Monday, February 8, 2010

What To Do In An Earthquake: Drop, Cover & Hold On!

The last western Washington earthquake I was in, I stood from behind my desk and walked over to stand in the doorway. I'd been taught that doorways offer structural protection from falling buildings. Since then, I've learned that many people have lost their fingers doing it (when the Earth's rumblings forced the door to slam shut). That being stated -- we are receiving more data all the time about what best to do during times of disaster, such as earthquake. 


  • most injuries in U.S. earthquakes occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave. The Red Cross strongly advises against moving (that is, attempting to escape) during the shaking of an earthquake. 
  • The more movement and the longer the distance that a person tries to go, the more likely they are to become injured by falling or flying debris, or by tripping, falling, or getting cut by damaged floors, walls, and items in the path of escape. Most earthquake injuries in the United States are from falling/flying objects not from structure collapses! 
  • Earthquake experts further suggest quickly seeking a place of safety, such as under a sturdy table or desk, and moving as short a distance as possible to that place of safety. Because the research continues to demonstrate that – in the U.S. – “Drop, Cover and Hold On!” works, the American Red Cross continues to back this recommendation. It is the most reliable and easiest method to teach people, including children.

 * The above advice is given for the United States (based on the severity of earthquakes that have happened here historically, and based on the building structures we have in this country). It is NOT advice for people living in Haiti, for example, where low income means buildings are not always built to code and were not designed to withstand large earthquakes. So if you are visiting there (SunTIger says, and this is NOT official Red Cross info) you may want to carefully step just outside to stand in a parking lot where nothing can fall on you!

POINT IS: THINK AHEAD! Consider what structure in your home and office (including your child's school) would be safest place to be during an earthquake. You do NOT want to walk far to get to that location. Sometimes standing inside a closet might be the safest place (reinforced area with no windows -- providing the closet has no glass doors). 

Be safe. Be well! Be prepared!

Monday, November 30, 2009

FREE Ham Radio Class. Final Exam Costs ONLY $15

Jan 8-9, 2010, HAM CLASS for Technician License in Bonney Lake!


THANK YOU EARTH member Betty Tanner, KE7NBL, for sharing the following opportunity: 


  • WHAT: Ham Radio Class 

    • WHO: Coordinator, Donna Pearson, @ ph# (253) 376-4183 
    • WHEN: call Donna during the early evening hours (she works) 
    • WHEN? Ham radio classes will be held Fri., Jan 8th, 6:30-9pm & Sat., 9am-3pm.  
    • FEE: The class is FREE. The $15 test will follow Saturday's classwork  at 3:30pm.
    • WHAT: Bring your picture ID. No books needed. Donna will send you the first module via email once you call her and register. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009


EARTH member Betty Tanner (Ham Radio Operator KE7NBL) suggests we all might benefit to study ham radio at this awesome resource on-line. She also suggests there's a group in Bonnie Lake that is going to offer a ham radio class very soon (updates to come). THANK YOU KELLY FOR THIS INFO! Here's the on-line study site:

Friday, November 20, 2009


article by EARTH organizer & CERT member: Tami Jayne Jackson, who hails from Kent, WA

Denial. It’s an emotional coping mechanism. A lie too many of us embrace anytime words like “tsunami” and “Mt. Rainier exploding” and “climate change” vibrate off our eardrums. We’ve all heard other folks say things like: “It will never happen here,” or “the Howard Hanson Dam flooding won’t be as bad as they say.” Those kinds of sayings help us to relax, to not feel like we must do something to prepare. It gives us permission to simply maintain the status quo. Denial feels so much easier than taking action.

Sadly enough, denial is the strategy that too many New Orleans citizens employed before Hurricane Katrina hit. Too many had not done so much as store enough drinking water to keep their families healthy. Too many learned, the hard way, that emergency and rescue workers are overtaxed and simply cannot help everyone in need during a large scale disaster. Citizens were left to care for their own dead, not to mention deal with their own emergency medical situations.

