Disasters have been on my mind a lot lately. Oregon has had a wealth of earthquakes off the coast, and it didn’t help when my colleague (an earth science teacher) described how these smaller earthquakes are causing bigger pressure to build up underneath. And with our local Albertson’s grocery store going out of business, I spent my Friday night doing a little Doomsday prepping (canned corn and spaghetti sauce for all!).

But there’s another disaster I think about frequently, as well…….

In Season Two of Six Feet Under, a woman starts choking on her food and throws herself against the corner of her kitchen counter, but it’s useless and she falls on the floor and dies. SHUDDER. I don’t want to be a Mama Cass and die choking on a sandwich, people. All the canned corn and spaghetti sauce I buy for the end of the world  won’t save me from choking alone.

Tonight, my friend, Tricia, posted a video on Facebook that addresses this issue. What do you do if you start choking and there is no one around to give you the Hemlich?

Another fear I have is that the house will catch on fire, and we will be trapped up in our third story bedroom. I’ve added an escape fire ladder (only $30 on Amazon), and I’ve never forgotten a great suggestion from a reader that you can throw your cats into a pillowcase for quick escape – although I’m not sure I can hold three thrashing pillowcases while descending an escape ladder (maybe that will be a practice drill).

And while we’re thinking about disaster scenarios, what the heck would I do if I was at work and things were really bad? Portland is the “City of Bridges” and traffic is horrendous enough on a regular day. During last year’s snowstorm, I literally had to find a hotel because all the roads home were closed. Downtown Portland is separated by the Willamette River, and while there are many bridges to cross, what if they are inaccessible? Even by foot? Should I borrow a hipster’s urban kayak?downtown-Portland-map-enlarged

Well, the good news is that I found this handy map that at least has several points of communication help (with so many close to work!):

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 8.59.39 PM

The bad news is that if I’m actually home during a massive earthquake, the nearest emergency center is miles from my house.

We’re all gonna die someday (although I’m still betting on replacing most of my parts with robotic ones later on) – but I plan on at least being informed about how to save myself if I can. Tonight, at least I can sleep better knowing these few tips.

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