Maybe it is a sign of the political times, but disaster preparedness seems to be in the air on Orcas these days. Island Market just installed a gigantic generator and the Food Coop is planning to do the same. Several neighborhoods have formed committees to plan for the possibility of an earthquake, fire, or weather emergency and there is a new island wide effort called Be Ready Orcas that is hosting monthly meetings at the Eastsound Fire Hall on the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 5:30-6:30.

Living on an island at some distance from the mainland adds to our potential isolation in a prolonged emergency. At a minimum, we should all have two weeks’ worth of food and water per person stashed (current wisdom suggests at least one gallon of water per person per day). My favorite trick is to keep our freezer full with jugs of frozen water. That way when we do lose power, the freezer will stay colder longer and then the water can be consumed as it melts.

If you are interested in learning more, sign up at

OICF is working with several other regional community foundations to set up redundancy plans for donation management in case of community emergency. Philanthropic dollars are often the most nimble and quickest relief for impacted communities and we want to be ready to be of service. Hopefully all this planning will be like good insurance- good to have but best if never needed.

Keep an eye out for runners this weekend (Jan 26-27). There is a big 25k race in Moran on Saturday.

All the best-