 Local government bodies here in Washington state are also saying “you’ll be on your own” should any large scale catastrophic event hit here. That’s because there simply are not enough rescue workers on the government payroll to handle a very large-scale need. That's why we all, as self-sufficient citizens of the United States, are being asked to take charge and prepare ourselves.


Thank goodness that Hurricane Katrina is now history. Hindsight from that disaster has taught us a great deal. For one thing, people with guns thrived. The very trucks that were trying to deliver water bottles to the Louisiana Superdome (large government shelter) were often intercepted and the precious water was released to whatever gun-toting civilian or local law enforcement stopped the truck. When people are under duress, all sorts of crazy things happen.

Because you and I are super intelligent, we are thankful for the catastrophic events that have played out in this nation’s past because history educates us to prepare for disaster scenarios. We canNOT merely hide under the blankets pretending there will never be a flood. History proves it’s very foolish to rely on any government vacation plan (shelter scenario) to protect us. Even within those shelter systems, there has not been enough law enforcement available to protect those residents from violent crime. That is why smart people, like you and I, will plan ahead and stay out of the government recovery system as much as possible.


It doesn’t take some event of “mass destruction” to completely cripple local traffic and make the most unprepared-sort-of-people act utterly crazy. Just two years ago, when extensive power outages hit Western Washington (an event that earned us the “state of emergency” designation) criminals began stealing presto logs from Safeway and fueling stations could not sell gasoline to motorists due to their lack of electricity. While that was a seemingly small burp compared to the belches most of us visualize when we think of “disaster,” other people acted shamefully, nonetheless. Smart as you and I are, we now realize, mentally and emotionally, that other people will not always act sociable, they may even turn violent, given a bigger frightening event.


IN LOCAL NEWS: Not only have municipalities in the valley been spending a great deal of time and money to educate those living in the valley about the Howard Hanson Dam concern, but the Green River is expected to flood and cause damage all on its own.  If you doubt this is a serious concern, ask yourself why would King County, and other local governments, dole out so much cash and time to give citizens so much information about the flood. Why would so many be filling FREE sandbags if there was no real flooding threat? Why have so many businesses, such as the state’s Department of Social and Health Services, moved out of valley locations, even left downtown Kent, to operate from higher ground such as Federal Way if the threat of flooding is not very real and significant?

In light of the very many potential scenarios that threaten Western Washington today, it’s time you and I make change. We need to pull on our extremely resourceful, laid-back, secret agent MacGyver thinking-caps. After all, we are the very smartest cookies inside this Western Washington cookie-jar. We are going to prepare for anything and if the Howard Hanson Dam scenario turns out to be much less-foreboding than what local municipalities think? Then we’ll already be outfitted for any other disaster scenario that is likely to hit, such as a 9.0 earthquake, a meteorite impact, any sort of pestilence, swine flu outbreak or chemical warfare situation.  


When the water and sewer systems are cut off, long-term, given the likely potential there will be breakages in the lines and what-not, you and I need to conserve water and we cannot do that if we’re bathing by hot shower or tub-submersion. First off, in a disaster situation, there's simply a lack of clean water. That's why Ray Gross, presenter of a recent disaster preparedness meeting in Federal Way called “Beyond 72 Hours,” suggested we change our way of thinking about hygiene. “Wash anywhere you have hair,” he said. While Gross emphasized the importance of keeping hand-wipes in any survival kit for this purpose, he said that washing the hairiest body parts are most important for survival, since that’s where bacteria are most likely to multiply, grow, and offend the noses of others. The only thing I would add to Gross’s suggestion, since I had a brother with particularly smelly feet, is that some people will also want to use those hand-wipes to kill whatever’s growing under their socks as well.

