President Bush has proposed eliminating a federal program that provides funding for disaster preparedness. The timing of the presidents announcement couldnt have come at a worse time the day of the 6.8-magnitude earthquake near Seattle, one of the cities that has used Project Impact funds to promote safer homes, schools and businesses. The cutback doesnt make sense being prepared for disasters is a whole lot cheaper than paying the bill for not being prepared after disaster strikes.
Administration officials said the cuts were proposed because the preparedness programs werent effective. Washington officials believe differently.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said the fact that Wednesdays quake didnt cause more damage was a wonderful show of what the project has done.
The administration needs to rethink its position and consider some sage advice from the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared.
Heres to-do list
Living in Northeast Oregon, some of us might think we are far removed from the possibility of an earthquake. But faults run through our region, too, and earthquakes are possible. The Eastern Oregon Chapter of the American Red Cross is reminding residents that we, too, need to be prepared.
Heres what we should have on hand, according to the Red Cross:
A flashlight with extra batteries.
A battery-operated radio with extra batteries.
A one- to three-day supply of bottled water.
An extra supply of prescription medication and a list of those medications.
A wrench to turn off gas and water supply if necessary.
A family evacuation plan.
Heres what we can do to be ready:
Know where to shut off gas and water to the house.
Prepare a kit with items listed above. A duffel bag can hold the items.
Assess your house for earthquake danger such as heavy pictures and art with glass, and display cases with breakable collectibles that could pose a hazard should they fall. In most cases pictures and display cases can be secured to minimize the hazard.
Take a first aid/CPR class.
People who would like to learn more about disaster preparedness can visit the Red Cross
office in the basement of Pierce Library at
Eastern Oregon University, or call 962-3036.