Preparedness Corner
October 2002
By Paul Vircsik

Hi Neighbors,

Finally, its nice to have some fall weather.  A little rain, lower temps.  The little people are coming to visit for the holidays.  Halloween on the ranch, the wind blowing, it is dark as pitch at night.  Sounds like a howling good time.  From reading some of the questions in the web forum, I see many of you are preparing your homes for fires.  This is nice to see.  I was wondering if you have explained all the preparations to the people who visit or live with you?  Is evore one on the sam pag?  Dos evoreon understand yur plans?  Is this hard to read?  I understand it.  But I wrote it.  Let me explain it to you.

Remember that emergencies are severe situations happening right now that require immediate attention to mitigate or they could worsen.  But an emergency could also pass without any attention leaving only minor aftermath.  I had a nightmare that all the property owners were running blindly through the woods in their pajamas yelling “Exit two, we must use exit two”.  Brrr, tooo many cookies before bedtime.  This would lead only to a false sense of security.  It is not the panacea to every “Lets get in the car and skedadle” issue.  The dream not the cookies.  Cookies are good.  Buttermilk pies are better except I only get them when I visit.  What if there wasn’t a POA or an emergency services committee to spur debate and provide principle information?  What would you do?  What WOULD you do?

So I will ask you to ask yourself “What have I done on my own to prepare for any type of emergency.”  Did you write it down?  Have you practiced what you decided to do if?  More importantly, did you sit down with your loved ones and explain it to them?  Sure, you know what to do, but what if YOU are the one that gets hurt, succumbs to the smoke, panics because it just isn’t supposed to be like this.  Worse yet, you aren’t home when the unforeseen occurs.  Only the relatives from Maine out for a week of bear watching.  Have them in mind when you plan your Escape Drills In The Home.  Remember their unfamiliarity in your home and how certain mechanical gizmos work.  You could have a small booklet of information in a place known.  “Hey Bob, if anything happens and I’m not around, there is a booklet in the closet, top shelf.”  And make them a part of the decision process.  Sure, you can climb out of the second story window, but can your little ones.  Ok, I realize that most residents on the ranch do not have small children anymore… of their own.  How about the grand kids?  I know it would be a royal pain to sit down with every person that visits your home and go over the “disaster plan for doom”.  But a little pep talk wouldn’t hurt.  “Hey Johnny, remember to close your door when you sleep tonight and if anything happens this is how we are going to get out of the house.  We will meet you at the …”  Let them have the same sense of security that you have living in your own home.

In my previous years columns around this time of year I have mentioned safety matters that pertain to the season that approaches us.  The battery issue, candles, etc.  So I encourage you to peruse them and catch up on items forgotten.  I do that so I don’t repeat myself too many times.  Review your E.D.I.T.H. (click here for a related article) with all the members of your family and extended families.  An old adage that will date many of us learned long ago while dressed in green still holds true.  Be prepared and …keep myself physically fit, mentally alert, and morally straight.  Eek, I feel so old.

Ce u al sun,

Meet the author: Read about Paul Vircsik's background