Cleanliness being a priority for many of us, Gross also presented a plethora of other hints for thriving in any flooding scenario. Seems anytime there’s been extensive flooding situation, historically, mosquitoes and other vermin have multiplied and they spread disease. Maybe the mosquitoes won’t be able to attack during the middle of winter, but come spring, with extra moisture everywhere, they’ll be making their presence known then. With our trusty MacGyver thinking-caps, you and I suddenly realize it might be a good idea to add bug-repellant and rodent traps to our emergency supply kits.  


The exigencies of any disaster scenario create the obvious potential for economic and societal breakdown.  One of the biggest difficulties that people enduring Hurricane Katrina faced was being able to prove that they owned certain property after such homes had been completely demolished.  With our trusty thinking-caps on, you and I realize it might be a good idea to keep copies of important papers that identify what we own, exactly, in some safe location outside our individual homes.

Proof of ownership will become important if our possessions are ever destroyed by other potential disasters too, such as fire, excessive lava flow or by a cyclone (like the one featured in the Wizard of Oz).  After a great loss of all your material goods, if you cannot prove ownership of property, your insurance and FEMA will very likely not be able to help you recuperate from your losses. That’s what folks in New Orleans learned the hard way.


In the aftermath of any flooding situation, certain supplies become very expensive and hard to find. That’s because a sudden and unexpected demand for materials will typically exceed the current supply on hand. After a disaster, this “need for supplies” often involves construction items such as new drywall. With our MacGyver thinking-caps, anyone living in the flood-plane might also decide to stock up on snow-shovels (for moving mud out of a home or garage) and disinfectants and antiseptic-cleaning supplies for killing mold, mildew and combating any germs spread by sewer that may have backed up inside a home.  

Sadly enough, I met a woman who had been flooded out of her home in Pacific last year. To date she has not been allowed to move back home. So when you plan for any kind of disaster, imagine how you will survive, financially, if you must relocate permanently.


                From the flooding situations that happened in down around Olympia and Chehalis, in recent years, we have been saddened to learn how few people planned for evacuating their pets. Too many locked their horses and cows up in their barns and when the family evacuated, some of those large animals were left to drown. Others decided to let their pets run loose and horses were hit by emergency response vehicles and other traffic. Hindsight shows that dogs and cats released during catastrophic events cannot find their way back home when familiar land-marks disappear. Sadly, when other people and pets grew hungry, such pets have been eaten like mere vegetables.  

                While the City of Auburn has arranged to lease the now vacant (former Target store) building, up on the Federal Way hill, as a potential shelter for people flooded out of their homes, family pets will not be allowed to stay in the same shelter as humans. Instead, all pets will be kept inside their carriers at another nearby structure. Pets not in carriers will not be admitted to the shelter. With our MacGyver thinking caps, you and I realize we need to keep enough carriers on-hand to accommodate each and every pet we own. This will not only help if we accept residence provided by that government vacation plan, on the hill, but it will also help when we do the much smarter thing and evacuate to some friend’s home, outside our immediate area, instead.

                While you and I are now planning ahead to store one gallon of water, per person, per supposed day of the disaster-need, we are also storing one gallon of drinking water per day for each and every pet we own. That’s because we realize our faithful and beloved feathered or fur-family member (those who will look like mere vermin to others if we release them to defend themselves) will not survive if we do not plan for them.


Consider getting trained, locally, by contacting your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) or your Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET). The Red Cross also trains volunteers in emergency response. Google search any or all of these programs to learn of training opportunities nearest you. Also consider FEMA training, provided on-line:

One thing you and I do, since we are very laid back and very smart, is we think ahead to PREPARE our families and pets for any potential cataclysm. Here are some very thought-provoking websites to help.

·         Washington state’s check-list for emergency supplies:
·         U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s Family Preparedness Website: (scroll down for many helpful links)
·         Handy forms to help plan ahead (family preparedness)
·         On the topic of FOOD STORAGE (a few websites)
·         Good website regarding canned good shelf life and stamped code decoder
·         MY FAVORITE resource. Utilizing the SUN to purify water!

