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Letters to the Editor: Jan. 6, 2017

Be prepared

This past weekend, my family had an opportunity to test our preparedness for the Big One (the magnitude 9.0 Cascadia earthquake we are expecting any time).

Last Friday, we discovered a major leak in our well, and we found ourselves (and our house guests) without water from Friday evening untiil the line was fixed Monday at noon.

What we learned from this experience is that we are not prepared enough. Ready.gov, the website that explains emergency measures we all need to take, recommends storing one gallon (two 2-liter bottles) of water per person per day for at least three days for “drinking and sanitation.”

Because we had guests for one day, under the ready.gov formula we should have needed eight gallons (16 2-liter bottles) for the weekend. That is not nearly enough. We had 46 2-liter bottles (23 gallons) of water stored. Fortunately, we also have a second well, which was operating, and we had power. We refilled those 46 bottles twice.No showers. Washing only the dishes we needed to wash. Using no-water cleansers on our hands. And we still used far more water than the minimum recommended.

Preparing for emergencies is a more serious task than we realized.

In an emergency, in addition to water, we need food in a location we can reach. We also need car and house keys as well as IDs, flashlights, batteries, shoes, hats, coats.

Then there is gas to run a generator when the power goes out — and a generator to run in the first place.

Believe me, after this past weekend, I will be reviewing our stockpiles.

Susan Watkins

McMinnville

 

Churches stretched thin

A recent editorial commented on our homeless situation in McMinnville.

I would like to shed a little more light and perhaps adjustment as well. As a C-WISH participating congregation for seven years, we at True Vine Christian Fellowship have gained some insight into the plight of the homeless.

For example, we would often open as a shelter, only to have some of the homeless sleep on our porch because of their refusal to come in and associate with other homeless folks — even in down to 20 degree weather. My point being, the issue is much more complex than just providing space.

The halting of C-WISH has not lessened the level of care in our community. Rather, the Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission has expanded and centralized both space and hours. The maximum number of clients coming into C-WISH on any given night was 28, according to my recollection.

The mission has space for 35, and it is nearing capacity. The need for daytime warming shelters has always been there as C-WISH historically only provided night time respite from the cold from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. with dinner and breakfast served during inclement weather events.

Do you really want to see change? It takes a holistic approach, which the mission is gearing up to help facilitate. They can definitely use your donations of food and finances. Even more, if you are really interested in making a difference, talk, and frankly money, can be cheap.

The mission will screen you, but you can actually volunteer to fill a nighttime slot, once a week, or maybe twice a month, truly getting involved and making a difference in someone’s life. But then, that might involve a little self-sacrifice.

Dennis Nice

McMinnville

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