TIP OF THE MONTH January 2024
Charles Ansorge, CMCA Emergency
Hydration: Importance of access to drinkable water in an emergency
Wilderness guides often refer to the “Rule of 3,” which says that a person can live for three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. This month’s emergency prep tip is about the second “rule.” Hydration.
If our community experiences an earthquake our first reaction should be to “drop, cover, and hold on” until the shaking stops. The second reaction should be to head to a safe location. But not long after the first two actions our thoughts should turn to finding shelter, food and drinkable water.
For nine months of the year a sufficient quantity of natural water is available around our community via streams, but it must first be treated so it is safe to drink. Various measures are available for water purification, but having bottled water stored in an accessible space is essential. It is wise to store at least a 72-hour supply of drinkable water per person.
There is another possible source of potable water that we might access. Our 200,000
gallon water reservoir supplies drinking water to our community. The Oceanside Water District is seeking grant funding for acquiring and installing expensive seismic shut-off valves ($30 K each) that will automatically cut the flow of water to the community when violent earth shaking occurs. Why? Because a violent earthquake is likely to rupture multiple pipes in the distribution system with multiple leaks that could quickly empty the tank. Preserving this valuable water resource is critical. So we can’t count on our water reservoir supplying needed drinking water so every resident should have a plan for having a variety of potable drinking water sources.
Cape Meares Shakeout Success!
This year’s edition of the Great Oregon ShakeOut was completed on October 19, 2023, with 40 Cape Meares residents gathering their Go Bags and visiting one of our five designated assembly points. This year’s version of the ShakeOut also included a test of the local communication tools to be used during an event (GMRS short-wave radios). The communication test was successful and also involved making contact with a base station in Bay City. The participation of the local residents confirms interest in this community in the topic of emergency preparedness.
Prepare Your Pets for an Emergency
Part-time or full-time residents of Cape Meares should make preparations for emergency events not only for themselves but also for their pet(s). Consideration should be given to having a Go-bag for your pet(s) that includes a three-day supply of food and water, first aid supplies, medications along with the pet’s medical record, vaccination history, and a current photo. Keep ID tags with current contact information on your animal’s collar at all times. Pet owners should understand their pet’s behavior in stressful situations and have a plan to calm or restrain them, if needed. Animals are likely to bolt, and you will likely be distracted by other matters so include a rope to tie your pet in the Go-bag. In times of crisis, pets may take cues from their owner’s behavior so remain as calm as possible to reduce their anxiety. Keep a small blanket or towel with the pet’s scent on it in the Go-bag so the animal has a familiar scent in a strange location. Lastly, pet owners should consider offering to help or take the lead on caring for pets that arrive in an assembly areas following a disaster.