“Everything they say about disaster preparedness makes sense. Sad to say, I’ve never had a personal plan. I haven’t given much thought to the possibility of something like that happening to me. It’s embarrassing.”
You are not alone. In fact, you’re normal. Yes, there is no end to the different types of disasters and crises that might crop up in today’s world. However, if we constantly sat around and thought about every possible accident or tragedy, we’d be too petrified to ever leave home. Letting such disturbing concerns benignly simmer somewhere on the back burner allows us go about daily lives without undue distraction.
The idea behind disaster preparedness is not to dwell on it. It is to simply establish a basic plan. Nobody else can build your plans for you. They need to be individualized to suit your circumstances.
- If you live or work in a high-rise building, are you familiar with escape routes in case of fire?
- Does your family have a plan for where you would all meet up afterwards if a flash flood, earthquake, or tornado suddenly separated you?
- Do you have enough of the basic food, water, and medical supplies to get you through the first few days, in case you are temporarily isolated from rescue and relief operations?
Disaster relief agencies and organizations provide detailed recommendations for how to prepare. Once you’ve created your personalized plan, set it aside and review it from time to time. Consider picking an annual date. Fire departments recommend replacing smoke alarm batteries on every Fourth of July. Such a date could be the cue to review disaster plans, as well.
And the rest of the year—enjoy life!
For More Information
To learn more about disaster preparedness, see “Prepare Your Home and Family,” offered by the American Red Cross.