Emergency preparedness has gotten a bad rap lately. Preppers, doomsday nuts, conspiracy theorists have all been lumped into the category of those that choose to wear tin foil hats to keep out alien mind suckers.
If you look back in your family history, most of us had parents or grandparents that kept “a few extra things” in case they couldn’t get to the store or they were a little short between paychecks. In all actuality, they were preppers. They were preparing themselves for a time when things wouldn’t be in abundant supply for whatever reason; whether that was for a few days or a few weeks. Would most of you keep a “few extra things” on hand if you knew that, we depend on trucks to carry food supplies to our community? What if I told you, if the trucks couldn’t make it here due to weather or other disruption, there is only 3 days’ worth of food in our local grocery stores to last everyone in Archuleta County? I, for one, don’t want to be eating that last can of lima beans.
Emergency preparedness isn’t just for the fringe element; we should all be preppers to some degree. We have a good emergency preparedness plan in place for our area but part of that plan is making sure our residents are prepared before any incident takes place. Our emergency responders need to be able to be free to deal with true emergencies, not worry about having to rescue people that don’t have a few days’ worth of water and food stored in their homes. A while back, I held a free emergency preparedness class and had 3 people show up. When I asked acquaintances why they didn’t come, the responses ranged from they didn’t think anything big would happen here that would keep us in our houses or that the city/county would take care of them. Those are not valid reasons to not take a few hours to learn how to be ready for an emergency. I challenge each of you to take time in the next week to really look at your supplies and make sure you can take care of yourself and your family.
There is a free website that will walk you along the steps of your own preparedness plan. Go to www.arcbrcr.org. The Southwest Colorado Red Cross is always available to come speak about personal preparedness at your neighborhood gathering, church or non-profit group. Please contact Cindi Shank at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Cindi Shank is the Executive Director/Area Disaster Manager for Southwest Colorado Chapter American Red Cross located at 1911 Main Ave, Suite 282 in Durango. She can be reached at 970-259-5383