EDITOR’S COLUMN | Be ready for disaster before it strikes

It’s the end of the world! Well, at least it seems like that with all the hurricanes — two in two weeks — and the West Coast being on fire.

Fortunately for South Whidbey, the “big one” hasn’t yet struck. Ash falling on cedars, sure, but not the doomsday earth quake predicted to one day devastate Western Washington. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be ready, however, and Puget Sound Energy should be applauded for holding an emergency preparation fair in Freeland this week.

A host of various organizations and public agencies, from the Red Cross to Island County Emergency Management, were there to provide people with tips and tricks on how to prepare for the worst.

While it can be difficult to make investments in supplies, gear and plans that we may actually never need, this really isn’t something to put off.

Truly.

Whidbey is popular because of its isolation, but that’s also what makes us so vulnerable to catastrophe. If Western Washington were hit with a major earthquake resulting in the level of destruction we’re seeing in the Caribbean and Houston, Whidbey would be in a tough spot. The vital transportation links that keep us connected to the rest of the world would almost certainly be severed.

Are you ready to spend months on your own? Because that’s how long some experts estimate Whidbey would be left to fend for itself.

Preparing is a pain, but it’s smart. And it’s responsible. Getting some emergency supplies together and having a family plan are the bare bones of preparation. Visit the county’s emergency management department’s website at www.islandcountywa.gov/DEM/Pages/Home.aspx for a more complete list of how to be ready for the worst.

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