Not “If” … But “When” – Preparing for a Disaster

By Wayne Blackmon,  AARP Oklahoma Volunteer

fallen tree storm damage

It’s easy to watch the disaster stories night after night on the evening news and think, “Those poor souls,” never believing that could be you on the screen.

My wife, Marilyn, and I shared those thoughts until we got the phone call. We were away when word came that a giant oak tree had fallen and crushed our boathouse, destroying it and the pontoon boat inside. Alert the media! Fortunately no one was hurt and we had good insurance.

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From that event — and another time when we lost power for seven days in an ice storm — we learned it’s not “if” disaster will strike, but “when." So we decided it was time to prepare a "disaster plan."

We especially found the AARP Emergency Preparedness Quiz helpful in making sure that we had thought of everything (we have four dogs to consider, too).

Because we liv e in “Tornado Alley,” we have a storm shelter, and believe me when those high-screaming siren sounds fill the air, that’s not the time to start planning how to get there or figure out if you have what you need inside.

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On Sept. 18, I will be a guest on AARP Live and show you my disaster plan, and discuss ways to help you get started on creating or updating your plan.

Wayne Blackmon
Wayne Blackmon

Your safety and that of your loved ones hang in the balance, so make the most important commitment of all right now, repeat after me: “I will have a plan and disaster kit completed by Oct. 1.”

It’s amazing how much your sleep might even improve.

Join me on AARP Live at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on Sept. 18 — we’ll even have some emergency kits to giveaway.

You can watch AARP Live on the RFD-TV network or live on the web at www.aarp.org/rfd. Follow @AARPLive on Twitter #askaarplive

Photos: Courtesy of Wayne Blackmon

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