Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembrance and Reminder

Today we remember those lost on September 11, 2001, and pray for the strengthened resolve of this Nation and her citizens.  Let us also resolve to be individually prepared for future emergencies. If you work outside the home, remind your employer that this is National Preparedness Month and ask to review the emergency supplies and procedures for your workplace.

Preparedness kits in desk drawers and car trunks can be useful. Ladies, don't forget comfortable flat shoes if your normal work uniform includes heels. Can you negotiate the stairs in the fire escapes in your building without a flashlight? Can you shelter in place for the night if conditions warrant staying at work? Is there an alternate water supply if the external water source is not available?  These questions, based on the location and configuration of your workplace can guide what is in your bottom drawer or, if you are vehicle based, a small backpack in your vehicle. Water, flashlight, walking shoes, blanket, toothbrush and an MRE or foodbar might be a good start.

Yes, it's rare to need these provisions, but it happens. I learned a lot experiencing the Loma Prieta earthquake when I was working in downtown San Francisco. We had lots of people stay overnight in our building because they couldn't get back across San Francisco Bay.  ( I lived close by and made it home that night) Despite the known risk, our employer had no emergency earthquake supplies in the building (that changed shortly after the quake), so folks were on their own without power.  Surprisingly, few of those who worked there and lived far away had any type of emergency kit in their desks.  Being in the building was better than being out in the elements, but not by much. If they'd known to raid my desk, a few would have had dinner!

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