Preparedness: There’s a Lot We Can Do

If natural disasters have a season – it appears to be NOW. We’ve all watched with breaking hearts the devastation of hurricane after hurricane, raging wildfires and recently, a powerful earthquake in Mexico.

Clearly, there is no controlling Mother Nature. What we can control is how we prepare.

At Sun City Shadow Hills, we are fortunate to have an Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee headed by SCSH resident Jeff Kirkpatrick. Jeff conducts regular Disaster Preparedness 101 classes open to all homeowners and is the director of the Emergency Operating Center, located behind the tennis courts at the Montecito Clubhouse. The classes are free and held at the Montecito Clubhouse.

From personal experience, this class is well worth your time. My husband and I are Mid-Westerners with limited exposure to earthquakes. We took the class within a week of moving to Sun City Shadow Hills and despite leaving mildly freaked out, we came away with a greater understanding of what we CAN DO to help ourselves in a disaster situation.

The class focuses on multi-hazard preparedness with an emphasis on earthquakes. The next Disaster Preparedness 101 class is scheduled for Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Space is limited. Please register at the Lifestyle desk.

Preparedness is an ongoing process. Here are three steps (pulled from the materials provided at the May 2017 class) to begin your personal disaster plan:

  1. Complete a Personal Assessment:
    Evaluate your capabilities and limitations and decide what assistance you may need before, during and after a disaster.
  1. Create a Personal Support Network:
    Family, friends, neighbors who could assist you – and you could assist – at a moment’s notice. Identify and discuss special needs.
  1. Prepare an Emergency Information List:
    Make a list of names and numbers of people to be contacted. This list is for your use and so others will know who to call if you are unable to - include names and numbers of out-of-town contacts.

Emergency preparedness is something we all need to take seriously. Be sure to read Jeff’s monthly Preparedness column in The View magazine. There is also an Emergency Preparedness rack with flyers, pamphlets and other information at the Montecito Clubhouse Lifestyle Desk. We can’t predict or control a disaster, but we CAN prepare.

By Kris Downey, IAC member