There is little doubt that Olympic Peninsula residents and guests face a range of challenging though possibly somewhat remote threats - volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, powerful winter storms severing our bridges, and tsunami’s - to name just a few. If you’ve lived here for a while, you know these threats are not really all that remote, in fact - most of us have experienced earthquakes, tsunami warnings and extreme winter storms. It’s part of life on the Peninsula. 
 

   The local emergency response planners charged with planning for our County response have stated that county residents need to be prepared to be on their own, at home, for up to thirty days. And, households with members who are elderly, disabled, medically fragile or have functional needs require additional planning and coordination. Due to our population and relative isolation, state and federal resources may be directed to more densely populated communities in a catastrophic event. 

   Fortunately, our county planners have an excellent webpage to help residents take action to prepare for such eventualities.  

   Having an emergency supply kit - a “grab and go bag” - is essential to making it through a disaster safely. A small kit contained in an easy to carry backpack or suitcase that can be snatched up in a moment's notice is an invaluable asset in an emergency. 

   Supplies and tools to support you for three (3) days is suggested for your go-bag. In addition, planners suggest that we have supplies on hand to last each person in your household for 30 days in the case of a major disaster. 

   Here are some suggestions as to what to include in these kits.

   Basics. 

  • Water - a gallon of water per person per day is recommended

  • Food

  • Flashlight

  • Extra batteries for all devices - including your phone

  • Radio (battery/crank)

  • Light Sticks

  • Whistle

  • Toiletries

  • Important documents

  • Cash/Money

  • First Aid Kit

  • Multi-purpose tool

  • Garbage/ziplock bags

  • Keep vehicles fully gassed up

   Additional Items to consider

           Personal Medications (at least several days supply)
  • Personal First Aid Kit with medical gloves & Face Mask (N95)

  • Duct Tape 

  • Rope

  • Pair Of Leather Palmed Work Gloves

  • Rain Poncho or Large Garbage Bag to use as a rain poncho

  • Jacket, Sweater, & Hat (Preferably a Rain Jacket)

  • Pair of Socks (Preferably Wool)

  • Emergency Blanket

  • Pen & Paper

  • Map of Region

  • Small Clean White Hand Towel

  • Food for 24 Hours (Energy Bars or MRE'S with Plastic Utensils)

  • Matches or Lighter

  • Insect Repellant

  • Metal Cup/Can for Cooking & Drinking

  • Extra Set of Keys (House & Car)

  • Pocket Radio

  • Out of State Contact People (List Addresses & Phone Numbers, in writing)

  • Small Plastic Bottle of Chlorine Bleach in a Ziplock Bag

  • Tag for Your Bag in Case You Get Separated from It or Are Injured.

   Special Needs

  • Medications

  • Pet items

  • Baby items

  • Extra clothes

We all hope and pray such equipment will never be needed and that our go-bags will gather dust in our closet or the trunk of our vehicle. But there are many among us, your writer included, that can attest to the value of thinking ahead - and being prepared for just about any eventuality.

Not In My Backyard” isn’t really something we can ascribe to on the Peninsula - not with fault lines under our feet, the ocean practically at our back door, and volcanoes less than one hundred miles distant. We recommend taking the time to prepare now.

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