Would you be ready if you had to evacuate?

Boy Scouts aren’t the only ones who need to be prepared
By: Paul Cambra, Features Editor
-A +A

Disaster Preparedness Seminar
1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 23
Where: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 287 Poet Smith Drive, Auburn
Cost: Free

Some of the topics covered include:
• Fire prevention
• Earthquake preparation
• Disaster sanitation
• Ham radio & communication
• Solar ovens, Dutch ovens and alternative cooking tips
• Alternate power, generators and fuel storage
• Pet emergency preparations
• Triage and emergency medicine
• Red Cross CPR demo
• Grinding, canning, drying, pickling and preserving
• Water purification, filtration and storage
• Solar heating and lighting
• 72-hour kits
• Gardening and backyard orchards
• Sewing

Howard Godfrey wrote the book on preparedness. Literally (Emergency Preparedness and More, a Manual on Food Storage and Survival). But on Saturday, he will be just one of many giving advice on what you should do to be ready for the unexpected.
“It doesn’t always have to be an extreme situation,” Godfrey said. “You could be unemployed, or have a financial emergency.”
That’s why things like year-round gardens and backyard orchards will be explored at the “Disaster Preparedness Fair” on the grounds of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 287 Poet Smith Drive in Auburn.
“The fair is a community service, so people will have access to information,” Godfrey said.
That information will include CPR demonstrations by the Red Cross, an EMT on site as well as representatives form the California Department of Forestry and the Auburn Fire Department.
There will be information on ham radio communication, solar ovens, alternate power sources and what to do with your pets.
“There are a lot of hands on activities, practical things that the average person can get a hold of,” said Alan Fink, Bishop of Auburn’s First Ward. “We want to encourage people to always have a year’s supply of food, and two or three month’s worth of money in case you lose your job. And we’ve taken it a little further and got creative with it. We’ll show you how to cook dinner with a cardboard box and aluminum foil.”
Fink, who loves to garden, is also getting quite handy at canning and preserving, or “putting things by” as it was once known. He suggests starting with something easy.
“Tomatoes are easy, it’s just water and salt,” Fink said. “But the best thing I’ve made recently is a pickle relish. It was phenomenal.”
There will be information on grinding, canning, drying, pickling and preserving; water purification, filtration and storage; and triage and emergency medicine. And when dealing with food, water and open wounds, one must consider sanitation first.
“That cruise ship that was in the news last month, the one that got stuck. One day was all it took for the sanitation to turn really bad,” said Jerry Creason, preparedness and self reliance specialist for the church. “It’s going to get nasty real quick. Push comes to shove, it’s the first consideration: Food, water, shelter — sanitation affects them all.”
Creason was a professional forester for 20 years, working as a logistics chief for the fire service. He had to deal food, water and places to sleep for large numbers of people. He points to the Iowa Hill fire last year and the fact that 50 people were evacuated and had to live in a center for two weeks.
“If you had been prepared to evacuate you would been a little more comfortable in the evacuation center,” he said. “Just being prepared gives you a different attitude about taking care of yourself. You get a little more sense of security. Here in Auburn, there are two gas lines, two railroads, a major highway and a subsidiary (Hwy. 49) that go through town. Some nasty stuff goes through here. I was behind a propane truck that turned over. Stuff like that can happen at any time.”
Creason said that if you look at what happened with hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, it’s difficult for government and churches to get it together in less than three days. That’s where preparedness comes in.
“Just sit down and think about the possible situations and then begin to make preparations for that,” he said.
The fair takes place from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 23. It is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
 “The most important thing is you need to have your house in order,” Fink said. “It’s a comfort thing. We are not projecting the world’s going to collapse, but times are different. The economy is different. What we thought was working 10 years ago isn’t working today and it would be nice to have a little stashed away.”