By Lynnette Spanola Eastlake
Washington State is a beautiful place to live, work and play, but like most areas, it’s not immune to major disasters. In fact, our region ranks number one in the country in terms of number of hazards we face, whether it’s winter storms, landslides, flooding, or earthquakes.
Let’s be frank, if a large disaster occurs, the things you rely on everyday will be significantly affected. Transportation may be severely disrupted due to damaged roads, collapsed bridges, or lack of electricity for gas pumps. Stores may quickly run out of supplies and may accept only cash. Utilities such as electricity, water, phone, and internet service may be unavailable. It’s also critical to understand that in the event of a natural disaster emergency services will be overwhelmed and probably won’t be available to help. Did you know that if there was a widespread, significant event only 3 firefighters stationed in May Valley would be available to support our general area?
While we have several volunteers in the general vicinity, their response would depend on the impacts of the event on their families.
Given our remote location in Mirrormont, we may be on our own for a week or longer. In fact, Governor Inslee recommends stocking enough supplies for at least two weeks. This includes food, one gallon of water, per day per person, first aid supplies and of course pet supplies!
In a nationwide survey, almost 50% of people say they will rely on neighbors in the event of a natural disaster. And only 53% of people say they are confident they will know how to respond during a natural disaster. Ask yourself, “How will my family and I survive?” “Is my current emergency plan and emergency kit sufficient to be on my own for more than a few days?” “Am I ready for both minor and major impacts to supplies and services I need on a regular basis?” “Do my loved ones know what to do if we are separated during a crisis?” Prepare now to make it through – you’ll be glad you did.
One of the ways we are trying to ensure everyone in Mirrormont is prepared is by conducting Map Your Neighborhood workshops. Ninety minutes in length, you will learn the nine steps to take immediately following a disaster to ensure the best outcome possible. You will also produce a Skills & Equipment Inventory for neighbors on your street, create a map that identifies their locations of gas and propane shut off valves and produce a neighborhood contact list that also identifies people in the neighborhood who might need extra help in the event of a disaster.
We will also host CPR and First Aid training classes in 2018. The two classes we held last year were at capacity. Check www.Mirrormont.org or NextDoor Mirrormont for class dates, which will be held at the Mirrormont Country Club.
Neighbors who are prepared for emergencies can save lives, reduce the severity of injuries and potentially reduce property damage. Contact Safety@Mirrormont.org for more information on Map Your Neighborhood workshops or for the CPR/First Aid training.