Every so often, I’ve had questions from readers regarding food supplies. Somewhere, folks have gotten the idea that the government (or some relief agency) has massive amounts of food and supplies stockpiled in their neighborhood ready to roll out when the need arises. Truth is, there are no stockpiles, only what individual families and some charitable organizations have on hand. Back in the Civil Defense days of the early 1950’s, there were some isolated M.A.S.H. units tucked away in secret public buildings. (That’s Mobile And Surgical Hospitals, for those of you who don’t remember the TV series of the same name.) The last unit I knew of was located on the grounds of a regional airport in my home county. The only reason I was aware of it was because it fell to my shoulders to dismantle and dispose of the fifty-year old cots, equipment and supplies. The only thing it was lacking was the personnel and current medicines.
Today there a few isolated community “prepper” groups who have acquired a storage container or two and have begun accumulating supplies, but nothing significant. Certainly not sufficient to provide for an entire community in the event of disaster. Government officials assure us they will swoop in with supplies if there is ever a major earthquake event or notable disaster. We’ve all seen how well that worked with Katrina, Andrew and a few other hurricanes in the Southeast. Although I will admit F.E.M.A,’s responses have improved since Katrina.
Recently a news article came my way announcing an exercise conducted the weekend of July 12-15. Titled “The Cascadia Airlift Exercise”, the article says the 173rd Fighter Wing of Little Rock Air Force Base will be bringing some C-130 aircraft to Oregon to participate. They will practice loading and unloading cargo from the C-130s giving their crews the opportunity to evaluate their aerial logistics capabilities in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. The article goes on to say the airmen will be testing aircraft arrival plans, parking plans, cargo loading as well as fuel and maintenance support. For further information, check out Klamath Alerts website at https://klamathalerts.com. (Used by permission.) I’m grateful for this effort and would encourage more of the same. Just in case!
Many Oregonians are aware of the threat posed by the Cascadia Subduction Zone and its violent history. While it’s good to see planners are taking steps to mitigate any disaster, it is still vitally important for individuals to have their own preparation plans.
No matter where you are, take a few minutes to send your congressman or senator a quick email and ask what the disaster preparations are for your locale. Now is the time to get your representatives thinking about covering your backside in the event of an emergency. I’m sure this just might turn into an opportunity for you to get involved and make a difference for your community.
Send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Former columns are on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is a retired Postmaster and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other online booksellers.