Why Disaster Preparation is Important

Some people are apathetic about preparedness, often because they aren’t sure what to do or where to begin. They may become overwhelmed at the prospect of a crisis and the responsibility of self-reliance and become discouraged before they begin. Others are frustrated by contradictory advice, not sure whose ideas to follow. Still others do nothing, figuring that if trouble comes, an emergency disaster organization will rush to their rescue. A common misconception that can be refuted is that the government will immediately come to the rescue. Federal and state organizations perform marvelous service, but when a large population is relying solely upon them, it is virtually impossible to provide for specific or individual needs of everyone. The Federal Emergency Management Agency advises, “If a disaster threatens your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you. But you need to be prepared as well. Local officials may be overwhelmed after a major disaster, and emergency response personnel may not be able to reach you right away. What you do to prepare can make a difference.”

Most local relief organizations will take approximately three days (72 hours) to get back on their feet to be able to help you. An emergency kit is a big step in the right direction. Doing your part by having food, water, and supplies for three days will help alleviate the pressure on relief agencies as well as minimize your own discomfort.

Preparedness is everyone’s job. Not just government agencies, but all sectors of society—service providers, businesses, civic and volunteer groups, industry associations and neighborhood associations, as well as every individual citizen—should plan ahead for disasters.

Being prepared for the unexpected is wise. It provides confidence knowing your family is better prepared to be safe and secure. Families who are prepared can reduce fear, inconvenience, and losses that surround a family crisis or a natural disaster.

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