GOING MUCH DEEPER:  BOOKS (recommended by a local police officer)!
Author and Survivalist Joel M. Skousen, grew up in Oregon and later served as a USMC fighter pilot during the Vietnam war. He wrote many books specializing in preparedness.  Here are a few titles: Essential Principles for the Conservation of LibertyStrategic Relocation—North American Guide to Safe PlacesThe Secure HomeSurvival Home Manual: Architectural Design, ConstructionRemodeling Of Self-Sufficient Residences and Retreats, and How to Implement a High Security Shelter in the Home.  Here’s his website: with links for preparing for a biological terrorist attack:

* NOTE: This article may be circulated freely so long as the author's name is kept in tact with the report. To contact Tami send email to

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wanna Make A Foodbank Donation In Earth's Name?

Debbie Christian, from Auburn Food Bank, stated we, as a group of Pagan volunteers, may now make financial donations under EARTH's name and have our group receive credit. The Food Bank, due to its many networking connections, is able to stretch any $1 donated into $5 worth of food. This kind of donation will come in very handy during any disaster scenario -- as it really serves a most basic human need.


  • Online:
  • Mail hard-copy check: Auburn Food Bank,  PO Box 464, Auburn, WA  98071
  • Credit card payments over the phone: ask for Gretchen at 253-804-5696
Please let EARTH members know if you have any difficulty whatsoever by communicating how smoothly your transaction went (communicate here or leave a comment on FaceBook). EARTH has been told this will be a very smooth transaction for all EARTH members.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nov. 18 Training & Hyperlinks [Provided By Mary Peterson (Des Moines)]

Disaster survival presentation: November 18, 2009

The City of Federal Way Emergency Management Division will give a presentation on disaster survival beyond 72 hours from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 18 at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave S., in Council Chambers.

Topics include:
  • Possible catastrophic events to consider
  • Long term food storage ideas
  • Water storage & alternative sources
  • Long term health and hygiene concerns
  • Long term preparedness and protective actions

The City of Federal Way is hosting the presentation and requests that you RSVP for the presentation. To RSVP or for more information, contact Ray Gross,, 253.835.2712.

Please forward to anyone you think may be interested.

Mary Peterson also provided these helpful/related hyperlinks.

Fire Extinguisher web info

FEMA Emergency Management Institute (online independent study courses)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Note to EARTH members: Please realize there are TWO separate postings today. If this Red Cross opportunity does not appeal to you, perhaps the next City of Auburn disaster response opportunity will. Blessings! ~ SunTiger (on FaceBook. Search EARTH is on FaceBook as well! Search!

Red Cross Recruiting ReserveCorps Volunteers

Contact:Katherine Boury, Red Cross
(206) 726-3547

SEATTLE - November 2, 2009 - This year there is the potential for significant flooding in the Green River Valley so the American Red Cross Serving King & Kitsap Counties is looking for volunteers to become trained now as a ReserveCorps shelter volunteer so they will be ready to respond during flood season. ReserveCorps shelter classes will be held on Nov. 14 and Dec. 5.
Volunteers must submit an online application before attending the free, day-long shelter training. A free background check will be part of the training. “We are looking for volunteer shelter workers for larger scale disaster responses because we know that there is a higher risk for flooding in the Green River Valley this year,” said American Red Cross Serving King & Kitsap Counties Volunteer Manager Ivy Davis Zolle. “Since we have started this program in October, we’ve had a tremendous response. By taking steps to be trained before flood season means volunteers will be ready to respond quickly to a disaster.”
ReserveCorps is a component of the American Red Cross program Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC) which prepares teams of “reserve” Red Cross volunteers to be ready to help during a local, large-scale disaster. For more information please go to
For more information about becoming a ReserveCorps please visit our web site at or call 206-726- 3566 or 360-377-3761.

Dana Hinman, Communications Manager
City of Auburn
25 West Main Street
Auburn, WA 98001-4998
253-931-4009 (office)
253-266-2787 (cell)
253-288-3132 (fax) 
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