Preparedness Corner
May 2001
By Paul Vircsik

Hi neighbors,

Missed you last month, as I usually make a trek each April to start the season of relaxation on the ranch. Of course the visits are always filled with pounding nails, pulling weeds, killing bugs and oh yeah, enjoying the property. But as most of you are aware, I moved and the pc was on the qt, so to speak.

Ok, now that I have your attention, I wanted to talk about communication. Once again, a recent fire call spawns a thought. We responded to a fire in my immediate area and was given only the address. No cross street, no map number, no area. When I asked our dispatch if there was any other info, I was informed that the address did not show in there data banks. Well we found it, just had to follow the smoke, but it took much longer than I would have liked and the fire did considerably more damage than had we arrived in due time.

New address, in a new development, not on the map, not in dispatches files. Sound familiar? Lucky for them, our state has the 911 phone number recognition system. The next day, we went back to gather the new addresses (132) and drew them into our map and forwarded the info to the appropriate agencies. Also lucky for them, the first crew on scene was the regular duty crew, knew the area and could direct the remaining response in to the development.

Are you that lucky? Have you done everything within your power to let the proper agencies know the who's and what's? Remember, your local fire department is volunteer, so they won't be out the next day to put you into their system. Here's a short list:

  1. Ensure the 911 system has:
    Your address
    Your Name
    Where the access is, and on what road.
  2. Your sector leader
    Same as No. 1
    Visiting dates if non resident
    Vacation dates if leaving and a resident
  3. Your neighbor
    Hey, I'm not a burglar
    Hey, that's only my fireplace
    I'm going away for a while
  4. Your friend
    Same as above

I know that we moved out here to get away from pesky intrusions from those around us in the city. But I have noticed a strong bond that we have with our ranch friends. So these steps shouldn't bother even the most stoic hermit. Maybe it's because we have so much space and not so protective of it like in the cities. I think, no I know that these little measures will protect you from miss information, and misfortune.

See you all soon,

Meet the author: Read about Paul Vircsik's background