So, on with the questions, and my answers!
1. With the recent hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast, it has once again been made obvious that being prepared ahead of time can be the difference between life and death. Do you and your family keep an emergency pack of supplies ready to go at a moment's instant as so many people recommend? What all is in it?
Right now, my family does not have an emergency evacuation package or bug-out kit. After considering the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, I have decided that a kit is required. We do live just 1/2 mile downhill from a earthquake fault line after all… As for what is in it? Since it doesn't exist, nothing's in it. What do I intend to put in it? Hmm. I am envisioning a large plastic bin that can be stuffed into my truck's bed. I expect to fill it with bottled water, canned foods or MREs, a comprehensive first aid kit, and some kind of lighting and cooking tools. Also, one of those crank wind radios. In addition, I think a second bin that can be loaded on a moment's notice with clothes, bedding and the folder of documents we don't want to loose. Protective tools, ie, guns and ammo will be part of the package as well but I haven't figured out that aspect just yet and the camper will probably get its year-round readiness status upgraded.
2. If, heaven forbid, anything as destructive as a hurricane or earthquake or fire or flood were to hit your community, and assuming you stayed around or couldn't get out, what are some of the skills you have that you think could be utilized to start the recovery efforts?
I'm a guy, so, by my definition, I'm handy and can make decisions. This would be unlike mayor Nagin of New Orleans, who seems to be neither. So, I'm pretty good at figuring out how to get things done. I have a truck and can haul and move heavy things. I'm better at begging forgiveness than asking or waiting for permission when I see something that needs doing. I've got passable first aid skills. If I'm dressed, I have a Swiss Army Knife in my pocket.
3. How safe do you feel in your own community when it comes to disaster preparedness?
First of all, Ogden won't go under water and the hurricanes that are trackable and predictable don't come to Utah. Our disaster will be an earthquake, and nobody is going to get a 72 hour warning from one of those. I suspect that my local government has some kind of plan, though I don't know what it is. I'm also pretty certain that most of my community will be prepared to support themselves either as individuals or through the numerous LDS church wards. The city seems well capable of handling typical tasks like storm cleanup in the winter, so overall, I think we have a capable infrastructure. I just don't think you will see mayor Godfrey standing in front of a microphone begging the federal government to come rescue his citizens as it happened in New Orleans after Katrina.