Still getting quite a few calls for contracting jobs. Sadly, most of them are for jobs I don't have the necessary experience which are located on the east coast. I do have an interview with a local company for a 3 month gig in downtown Portland. Here's hoping it goes well.
I heard from my Uncle in Mobile Alabama via email this morning. They lost a few shingles on the roof and are without power, but are otherwise fine. Their biggest problem is that their water comes from a well on their property so the lack of power means they are also without water. I sure hope they can finish their move to St. Louis before another hurricane or at the least before hurricane season next year.
Having a bit of free time lately I've been thinking about what I could do to make a difference. It really didn't take long to figure it out because I've already been working with my local ARES group. I haven't participated for a while but I'm going to dig out my radios and start checking in and attending meetings again. Go me. ;)
Now is also a good time to restate a few good ideas so people can be ready in the event of an emergency in their area:
- Create a communication plan with your family. There should be a designated person in each area who is the one responsible for calling another family memeber and letting everyone else know your status. Making only one call out of a disaster area can help relieve the load on the phone system. For example, in my family we are separated into a few geographic areas. I'm in the Northwest, my brother is in Kansas City, my mother & grandmother live in St. Louis and for the moment my aunt and uncle live in Mobile Alabama. If something happens here I call my brother with information, he would also call me about anything that happens in Missouri. My uncle calls his sister in St. Louis, like he did this morning, with any updates from Alabama. Instead of Rick having to make four phone calls from a disaster area he made only one. Someone else could have called for help or let their family know they were safe with the time he could have been calling me. This reminds me that I need to talk with hollyqueen about getting her family integrated in this plan.
- Setup a 72-hour emergency kit. You can find information about these on many websites including the FEMA website. Having a supply of clothes, food, water and medicine handy could make a big difference. W7RAS posted a message that included a few items to include in your kit that I thought were good suggesions.
- Regional and local maps. You might be forced to take alternate routes when evacuating an area and a good set of maps covering the region would make that a lot easier. I really like the Thomas Guides because they're easy to read, have a good coverage of the country and stack nicely under my seat in the car.
- A non-battery powered emergency radio. Battery powered radios are very convienent to use but batteries do wear out. The best bet is a hand cranked emergency radio. Disasters have a way of blocking out the sun which makes the solar powered radios useless. I'll be adding one of these to my kit.
- Make friend with an amateur radio operator. Phones fail during disasters. That's a fact. All day long the NTS net is sending messages back and forth across the country. Normally they pass routine traffic and birthday greetings to practice their skills. Right now they're very busy getting messages in and out of the areas affected by Katrina. If you can't get a call out to your family a ham could send a message through this system and let your loved ones know that you're safe.
September is National Preparedness Month. I urge you all to take some time to learn and implement a few simple steps to help you survive a disaster. It can happen to any of us without warning.
P.S.: Damn you kerrizor and your podcasts!