I am on the road this weekend. And have a great Labor Day Weekend, and be safe!!!
Here's the Western Tribune column from earlier this week. One can never be too prepared.
The first advisory from the National Hurricane Center was released on Monday six days before Hurricane Dean was to pound Jamaica with category 4 winds. We followed the progress of the storm each day and by Friday we knew for sure that we could not get off the island and would have to endure the rain and high winds that one U. S. news outlet predicted no building in Kingston could withstand.
But we did not feel threatened by the storm. Sure, we were disappointed that Dean was interfering with the fun part of our trip: a day at Ocho Rios and Dunston Falls. The public health portion of our course had been completed and we were scheduled to enjoy the beach but that was not to be.
To some degree, we are all trained in emergency preparedness, and some of the staff from this country and our host country were professionals who deal with these issues on a routine basis.
A few months ago I promoted emergency preparedness on my blog, and practicing what I preach, collected enough non-perishable food items and bottled water to last each family member 3 days, along with flashlights, battery operated radio, extra batteries and more in a waterproof container that I keep on hand in case a tornado, hurricane or other disaster cuts off our community’s power and our roads are blocked by fallen trees.
Emergency water supplies for personal use came in handy last summer when numerous water mains broke in Bessemer and we were without city water for a couple of days.
So in Jamaica, we knew precisely what we needed to buy to prepare and quickly took care of that. We could not have been more prepared or felt more secure than we did in the campus apartments we were housed in.
The winds began on Sunday afternoon and peaked about 5 hours later, and the rain was relentless. The noise was unsettling, and wind gusts of 120 miles per hour, though weakened considerably by metal shutters, still found their way into our rooms and blew things around and slammed doors. We could see trees blowing and coconuts flying and quite a bit of water found its way into several of the buildings, but we all fared well and do not feel that we were cheated out of anything by the storm.
In contrast, this experience put our training to the test and reinforced the value of preparation, both at home and when traveling.
To be sure you are prepared in the event of any emergency, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health site at www.adph.org/CEP/ to find the information you need. We are not always forewarned as I was in Jamaica. I was not a Boy Scout, but their motto “Be Prepared” is good advice for us all.