Aging in the Gorge September 22nd 2021

“It is not if, but when.”

We often believe an emergency will never happen and when it does – we are unprepared. But to save valuable possessions, and many times lives, we need to be ready for the unexpected.

A great resource is “Disaster Preparedness – For Seniors by Seniors” developed by the Greater Rochester Chapter of the American Red Cross. The impetus for this booklet was a two-week power outage when a massive ice storm hit their area. They learned from experience it is best to plan ahead. (You can search online for the booklet or you can visit and click on the Emergency Planning tab.)

There are three steps to preparedness. 1.) Make a Kit, 2.) Make a Plan, 3.) Be Informed.

Make a Plan:

When making a plan you may want to start by meeting with family and friends. Together you can decide who will check on you during a disaster, how you will communicate with each other, and if you have to evacuate, how you will leave and where you will go.  

When making your plan, consider the following 1.) How your limitations affect your response to an emergency 2.)  What transportation you need to leave your home. 3.) How to take care of your pets. 4.) Your arrangements with your caregivers, 5.) Who is your out-of-state contact person to call or text because it is often easier to make an out-of-state call than a local call from a disaster area. A simple text message such as IMOK works well.

Make a Ki:

Your kit should include the necessary items to survive without electricity and water for at least three days. – and preferably two weeks. You can find an extensive list of items for your emergency kit on the “For Seniors by Seniors” website which I mentioned earlier. Besides an extra supply of medications, often overlooked is cash. If the power goes out, it will be hard – if not impossible – to use your credit card.

Review your kit every six months to keep it up to date. You may need to replace the food, water, batteries and refresh your medications.

Be informed:

Register with your local Citizens Alert program so you’ll be notified of local emergencies. Talk with your utility company about emergency procedures and how and when to turn off your water, gas, and electricity. And know what hazards are most likely to happen. In my forty years plus living in the Gorge, there have been floods, winter storms, train derailments, and wildfires.

In many emergencies, you may only have 20 minutes or less to decide what you need. (When I have little time to think, my brain usually shuts down and tells me as it goes out the door, “Sorry, you’re on your own!”) So be prepared. Have a plan – and practice it, have your emergency kit ready, and stay informed. As the famous novelist and emergency preparedness planner Franz Kafka once said, “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.”

Many of us have been embarrassed by autocorrect but I learned from Mark Fortin that “dinosaur” was not an autocorrect mistake, but a nickname for Dinah Shore. Does anyone else remember this?  

The song many of us sang to relieve the boredom was “99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer, take one down and pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall.” I received correct answers from Bob Sallee, Jeannie Pesicka, Barbara Cadwell, Susan Ellis, Steven Woolpert, Chuck Rice, Margo Dameier, Lana Tepfer, Richard Shaw, Patty Burnet, Alan Winans, and Keith Clymer the winner of a six-pack of Olympia and a quilt raffle ticket.

This American singer and ukulele player is best remembered for his hit “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” which he sang in a falsetto voice. For this week’s “Remember When” question, who was this singer? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with the name of the woman he married on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on December 17, 1969.

Well, it’s been another week enjoying the change of season. Until we meet again,find the energy you need to do what you love.

“The greatest problem about old age is the fear that it may go on too long.”  A. J. P. Taylor


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