At the end of last month I attended a trade show where Hybrid Lights were featured and I brought a few home (I am so tired of dead batteries, that these little gems are a real find). I put one in each window of our home so that every member of the family has a charged light ready for an emergency. I also put one in my van and one at my night stand – my goodness, I have used that one a lot finding my way, well you know where.
These flashlights join an array of Goal Zero products that keep me running with just sun power. I have a battery for the freezer with solar collector, one for my CPAP (I’d never get a night¹s sleep without that), one for lights in the house and one for radio/TV. I am sure glad they are a BSA partner. I may not have found them otherwise.
Early in the month, the motor in my van over heated and after 232,000 miles, it seemed it had done its duty. So I purchased a well-used truck with an extended cab. Good thing for that extension because I have stuff that needs to fit in that space.
Let’s see, there is a change of clothes hanging where it won’t block my blind spot. Then there is the toolbox with basic stuff to get me or someone else to a mechanic. I have an emergency supply of water and food, but wait, that food is three years old and the water bottles were something else (they looked like they had been crushed and refilled. Yuck!). It was really time to gather up some fresh supplies. Then there is my CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) backpack which has a first aid kit, blanket, work gloves and hard hat and headlamp flashlight (time to check batteries or to change to a hybrid light head lamp ).
Wow, who knew that all that was in the back of the van, but most of it is under the back seat now. Since I travel so much and so widely in the state it¹s good to feel prepared in my truck, just like I did in that van.
Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge
One of the Scouts in my congregation asked that I counsel with him on the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge. We reviewed the four aspects of emergency preparedness:
1. Prepare for emergency situations.
2. Respond to emergency situations.
3. Recover from emergency situations.
4. Mitigate and prevent emergency situations.
Then we talked about his family plans to do those four things if there was a home kitchen fire, basement/storage room/garage fire, explosion in the home, automobile crash, food-borne disease (food poisoning), fire or explosion in a public place, vehicle stalled in the desert (this is when I got to brag about the stuff in my van, which also prompted me to move it to the truck), a vehicle trapped in a blizzard, flash flooding in town or in the country (which was all over the news from storms in Colorado and what to do in a mountain/backcountry accident).
Home Safety Checklist
The discussion went on and on, but he was well prepared. I was especially interested in his Home Safety Checklist (see pp.12-13) and wondered when I had done that last. What a great review that was for Preptember, But the month was full of more reminders when Shoes for African Relief dropped a bag by the home. It reminded me that my sensible pair of shoes were NOT under my office desk (just imagine a disaster and having to walk home from work (my trek takes more than two hours. I’ve tried it). So shoes are back under the desk.
Then Goal Zero asked me to teach a CPR class, which was fun, but made me realize that with heart failure as the number one killer in America, I better teach our staff CPR. After all I am 63 and overweight, so I might need one of them to Be Prepared to save me.
Author: Darryl Alder | Program Director, Utah National Parks Council