It's National Preparedness Month, so we decided to ask the Central Valley Staff some questions to help you, our wonderful readers, get to know us better. Throughout September, you will get to meet our team and see The Not So Serious Side of Preparedness.
April Henry, Regional Territory Sales Manager, Health & Safety Services
Anya Goosev, Regional Community Resource Manager
How long have you been with the Red Cross?
April: 1 year.
Anya: 1 year, one month, seven days.
What's your most feared natural or man-made disaster?
April: Well the mommy side of me says the most natural disaster there is, is when you have a toddler and the diaper mass-destruct’s and goes everywhere…. But I think you are really talking about BIG natural disasters (though the diaper thing can seem huge when you have to clean your child, the carpet, the furniture, the clothes and then finally yourself) but in reality- I am terrified of FIRES! Big, explosive wildfires.
Anya: Tsunami. Nothing is scarier than a series of waves approaching land at 100 feet high and moving at 100 miles an hour!
What's the strangest or most important thing in your emergency preparedness kit?
April: Aside from the obvious and the child issues listed above…have you seen the things you can make with toilet paper! It is one amazing product. So if I had it and I was out in the wilds, and couldn’t get to a shelter or a hotel- I could weave myself a blanket, and then I could wrap that extra soft kind around a log or my emergency backpack to create a soft cushion for a place to lay my head.
If I’d left without my clothes, I could make an amazing outfit and even a sun sheltering hat- so I would be able to have a second set of clothes. Not only that, the hat is quite functional!
And while we’ve all played the toilet paper mummy game, it would also come in quite handy to do the same wrap on someone with true first aid needs.
Add a little water to some of that toilet paper, and you can make toilet paper wads, also known as toys balls for your children while your having to fill the time for them during the disaster. They won’t get hurt playing with their new toys, and of course its still functional for its true purpose!
When the toilet paper has all been used- your left with the roller…and that is a whole other item full of uses!
Of course by necessity- you can make binoculars or the kids can play telephone. They can also sing into it to entertain everyone while they are at the shelter – it will amplify your voice… or oh my gosh, that means it would also be good as a bullhorn if you needed to shout for real! We could make them into bracelets to go with our toilet paper attire.
But, if you are in a disaster where you really need fire (not the wildfires I am terrified of) you can stuff a roller with leaves and it is a great fire starter. And they make great storage. They work as a splint.
They are green and biodegradable. They are a win-win product!
Anya: Since I will be prepared for my most feared natural disaster, I have in my kit:
Adult sized Snoopy lifejacket – not only will this important life saving device keep me afloat it will bring back happy childhood memories
Boat & Oar – The boat is self-explained, the aftermath of a tsunami is flooding….so, my boat will keep me above water and dry. Since gasoline will most likely not be available for my boat, an oar will be necessary to maneuver around.
Vibram five finger shoes – No flippy floppies on this boat! I wouldn’t want to be swimming/walking through the aftermath of a Tsunami and loose a little piggy!
Whistle – Just in case I am stranded and need to let others know that I have survived!
12 gauge shotgun – My thoughts are that Zombies will come out in the event of any natural disaster. Although we see them mostly in movies, but I think Zombies can attack during ANY disaster and being prepared with a 12 gauge I will be very well equipped to double tap and take them out!
Smokey Joe– This little Webber is so essential (BBQ). It’s small and easy to carry; perfect little fit on the boat. It serves two purposes: send smoke signals for others to find me and, I gotta eat!