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If disaster ever strikes our area, I've listed some items that I consider to be prudent

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Holly McLaneThe daffodils are coming up in Powell Butte, which might be more of an omen that winter is about to slam us hard than Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow.

The irony of the big snowstorms that never happen in Crook County is that I'm so prepared for them! My city friends usually begin running out of essentials after only two days and two inches of snow. But, here I sit with a small arsenal of food and supplies and no big storm to put it all to the test!

Oh well, I can always give you guys the rundown of my all-for-naught efforts, in case you haven't already thought of them yourselves.

Most people who live a rural lifestyle are stocked-up more than usual because traveling to town isn't a daily routine. I'm still amazed, though, at how many folks don't see the need for emergency preparedness stating, "There's a Grocery Outlet just down the street, and Costco never runs out of toilet paper!" Well, we've all seen how well that protocol has been working over the last two years. And remember Y2K? And all the media hype about possible interruptions in food distribution and on-line-banking? Well, my neighbors in Portland at the time knew I had extra cans of tuna fish tucked away and said they were all planning to come to my house if things got ugly.

Of course, this meant I had to keep going back to the store for more cans of tuna! That experience, coupled with living through a handful of California earthquakes as a child, served to shape my deductive reasoning skills in such a way that I try to avoid running out of dark chocolate and always keep a bottle of Excedrin around just in case I do. After all, I still reside in an earthquake zone.

Should that snow-apocalypse, or any other disaster, decide to visit our area, I've listed below some items that I consider to be prudent. If you want to call me paranoid, go right ahead, and then get busy chipping away at your list! Because, whether you face a season of hard economic times, an extended power outage, or unexpected guests from out-of-town, I'll wager some beef jerky that you'll be glad you did.

First, while the power is still on, visit HYPERLINK "http://www.redcross.org" www.redcross.org, where you'll learn that only 12% of Americans are ready for an emergency. So, now might be a real good time to consider doing just a little more than crossing your fingers! The Red Cross has a general kit list that would suit any household or business, and if you had even half of what they recommend, you'd be miles ahead of the folks whose backup plan includes looting the nearest Best Buy.

Suggested basics:

Water (lots of water!), non-perishable foods (freeze-dried or canned items, grains, beans, rice), favorite beverages, manual can opener, flashlights, batteries, hand-crank radio, propane, gasoline, candles, lighters or matches, tin foil, first aid kit, extra medications, personal hygiene items, vinegar, household liquid bleach, insurance policy numbers & birth certificates, chargers for phones, outdoor tools, nails, plastic sheeting, duct tape, work gloves, dust masks, zip ties, ammunition, hunting equipment, camp stove, backpacks, multi-purpose tool, two-way radio, whistle, boots & warm clothing, pet supplies, baby supplies, a survival handbook, non-hybrid seeds for gardening, board games.


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