Thoughts On Disaster-Preparedness
Recently tornado sirens wailed throughout my neighborhood so my husband and I grabbed our sleeping babes from their beds to hang out for an hour in our cat hair-ridden basement (luckily only my garden sustained any damage, and that was from pea-sized hail — not the tornado). The next week, the High Park fire started to burn in northern Colorado, and most recently the Waldo Canyon fire scorched homes in Colorado Springs. These events got me to thinking:
1) I really need to invest more time in cleaning my basement and making it a nice space to while away a natural disaster!
2) But more importantly, I need to be more consistent about backing up my photos and important documents on the computer. Typically I burn the files onto DVD’s and store a copy of each in a safe deposit box at our bank. I think I’ll have to switch to portable hard-drive devices because DVD’s take up a lot of space! My mom and I have forged a pact to store copies of important documents for each other. She lives an hour away, so it’s unlikely that an event that impacts my town will also impact her town. (Well, now that Rocky Flats has shut down, anyway…)
3) I need to make sure that we have enough insurance on our home and belongings. A recent local news story reported that on average, homeowners who were victims of the Hayman fire in 2002 were underinsured by about $100,000. That would be a devastating discovery when you’re looking to rebuild your home and replace its contents!
4) I need to find out if we live in a Red Zone. A recent story on our local public radio station’s Colorado Matters program discussed a tool created by the Forest Service to show which populated areas are Red Zones, meaning they are more likely to burn with wildfires. Colorado has many wonderful qualities, but if you’re not in a red zone, you’re probably in a tornado zone. If I am “officially” in a red zone, I’d like to know about disaster-preparedness tips that I can implement. I don’t ever want to be That American who doesn’t do a darn thing to plan for an obvious possibility, sitting around after the fact wondering what FEMA is going to do for me.
5) I need to scour local thrift stores for a large dog-carrier that I could transport my chickens in. Laugh if you will, people who were evacuated from fire areas had to haul their animals with them, and I would feel terrible to think that our beloved Dottie, Millie, Mary, Buffy and Starry were simply left behind to, well, roast! To date, we’ve got two small cat carriers which would have to be used by our cats. The chickens and cats do not mix. Period.
Wishing you an emergency-free summer, fall, winter, and beyond!