All my life I’ve had the phrase, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst” running through the back of my mind. I always attributed the fact that I have no less than 36 rolls of toilet paper in the cabinet to growing up poor and that may well be the truth.
I know that when I was six or seven, I had to cut cardboard to put inside my shoes to keep my socks from developing the same size hole I had worn in my shoes. I could hope for the best: It may be close to Christmas or a birthday and I’ll get new shoes! Even then, though, I prepared for the worst. Not only did I put the cardboard in the shoe, I scrounged a plastic bag to wrap the cardboard! (When it rained or snowed the cardboard wasn’t much better than the hole!)
So, my friends tease me sometimes about the three cans of sunblock in my truck. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Maybe they poke fun at me a little because I never buy just one item. I can explain the 24 cans of glass cleaner! I found a brand that worked really well at a wholesale club. Everyone knows as soon as you find an item you like, the store stops carrying it!
We in Prince William County were extremely lucky last week after the hurricane passed us and the earthquake with more than 20 aftershocks has done very little damage. That doesn’t mean we should go back to our complacent lives.
The Red Cross needs blood as a result of all the havoc from flooding and millions of people without power. It’s easy to schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-GIVE LIFE or visiting them on the web.
It’s estimated that 38,000 people a day need to donate blood to meet typical demand in non-disastrous circumstances. Blood has an expiration date, so they can’t stock up like I do. Platelets must be used within five days, and while plasma can be frozen for up to a year, it is expensive to do so. (I admit to having a grisly curiosity about how used blood is discarded.)
One of the best disaster preparedness courses I have taken is the Community Emergency Response Team training. I encourage everyone to contact Volunteer Prince William. Call Bonnie Nahas at 703-369-5292, Ext.202 or go to Volunteer Prince William's website to sign up for their next available CERT training. This training is designed to prepare citizens to cope with a disastrous event that overwhelms or delays the county’s emergency response capability. You’ll learn how to care for your friends, neighbors and family in the event of disaster.
So, I really am not a worrywart, I’m just practical and prepared. But I do love that word!
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Department of Fire and Rescue sponsors a citizen academy. The department no longer holds the classes.