It's time to get ready for the big one

By Jennifer Barrera - Staff Reporter

The recent earthquakes in Mexico, and hurricanes in Florida, Houston and Puerto Rico, are all reminders of the need for emergency preparedness.

Following this morning's "Great Shakeout" drill, the college is offering pertinent information on how to survive the loss of housing, food and water following a natural disaster.

"Basic Home Emergency Preparation" will be discussed in Building 7 at 12:30 p.m.

Organizers say people need to be prepared. What are they going to do? Have they prepared an emergency kit? Do they realize that in the case of a major catastrophe that the government won't be able to help?

People also need to know that Highline won't have kits for every student who goes here because Highline doesn't have emergency shelters, water or food supplies. The goal of the discussion is to have each person accept their personal responsibility.

"We want people to be prepared at their own home," Dr. Eric Baer said.

He will be joined by Francesca Fender, an analyst/executive assistant in the Office of the Vice President for Administration.

Dr. Baer has seen people who have been prepared and those who aren't. He's been a part of these annual Highline events for 20 years.

Dr. Baer said he cared about his people. That's his main purpose — to get people ready for anything.

The session is going to teach people how to prepare an emergency kit and the next steps to take when an incident occurs. Those who participate will get a free emergency blanket to add to their emergency kits at home.

Also planned is a non-perishable foods cooking demonstration by Public Safety Director David Menke and Sgt. George Curtis. Participants will get a chance to sample Meals Ready to Eat, known in the military as MRE's that could be distributed to civilians in the advent of a major catastrophy.

Once each year, various agencies mark the anniversary of the disastrous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake by hosting emergency preparedness seminars. What started small has gotten bigger over time and expanded. Highline will have a drill on what a person should do and how to get prepared.

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