Red Cross or Red Crayon?

The Red Cross has been warning us for years that in event of an emergency, preparation counts.   So intent is the Red Cross on helping us prepare that they have created a variety of checklists for all sorts of natural or man-made disasters. There’s a list for tornadoes, for hurricanes, for tsunamis and for earthquakes. There’s a list for oil spills, for  flu, and even for our hot tubs.

In event of an earthquake, the Red Cross warns us to keep sturdy shoes and a flashlight beside every bed, and to be sure our home is firmly anchored to a foundation (not an easy task for those living in trailers perched on cinder blocks).  Be sure and practice the drop, cover and hold on to each other, the Red Cross advises.

Does this mean that folks living in high risk zones ought to hosts drills whenever they have company over?

“Oh, Sally, I’ll take that coat while you join Jonah under the table. We like to make sure all our guests are prepared in event of an earthquake.”

“Yeah, sugah. C’mon on over here,” Jonah says, leering and patting the floor.

Those living along the Gulf Coast please make note that Baby oil, not kerosene or diesel fuel, is the best method for removing hazardous petroleum from one’s body. (However, if you are drunk enough that you think diesel fuel is a good cleaning solvent, please refrain from smoking). Soap and fresh water works well, too, assuming you can find some fresh water. And because common sense has become a rare commodity, the Red Cross warns that anyone inhaling oil vapors or burning oil, should “move to an area where the air is clean.”  Like Montana, perhaps?

Tornadoes are a rarity in the Pacific Northwest (as is sweet tea and tasty collards) so there’s no need to worry about how one should go about bolting lawn furniture to grass, but the advice to stay out of  damaged buildings is nonetheless wise. Big Foot and D. B. Cooper remain at large. It could be traumatic to happen upon the two of them practicing the drop, cover and hold, what with all those nasty dreadlocks and years without bathing.

And don’t we all wish people would follow the Red Cross advice to “keep all your animals under you direct control”?  That includes ill-bred children, too.

Forget about what Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck are saying about disaster zones, Shirley McClaine and Linda Evans told people decades ago that they ought to move to the Pacific Northwest if they wanted to avoid natural disasters. Apparently, Mother Nature is a Seattle native.

Still, those who live along the Left coastline do have to worry about Tsunamis. The Red Cross has some terrific advice for those affected first by earthquakes and then the resulting high tide: “Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might interfere with emergency response operations.”

That would be the people flying overhead in those helicopters, pointing and shouting, “Wouldcha look at that, Nadine? There’s people up there on that rooftop. They even got them a sign.”

“What’s it say, Ned? I can’t see it.”

“‘H-E-L-P!”

For all you disaster novices, that’s code for “Somebody better hurry and call the military. I’m dying here.”

The Red Cross doesn’t mention it in their lists, but you might want to keep a red crayon and some butcher paper on hand.

Jez saying.

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • Steve T

    Signal fires work well too. Just make sure you’re not standing on your roof when you light it.

  • http://www.seekingfaithfulnessblog.blogspot.com Holly

    Ha Ha. I hear ya, Karen. I, too, read the Red Cross page on preparedness, and tried to picture my 9 kids and husband and I crouched under our dining room table (the sturdiest thing in our rickity old house, including the house) during an earthquake. I thought the advice on housing worthless. Most people live in crumbly old houses (or trailer parks) precisely because that’s all they can afford. If they could spring for something with a stronger foundation, they surely would, so telling them their home is not likely to withstand a major quake doesn’t really do a lot of good.


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