Between catching up on YouTube webisodes and preparing for Monday morning in Mountain View (and Patchland), I kept updated on Hurricane Sandy, a.k.a. Frankenstorm, which is about to pound the East Coast.
I called my mom to make sure she had gotten home before the subway closed (she always has enough water and food); reminded my brother to accomodate for his dog's needs and suggested to friends to park their cars in garages—plus load up on batteries, non-perishable foods and bring in patio furniture.
On Facebook one friend complained about the automated emergency alert robocall she got: "My phone just screamed at me! WARNING evacuation alert. Wtf."
Other friends likened emergency preparations to "wars and holidays" because the hype pushes people to spend money: "natural disasters...are such a business."
You know what I think Mountain View?
I wish we could prepare days in advance for an earthquake, like those on the East Coast can prepare for storms.
Wait. News Flash! WE CAN!
The City of Mountain View has a robust and dedicated Office of Emergency Preparedness, which over the course of four weeks several times a year offers a free Community Emergency Preparedness Team (CERT) program. (This editor is a proud CERT grad!)
Of course, CERT gives participants invaluable checklists for items to purchase and things to do in case of a disaster—but it also trains people on fire safety, on search and rescue techniques, and how to render basic first aid.
Why is CERT important?
Mountain View has a great Fire Department (feel free to accuse me of being a biased and impartial reporter here) and we are blessed to have the Moffett Field Air Field and the 129th Rescue Wing right next door.
But in a disaster those amazing resources will be out handling even major emergencies—like really big fires or extreme rescue situations (think collapsed buildings; hikers stuck on a mountain after a rockslide; or capsized boats because of a tsunami).
CERT empowers the community by preparing us before an emergency because we might be cut off from help for awhile.
So what can we learn about Frankenstorm Sandy? It's not a joke to be paranoid about preparedness. Safety should be first; cynicism second.
Do you think that people and local governments in the East Coast are overreacting? Are you a CERT member? Are you prepared? Share your opinion in the comment section below!
Don't miss a thing in Mountain View!