I've been meaning to put gloves, a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight under my bed.

Also, I've been thinking about double-checking the water heater, to see if it's tied down securely, and making sure my food storage is adequate.We've talked to the kids about safe places to go in our house and yard during an emergency, but I keep forgetting about going through the contents of our first-aid kit.

And I've looked more closely at the pictures, mirrors and other decorations adorning my walls, wondering how easily they'd shatter in an earthquake.

There's quite a bit I need to do for emergency preparedness. I know what needs to be done. Lately, I've been thinking - and talking - about it a lot. But that's all I've done - talk.

I'm not alone.

The Salt Lake Board of Education has spent hours and hours going over its own current emergency preparedness task, making its schools safer for schoolchildren during an earthquake. So far, there has been a lot ot talk but no decisions.

Last December, the district's seismic task force produced a massive document with mind-boggling figures. An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale could kill up to 3,000 students and injure another 7,000 and a 7.4 earthquake could kill up to 4,000 students and injure another 9,700 of the district's 24,000 students if a quake occurred during schoool hours.

The experts who appeared before the board earlier this year warned that Salt Lake's due for a major quake anytime within the next 50 years. Of course, that doesn't mean it won't be tomorrow, next week or next year instead of in 2040. Last week's remembrance of the San Francisco quake brings that reality home again.

Even though such reminders and predictions speak of preparedness with some urgency, I don't expect the board to make decisions any time soon. The talk will continue well past the task force's one-year anniversary.

This school board won't do anything because it has three, maybe four, lame ducks. Four seats on the board are up in the general election in two weeks. Three of the incumbents are retiring; the fourth is running for re-election. That means that three or four of the board's seven members will be new, come Jan. 1.

Today's school board cannot bind a future school board to a decision. But, more importantly, the practicality of the moment, if you're a member of this school board, speaks of inaction. The retiring school-board members were part of the board that closed South High and redrew the high school boundaries. They know all too well the potential fireworks of the latest reconstrction - the costly demolition and reconstruction of East's main classroom wing. Why would they want to subject themselves to another high-school battle of any magnitude?

So, don't expect to see any big decisions in the next two months. Or in the infancy of the New Year. New school board members will need to come up to speed with the various seismic options and recommendations. Who knows how long that will take?

The Hutchinson's seismic retrofitting will be done long before the school board makes up its mind.