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Senior News: It’s important to be prepared for a winter emergency

I hope you have dug out of the snow by the time you read this. But as I was shoveling snow — for the third time — my mind wondered back to the days of childhood when snow was a gift from the heavens. It provided children with a chance to build snow caves, play Capture the Flag, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows instead of going to school.

While you were stuck inside, you may have thought, “What if this snow storm had been worse. No water, no power and no Winter Olympics! What would I have done?” So this may be a good time to remind everyone how important it is to be prepared for an emergency. Here are some quick reminders from FEMA at and the American Red Cross at First, prepare a kit of basic supplies, including one gallon of water per person for up to three days, and at least three days of non-perishable food. Include in the kit a can opener (and don’t forget the pets), a battery powered radio with extra batteries, and enough medications and supplies to last seven days.

Second, make a plan of whom to contact. And because during emergencies it is more difficult to get through on a local call than with long distance, include one or two contacts outside of your area code. Sending a text is often more successful than phone calls.

Third, the American Red Cross recommends that you create a personal support network of friends, neighbors or family with whom you should discuss these seven important points.

• Make arrangements for your support network to immediately check on you during and after an emergency.

• Exchange important keys.

• Show them where you keep emergency supplies.

• Share copies of your relevant emergency documents, evacuation plans and emergency health information card.

• Agree on and practice methods for contacting each other in an emergency. Do not count on the telephones working.

• Notify each other when you are going out of town and when you will return.

• Learn ways you might be able help your network as well during an emergency.

Don’t expect the government or the utility companies to immediately come to your rescue. They will be doing their very best to restore services and assist all of those in need. So be prepared by taking responsibility for your own safety. And you can start by having a kit, a plan and your support network in place.

The weather got the best of us last Tuesday, so we postponed Melissa Howtopat’s presentation. We have rescheduled her for Feb. 18. In case you have forgotten, she will be explaining the many programs and services that the Area Agency on Aging offers, including in-home assistance through the Oregon Project Independence program, Friendly Visitor, AARP Money Management and Senior Health Insurance and Benefits Assistance (SHIBA).

Lyn Dalton emailed me a brain teaser, demonstrating the amazing ability of the mind where one is asked to read a sentence with several key letters replaced by numbers. Using that idea, see if you can read this week’s music announcement. (Congratulations to Diana Weston who won 10 quilt raffle tickets for being the first to email me after reading last week’s music announcement in Euro-English.)

N3X7 7U35D4Y 3V3N1NG 47 7H3 C3N73R 7RUM4N W1LL B3 PL4YING H15 COUN7RY GOLD FOR YOUR L1573N1NG 4ND D4NC1NG PL345UR3. 7HE COFF33 15 ON 4T 6:00, 7H3 MU5IC 574R75 4T 7:00 4ND YOU C4N 5L1D3 HOM3 BY 9:00. 3V3RYON3 15 W3LCOM3 1NCLUD1NG 35K1MO5 AND POL4R B34R5. 4ND DON471ON5 4R3 4LW4Y5 4PPR3C1473D.

The Super Bowl Trophy was named after Vince Lombardi, coach of the Green Bay Packers. (The winners of a free Saturday breakfast in March are Virginia McClain and Cheesehead Karl Vercouteran.)

Being that we are in the midst of the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, this week’s “Remember When” question is about the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley, Calif., where the US won its first Olympic Gold in hockey (the forgotten Miracle on Ice).

What Americans won the other two gold medals in men’s and women’s figure skating? E-mail your answer to, call 541-296-4788 or send it with a copy of the movie “Snow White and the Three Stooges.”

Well, it has been another week slipping and sliding down the snow-packed slopes of life. Until we meet again, stay safe and warm during this winter wonderland.

“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” Carl Reiner


Wednesday (12) Fish with Macaroni and Cheese

Thursday (13) Oven Baked Chicken

Friday (14) Taco Casserole

Monday (17) Veggie Beef Stew

Tuesday (18) Turkey with Stuffing


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