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One step at a time

We all know the natural reaction to contemplating a major project — put it off. When that project is to prepare for a major disaster that might happen tomorrow or years from now, it makes it that much harder to summon a sense of urgency.

We’ve all heard about The Big One — the Cascadia earthquake that seismologists say could happen in the next 50 years. We also know that we should get ready in case it happens sooner rather than later.

The sheer scope of the preparation is enough to paralyze anyone. We’re not talking days of food and water, we’re talking months, even years.

But a massive earthquake is not the only disaster we should prepare for. A smaller quake could also occur, or a raging wildfire.

Medford’s emergency management office is offering residents of that city one answer. It’s called Do One Thing — and it’s just that simple. The national program developed by a nonprofit organization breaks down the task into individual steps to be completed over a year.

Because it’s nestled against forestland, Ashland is at greater risk of wildfire, and is ahead of the game with the city’s Fire-Resilient Communities program. City officials are also preparing evacuation plans. But that doesn’t cover individual preparations.

Participants in Medford’s Do One Thing program spent January making a plan, and February storing two weeks’ worth of drinking water. Future months will involve identifying shelter locations, preparing a “go bag” and stockpiling food.

If this approach appeals, check out do1thing.com.