Planning for Emergencies

Planning for Emergencies

Planning for Emergencies

Jim McGuire

Recent radio public service announcements motivated me to look into what information was available concerning planning for emergencies. Wow was that an eye opener. Personal knowledge aside, there are some serious threats out there, including natural disasters andthreats posed by a cyber attack. The state and federal government work hard to warn of threats that run the gamut from identity theft, all the way to national level threats. We face the potential for weather disasters, earthquakes, etc., and I would suggest it’s time for everyone to begin some simple, inexpensive ways to be prepared in case of emergency. Detailed suggestions can be found at as well as I remember clearly the ice storm of 2003 and being without power for 5 days. Lack of hot water for a shower was inconvenient, but no heat or water would have driven us from our home. What if it had been longer, possibly without other necessities? What if you cannot just drive out and pick up what you need? The following points are my personal suggestions. I considered these things to be like insurance. The hope is it will not be needed, however, we’re all very glad to have it when the need arises.

  1. Get to know your neighbors. Be a good neighbor. Your neighbors are the first source ofhelp that will be there for you in an emergency.
  2. As a minimum, be prepared to be without electric power, water, heat and access to food for at least 3 days for yourself and each family member. Do you have access to fresh water and food when your refrigerator and tap water do not work? How about an alternate heat source? Generator? Planning for “3-2-1” means 3 days, 2 weeks, 1 month. 1 is best, but 3 is a minimum.
  3. Have a PLAN for your family. In an emergency, does everyone know where to meet? What to do when phones don’t work?
  4. Plan where to meet if meeting at your home is not an option. West Liberty, KY found out about this problem after the March 2012 tornado. Do your family members know where to “rally” if your home were destroyed in a tornado, with no cell service available?
  5. Do you have enough prescription medications for days or weeks?
  6. Can you protect yourself and your family? Do you have the ability, or have you discussed the possible need with your neighbors? The Scott County Sheriff’s Office may not always be available for quick response.

Do NOT be the grasshopper – thinking the ant, or someone else, will always be there for all of your needs. As I recall the ant and the grasshopper story, it did not end well for the grasshopper. With some simple and inexpensive preparations, you can be well prepared in case of an emergency just like the ant in the story.

As we a hustle about preparing for the holidays and the New Year, give some thought to those little things that can make a big difference in case of an emergency. Playing the “what if”game, can start with thinking of the next ice storm or big snow storm. You owe it to your family!

Final Thoughts

As the editor of the IEHA newsletter, please have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Slow down, look around, watch out for your neighbor and try to reach out for those around that may need a little help. Just as important, please enjoy the beautiful lights, good food, and all of the wonderful things that come with this time of year. I live here because it is a wonderful neighborhood, with great neighbors who have always been there when I have had a need. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and please have a wonderful Happy NewYear!!