Janeen Olson knows that she’s ready in case of an emergency. She always has a backpack close by that’s filled with a flashlight, blanket, bottled water and more.
What Olson is concerned about is getting others prepared for emergencies like power outages, snowstorms, fires, earthquakes and whatever else may hit the area. She’s in charge of Redmond Ready, a service of the office of emergency management that encourages city employees and citizens to take a personal preparedness class and get trained in first aid and CPR.
“Being prepared is our responsibility. You never know when you’re going to need to be prepared — when something’s going to happen,” Olson told about a dozen people at the Oct. 5 First Friday Coffee Chat at the Redmond Senior Center. “And there’s that idea that we are there to help others — I believe in it.”
The city held a Redmond Ready Day last month with 40 people in attendance at Overlake Christian Church. First-aid and CPR training was available that day for $14, and more people can take advantage of that training from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 17 at another Redmond Ready Day at Overlake, 9900 Willows Road N.E. For information, visit www.redmondready.org.
Last Friday, while Olson discussed Redmond Ready, she got two women involved in her presentation by placing foil heat-reflective survival wraps around one woman’s body and another woman’s legs. A few minutes later, she began heating up a freeze-dried chili macaroni and beef meal with two cups of water in a battery operated tea kettle. After eight minutes, the meal was ready; those who sampled it said it was tasty.
Olson said that shopping at a $1 store can help fill one’s emergency kit with items like batteries, toilet paper, trash bags, bathing and cleaning supplies and more. Items around the house include food, water, candles and matches, clothing, gloves, heavy boots, tools, copies of important documents, cash (small bills) and more.
Redmond Police Department Commander Mark Hagreen noted that being prepared for an emergency is similar to having health and property insurance.
“You’re in a much better place with that insurance. You’ve got peace of mind,” he said.
Overall, one of the most important parts of dealing with an emergency is for people to be prepared to help themselves if rescue crews cannot reach them, Hagreen said.
Also, Olson added that neighbors should get to know each other well, give each other a helping hand and share emergency contact phone numbers in case they need to contact family members should disaster strike.