I’m seeing some headlines on CNN this morning as to people on the west coast of the U.S. who are scrambling for potassium iodide tablets in response to the disaster in Japan.
If you live near the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Newport, Mich., like I do, you should already have that packet of tablets. They were made available in fall 2009 through a campaign from the Michigan Department of Community Health.
You also should have that booklet that is mailed once a year that details emergency preparedness plans such as the evacuation centers and what radio and TV stations to tune to if the sirens blow.
And if you prepare for the disasters we face EVERY YEAR in southeast Michigan – specifically those tornado warnings and winter storms – then you have much of what you would need in case of any other emergency.
You can be prepared even when you are on a tight budget. I’ve got lots of information in my blog as to what’s in my “tornado kit” and why, and what the experts recommend in a disaster kit and why.
I schedule my annual disaster planning “campaign” on Monroe on a Budget in conjunction with Michigan Severe Awareness Weather week, which is coming up soon. Reason: Tornadoes are a very real threat in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio. Local residents need to be prepared for something that we are dealing with several times a year.
But here are some of my supplies, including my Fermi 2 emergency book and my potassium iodide packet and instructions, a cookbook for ideas when the power goes out and I have to rely on my gas camping stove, a flashlight and my emergency radio.
As a practical detail, I shelter in place only as long as needed. I do work as a newspaper reporter and it’s part of my job to inform the community when we are in a disaster situation. Therefore I also have a “reporter disaster kit,” LOL!
But we’ll get into all that when it’s tornado season.