Homer IL Advocate David Lewis wrote the an editorial for the Homer News that we have posted below. Check out our LInks page to access the DHSS Disaster Preparedness Toolkit.
In the wee hours of January 23rd we were rudely awaken by a pretty big shaker if that wasn’t bad enough it was followed by the Tsunami sirens going off. Listening to KBBI I heard that we were to evacuate if we lived below Pioneer Ave. I’m 105 feet above sea level but on the bottom side of Pioneer, what do I do? I stayed, I watched many in the neighborhood leave, saw some with to go bags and others with none. Next the police came through with sirens blaring and lights flashing telling people to leave. We sat (the cat, dog and myself), watched all of this happen and we stayed by choice. Others may have stayed because they had no choice.
We have people in Homer who are elderly, those with disabilities, and those who just don’t have personal transportation, what do they do? The State of Alaska has a book out called “GET READY” Alaska’s emergency preparedness toolkit for people with disabilities. This 60+ page booklet helps individuals plan for the next emergency.
When setting up a disaster plan the individual must take the first step themselves. They must recognize that they need a plan and that they may need help when it comes setting up and executing the plan. The individual may need to rely on friends, neighbors, local churches or non-profits. First responders will be dealing with whatever the emergency/disaster is: so you may not be able to count on them.
The main thing to realize is you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. “GET READY” has it all laid out. All you need to do is get and read the booklet. To find this booklet you can stop by The Independent Living Center in Homer at 265 E. Pioneer Ave, we have a few. We have a link on our web site www.peninsulailc.org or you can go to http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/wcfh This is something we all need to think about and we should all have a plan.