuesday morning. But real news of people... very thin on the ground.

The American Red Cross has a tool to reduce some of that uncertainty The Safe and Well List.

Yes, it's not perfect. The information has to get to the web somehow. But it only takes a moment's connectivity tto get the info up. If time is short, name, and a ticky box for status are easy. Do that and hit send. Then update. If the line drops, you are still in there.

If that's not possible, being able to call out, to one person who can log on and put your info in is good enough. The only thing left to do is make sure your family/loved ones/friends know to go there and check.

So put that web address in your bag. Being able to send out a bit of piece of mind is, as they say, priceless.