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Is it blizzard yet?

Feb 3

Written by:
2/3/2015 4:14 PM  RssIcon

The cat after the blizzardHave you been following the big snowstorms back east? I've been listening in as distant friends and family rush to prepare, then hunker down to wait out the blizzard. Supermarkets are getting low on fresh foods, as families stock up in advance of the storm. Friends and family relate how they're getting in extra bottled water and wondering how to maintain home heat and refrigeration if the power goes out. Maybe the gas tanks of their cars aren't full, but they live in cities where they can walk to many essential services. In a city, the household plan for staying safe and comfortable may rely on municipal services, utility companies, and emergency responders. On rural and isolated Vashon, we don't enjoy such a robust infrastructure, so we need to prepare as best we can, and be ready to help each other if possible.

It's even harder to imagine winter weather right now, when Vashon is experiencing an early spring of sunshine and 60-degree days! Yesterday the sunshine and warmth drew me out to the garage, where I noticed a generator that needs an oil change, a food cache that could use updating, and a tangled mess of bicycles and lawn furniture blocking access to the spare batteries and lightbulbs. How embarrassing! The foundations of a strong NERO are its households: members of a well-prepared household are far less likely to need help, and are better able to assist neighbors. Like you, I want to be part of the solution (not part of the problem), so I sorted out the mess, and shopped for some new canned foods.

January is a great time for each of us to review the basics. Find lots of helpful ideas and lists at, and remember that kids can be a big help in preparing at home. Already this year, a number of group captains have let me know that they plan to hold meetings and revive their neighborhood preparedness activities. Watch this spot and the local papers for some fun and inspiring NERO and household preparedness events throughout 2015! Now excuse me while I go change the oil in that generator…

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