Catherine W. Idzerda" />

Disaster preparedness sessions offered in Delavan

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Sunday, September 18, 2011
— Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?

No? How about something more likely, such as a tornado, a night stuck on the Interstate or a power outage?

Fortunately, the disaster preparedness rules that apply to storms, emergency evacuations or power outages also apply to an onslaught of zombies.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, and Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Delavan Parks and Recreation Department will offer classes on family disaster preparedness. The first will focus on emergency kits for homes, cars and workplaces. The second will cover how to keep families safe during short-term disasters caused by severe weather or power outages.

Jim Cobb, Delavan resident and disaster readiness expert, will lead both classes.

Cobb has been interested in disaster preparedness since before he knew what it was called. As a boy, he was one of the few members of his household that responded to the television tones warning of upcoming emergencies.

“I would hear the tones and randomly grab a couple canned goods, my blanket and bear,” Cobb said. “It drove my parents nuts because they had to put the stuff away.”

His interest in disaster preparedness was rekindled in 1999, when concern surfaced about the Y2K computer bug that many predicted would shut down electronic systems across the world.

“I didn’t really think Y2K was going to be an issue, but I started thinking about disaster preparedness again,” Cobb said.

Disaster preparedness used to be considered the preserve of survivalists or overly anxious government officials. But 9/11 changed that.

“This has really become more mainstream,” Cobb said. “We’re not going to deal with the Mayan prophecy that says the world is going to end in 2012, but with realistic threats.”

In his first class, Cobb plans to focus on emergency kits and their importance for safety.

Remember when a blizzard shut down Interstate 90/39 and motorists were stranded overnight on the road?

“If people had just a little bit of stuff in their cars, it would have made all the difference in the world,” Cobb said.

A blanket, bottled water and snacks would have a rough night easier, he said.

Here’s another example: Let’s say you have to get home on foot. Memories of office workers walking home from Manhattan after 9/11 come to mind.

You’d want to have comfortable shoes, seasonably appropriate outwear, water and snacks, right?

If a police officer came to your home and told you to evacuate immediately, what would you want to bring with you?

“You’ll want to have kit that you could grab on the way out the door,” Cobb said.

Cobb’s second class will explain how families can stay safe during short-term disasters. Subjects include what items would be helpful and which ones would be crucial for survival.

“I just look at this as common sense,” Cobb said. “We’re not trying to teach people what happens at the end of the world.”


What: Disaster preparedness classes led by Jim Cobb.

When: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 and Tuesday, Sept. 27. The first class will focus on emergency kits for homes, cars and workplaces. The second class will focus on what to do to keep your family safe during short-term disasters such as severe weather and power outages.

Where: Mill Pond building, Veteran’s Memorial Park, just off Highway 11 between Terrace Street and Richmond Road.

Cost: Each class costs $7 for Delavan residents and $10 for nonresidents. People interested in attending the Sept. 20 class should contact the Delavan Parks and Recreation Department by the end of the day Monday at (262) 728-5585, Ext. 138. People interested in attending the Sept. 27 class should contact the parks and rec department by the end of the day, Monday, Sept. 26.

For more information: Email Jim Cobb at More information also can be found on Cobb’s website,

Last updated: 6:19 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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