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Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Local Red Cross stresses importance of being prepared

October 25, 2007

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Relief orgs urge disaster preparedness

The wildfires blazing through California may not be cause for immediate concern in Lawrence, but this area isn't free from other natural disasters. Enlarge video

If you had to evacuate your home due to an emergency, what would you take?

Answers from Michael Breen, Lawrence, KS; Quincy Lee, Shreveport, LA; James Grobe. Lawrence, KS; Nancy Mitchell, Lawrence, KS; and Chris Coleman, Lawrence, KS. Enlarge video

Meghan Proehl is following the California wildfires with more interest than the average Kansan.

Her parents were evacuated early Monday morning, just before the fire moved to the fence surrounding their home in Rancho Bernardo, Calif. Fortunately, the Kansas University sophomore's home is still standing, but several of her friends were not so lucky.

"My family is all OK. They were able to get back in the house (Wednesday)," she said. "But some of my friends don't have a home to go back to."

One friend sent her a picture of his house burned to ashes; all that remained were two chairs. Proehl said she hopes to help her friends rebuild.

While wildfires aren't a major concern in Kansas, house fires and other natural disasters are.

Jane Blocher, executive director of the Douglas County chapter of the American Red Cross, said it is critical for families to have an emergency plan.

The most important part of that plan should include leaving copies of important documents - Social Security cards, insurance papers, birth certificates and children's immunization records - with someone outside the area.

"I think the most important things that you can take are those documents that are irreplaceable. I mean they are replaceable, but it takes forever," she said. "When we were helping a lot of the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina that landed in Douglas County a few years ago, one thing that really hindered their recovery was they left behind the important documents."

Families also should have a disaster kit: address book, cash, water, first-aid kit, radio, flashlight, a couple of days' worth of clothes and medications.

"You would be amazed after a big fire how many people, especially over the age of 40, who cannot go a day without medication, especially if they are being treated for blood pressure or diabetes. That's huge," she said.

Blocher said she can't stress enough to take action before disaster strikes.

"The thing that is really important is you've got to have a plan."

On the street

What would you take with you if you had 30 minutes or less to leave your home?

I would take my cat, my kids, whatever cash I had on hand and let the rest burn. I’m a minimalist. I’d like to start fresh.

More responses

Reader poll
Are you prepared for disaster?

or See the results without voting

KU student's hometown affected

Comments

Marion Lynn 6 years, 5 months ago

The Great Professor Tom Lehrer commented on preparedness in the early sixties and his thoughts are valid to this day!

"Be Prepared"

You know: of all the songs I've ever sung, that is the one I've had the most requests not to. I have time for one more here. This one is a little song dedicated to the Boy Scouts of America. [applause] We seem to have a convention here tonight. The Boy Scouts of America, those noble little... bastions of democracy, and the American Legion of tomorrow. Their motto is... I would like to state at this time that I am not now and have never been... a member of the Boy Scouts of America. Their motto is, as you know, Be Prepared! and that is the name of this song.

Be prepared! That's the Boy Scout's marching song, Be prepared! As through life you march along. Be prepared to hold your liquor pretty well, Don't write naughty words on walls if you can't spell.

Be prepared! To hide that pack of cigarettes, Don't make book if you cannot cover bets. Keep those reefers hidden where you're sure That they will not be found And be careful not to smoke them When the scoutmaster's around For he only will insist that it be shared. Be prepared!

Be prepared! That's the Boy Scouts' solemn creed, Be prepared! And be clean in word and deed. Don't solicit for your sister, that's not nice, Unless you get a good percentage of her price.

Be prepared! And be careful not to do Your good deeds when there's no one watching you. If you're looking for adventure of a new and different kind, And you come across a Girl Scout who is similarly inclined, Don't be nervous, don't be flustered, don't be scared. Be prepared!

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Ragingbear 6 years, 5 months ago

Yeah. Be prepared, because the government isn't gonna help you.

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Confrontation 6 years, 5 months ago

Plastic sheeting and duct tape, people!!!

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madmike 6 years, 5 months ago

Preparation is the key! I moved here from Seattle, and I was totally surprised at how un-ready the population was there in case of the big earthquake were to happen. As there, I maintain enough food, water, medical supplies, charcoal, propane and a generator to last 30 days for my wife and myself. Also, it doesn't hurt to have enough firepower and ammunition stored in order to defend yourself during a time of lawlessness and looting either!

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storm 6 years, 5 months ago

The annual wildfires in California are the worst that I've ever read about. This is awful. Let's hope their annual mudslides in March 2008 won't be so catastrophic.

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