LOPREP is a community treasure.
Review of Thursday's Disaster Preparedness Fair
The parking lot at the old Paliades School, now being used by the Parks and Rec Department, was overflowing, and cars lined neighborhood side streets. Upon entering the building shortly after the 4 pm start time, the gym was already buzzing. You could feel the energy from within the moment you opened the building's front door.
Being a prepper in Lake O is cool!
The community has the people of LOPrep to thank for this event - for thinking of it, for sharing their knowledge, tips and finds, to work with the city and community resource people and vendors to come out to the event, and for caring enough to put in the time and energy to put on this Disaster Preparedness Fair in the first place!
Thanks to Jan Castle, Rick Eilers, Bing DeBurr, Cheryl Uchida, Ray Brown, and a host of other people whose names I do not know, and thanks to the City for hosting the event it with representative from our Firast Responders - the Police and Fire Departments and Public Works, Parks and Rec, the and Buildilng Department. And thanks to other community vendors and volunteers for showing up and sharing their knowledge and services. After last evening, there are no excuses for each family not to have a Go-Bag for every family member, and more general supplies for the home.
My one complaint would be that some booths were more about SWAG than spreading information specifically geared toward what to do in emergencies. Very few children were present, and the stuff was a distraction from any real learning.
Most popular give-away: The 3-gallon water jugfrom the Public Works Department - one per city household or water ratepayer.
Most enthusiastic presenter: Volunteer Bing DeBhur showing his ham radio set-up.
Best gizmo of the day: The DIY solar battery that you can use for appliances, lights and charging electronics. Same person had a camp stove that charged a battery when the stove was hot.
Most essential item in a destructive emergency: Water purification systems.
Most underrated tip/emergency item: Portable 5-gallon bucket toilets and instructions on how to use them so they don't stink! See phlush.org/oregon. National organization at phlush.org. Pre-built parts avail. at beprepared.com and elsewhere.
Best food item: The city provided obligatory Costco cookies, and some vendors had candy (a sucker with 911 stamped on it), but it was hot in the gym so clearly the Sno-Cone booth hosted by the people who do locates was popular with me.
The thing to now: Start or add to your Go-Bag (also called a Buf-Out Bag) and/or emergency supplies for your home. A great example of a prepared backpack with list of items was on display.
Easiest thing to do today: A vendor from Costco showed items they sell that can be used in an emergency. There is a sale currently boxes of Mt. House, variety pack, freeze-dried meal pouches.
Most useless SWAG item: This one is tied. The silver and blue rubber bracelet with the Parks Department "Living Well" message on it. (Decal was useless too.). And tying for #1 was a plastic band-aid holder. It's bulky and the plastic box will quickly become trash (along with those bracelets). Are either recyclable?
Most generous grifters: Public agencies and departments, excluding the Public Works Department with the very useful water jug!
Family favorite: Temperature sensitive pencils.
Did I learn anything? You bet! But mostly at the tables where there were no little treats or gifts - just valuable knowledge to share: Go-bags, food and water storage, water purification, human waste containment, solar electricity, locally available food and supplies, and how to organize your neighborhood for emergencies.
Government agency and Red Cross hand-outs are extremely useful as a place to start, but the fair was about what to do next. I didn't see the fire extinguisher practice set-up, and the hands-free CPR lessons were busy - I left before the County expert gave his lecture on earthquakes and other disasters, but I would include those events in the extremely helpful category.