BOUNTIFUL—Be prepared. It’s the Boy Scout motto but just how prepared are you? The Bountiful Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Council is hosting a seminar to help individuals be ready in the event of a disaster.
“We can’t prepare for every possible disaster,” said Tami Girsberger, president and founder of Prepare My Life and the keynote speaker at the seminar. “Every area has different potential disaster needs. There could be an earthquake, a flood, chemical spill or a volcano. We just can’t get our arms around every disaster. The crux of what we do is help people be prepared.”
Girsberger will address three main scenarios, walk away, drive away or stay in your home.
“Walk away is whatever you can push, pull or carry,” she said. “Drive away is whatever fits in your car and stay in your home is without any services such as water, electricity or gas. What do you need? What tools are essential if you have to live on what’s in your backpack? You have to be sustainable with water for five days. You can walk away with only so much water.”
She said emergency personnel can’t get to everybody in three days so you have to be self-sustaining.
“If you drive away, you might say ‘let’s take more water,’” Girsberger said. “If you’re at home you might have a barrel of water but you can’t walk away with that. You have to have survival water, portable water and storage water.”
Our goal is to give solutions and supplies for all three scenarios, she said. “You need to know what you need and don’t need or what you can get by with. It helps people at a glance get an overview of where they need to focus.”
She said the purpose is to make sure you have something in each area such as water, shelter and warmth, light, sanitation, first aid, etc.
“Having a plan is critical,” said Girsberger. “Your family needs to know where you’re going to meet and how you’ll communicate. You need your important documents. I have created a step-by-step binder for plans and documents to take with you. If you’re on foot you can’t stop and go through your files.”
The focus is on scenarios rather than specific disasters, Girsberger said. “You need to be completely prepared in each of those areas. I love food storage and those number 10 cans – but you’re not going to take those if you’re walking away.”
Girsberger has made a lot of her own products. “If I couldn’t find a solution for one of the areas, I created it,” she said. “I searched high and low for a walk away solution for a toilet. I love the Porta Potty but that’s not easy to carry. You’re not truly prepared if you don’t have a solution for sanitation.”
She has put together a five-day prep pack with a color-coordinated system to help people be prepared with what they need, what’s functional and what’s useful. “Somebody has to test it and do a mock situation. I have great testers,” said Girsberger. “There are so many preparedness items that are cheap and seem useful but don’t do what I need them to do. It has to be efficient and useful. Let’s not just put junk in there.”
Girsberger has developed a monthly group buy. “We bring in spectacular products at an extraordinary price,” she said. “It’s fun and free to join. There is no obligation to purchase they’re just great deals in a box to get prepared little by little. Everything we do fits into one of the categories or scenarios.”
The preparedness seminar is Tuesday, April 25 from 7 – 8 p.m. in the South Davis Junior High cafeteria, 298 W. 2600 South, Bountiful. Additional parking is available at the LDS church at 2651 S. 500 West.
“We try to make it easy for people to put together a walk away kit in a few minutes,” Girsberger said. “It’s kind of the foundation building block of preparedness efforts.”