September is Emergency Preparedness Month Are you prepared?

September is Emergency Preparedness Month Are you prepared?


September is National Emergency Preparedness Month…so here’s the question…are you and your family prepared?


That is the sound of an earthquake that I got off one of the FEMA websites.

Natural disasters tend to be big, powerful, and life changing. Sometimes, unfortunately, disasters take lives. Whether it’s an earthquake, a big storm off the Bering Sea, erosion or even a kitchen fire that leaves you out of the house for a few weeks, now is a good time to think ahead and make plans.

Let’s all work together this week as The LegHead Reports focuses on emergency preparedness to take a few minutes each day and get your family thinking about and gathering up all the items you’d need or want to have on hand should a disaster strike.

Even if all you did was grab a piece of paper and a pen or type a few notes on the computer each time you hear one of the programs this week, you’ll be that much farther along and more mentally prepared for The Big One.

Audio from

That snippet comes from but you don’t need to go there as the state’s website includes a lot of great information, including a chart guiding you through assembling your family’s seven-day survival kit.


Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends


Alaska’s Emergency Preparedness Page for Personal and Family Planning  Has all kinds of information. Bookmark it. Read it and get ready!

New 7 Day Supply Kit from Alaska’s Emerg Prep Page.


State boards and commissions are great way to get involved in making changes in Alaska

State boards and commissions are great way to get involved in making changes in Alaska

PHOTO: Chena Ridge from the Division of Forestry’s website. The Alaska Board of Forestry helps manage and determine policy for Alaska’s forest lands.


You don’t need to run for public office to have a real impact on life in Alaska and in the way the state does business.

Why not stick your name in for a state board or commission?

Monday January 6, 2014 Edition of The LegHead Report


RESOURCES: Here are some useful links to help you get info and apply for a board or commission position.

Governor’s Office of Boards and Commission

List of Active Boards and Commissions — includes a ton of info on each board, what they do, who’s on it, etc.

List of Vacancies on Alaska Boards and Commissions–These are the ones to target if you’re ready to take the leap and apply for an open spot.  (Opens as a pdf.)

How to Apply for an Alaska Board or Commission Position


Tips for understanding the mumbo jumbo of Alaska budget

Glossary of Budget Terms

Even if you’re not a numbers geek you’ll likely find something interesting and readable about the state’s Fiscal Year 2015 and the 2016 budgets on the Office of Management and Budget’s website.

I’ve had lots of fun reading through them and encourage you to do likewise. Now before you freak out about all that budget mumbo jumbo and those huge dollar amounts, let me remind you of “Maggie’s Rule for Reading Legislative Stuff”.

Go to the site, glance around for something that catches your eye and skim through it. If it’s interesting and makes sense great, you’ve learned something new. If it’s boring or totally incomprehensible, skip it. Don’t feel guilty or dumb or anything, just move on. There are plenty of pages and lots of really cool stuff on the state’s website, so feel free to cherry-pick your reading material.

Speaking of reading material. I found an informative glossary of budget words on the OMB’s website. Let’s look at some of those words.

First of all Office of Management and Budget which is also called OMB. That’s the division within the Governor’s Office that is responsible for preparing the Governor’s budget. That explains why all the budget information and assorted attachments and background info is posted on the OMB website.

Appropriation is a word we hear a lot of as is allocation and they work together. An appropriation is the statutory authorization to spend a specific amount of money for a stated purpose. Funds may not be spent without an appropriation made by law and it’s the Alaska Legislature that makes those laws. I especially like the phrase “a specific amount of money for a stated purpose”.

An allocation is a sub-unity of an appropriation in appropriation bills. In other words, the legislature states this amount of money will be spent on this specific purpose, and the allocation makes guidelines for divvying the money up, but generally doesn’t micromanage.

And finally, one more appropriation related term lapse. Lapse is the expiration of the authorization to spend funds. Used in a sentence…Operating appropriations lapse at the end of the fiscal year unless otherwise specified. In other words spend it or lose it.

These Budget Terms come from a glossary on the OMB’s website where you’ll find info on all kinds of things related to the state’s budget.




Glossary of Alaska Budget Words

A listing of words that you may want to have around when reading the state’s budget. Mostly, the glossary is easy to understand, though there are a few phrases that only an accountant could understand.

Alaska Office of Management and Budget (OMB) page with info on Alaska Operating and Capital Budgets and other budget information



First Alaska Legislators Treked to Juneau

Click on Link below to DOWNLOAD  The Daily Radio Show for Tues. Jan. 10, 2012.

TLHR Jan 10 Tues First Legislators Trek to Juneau 1 of 2

Alaska legislators and staff often brag about their trip to Juneau. You know, driving at 20 below and not seeing another car all day. Or running into a stretch of whiteout where they don’t see anything past the windshield wipers.

Alaska’s First Territorial Legislature 1913. Photo courtesy Alaska Digital Archives.

But that’s nothing compared to what Alaska’s first territorial legislators went through to get to Juneau.

The first territorial legislature met in 1913. It’s said that the hardest part of the session was the trek from outlying areas to Juneau. The average lawmaker traveling more than 2500 miles round trip. While in 1913 EVERYONE would have had trouble getting into Juneau, think of the poor guys from, say, Nome who had to first get to Fairbanks, then to Anchorage, then on to Juneau.

The website, which is a site owned by the Alaska Humanities Forum, explains it this way…

Three of the legislators-to-be left Nome by dog team in early January. They crossed Norton Sound to Unalakleet and traveled the Yukon River and then the Tanana River to Fairbanks. They covered 700 to 900 miles just to reach Fairbanks. One senator walked from roadhouse to roadhouse along the winter trail to Fairbanks. From there they went 360 miles by horse-drawn sleigh to Valdez, a journey that took a week, and caught a steamer to Juneau. They arrived the day before the Legislature began.

As you can imagine, the first legislative session didn’t begin in mid-January as it does now.

They began their work on March 3, 1913, meeting in the Elks Building. The next day, 3,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., Woodrow Wilson was sworn in as the 27th president of the United States.

Thanks to for today’s information. It’s a great site to visit, with lots of interesting bits of Alaska trivia.




Alaska History and Cultural Studies ( has scads of interesting information about Alaska’s history and early days of state government.

VILDA is the repository for the Alaska’s digital archives. If you go to the site, plan to be there a long time, as there are countless interesting photos, videos and mp3 audio selections.


Why not put your name in for a board or commission

New bipartisan adminstration means new opportunities to get in on the ground floor of Alaska policies and decision-making

How to apply for position on an Alaska board or commission

Place to get information on the various Alaska boards and commissions and how to apply.

More Information