According to the American Red Cross, Only 2 in 10 Americans feel prepared for a catastrophic event.
This is a shocking figure if you consider a nation; we provide aid and support to other countries in time of need. Why do we neglect our own preparation when so many resources are available.
Is it true that as the world’s physicians we need to heal ourselves?
The reality is there won’t be enough boots on the ground to take care of everyone when a disaster strikes. We need to become self-reliant and take care of ourselves, especially the first 72 hours (or longer). Japan’s disaster reminded us all of that. The recent disasters in Illinois and Missouri are reminders that the government can not always help as FEMA denied these disaster destroyed areas assistance. Local leaders were stunned at the decision.
It’s time to ask…why the disconnect? Why the “no time to get it done or it won’t happen to me” attitude?
How many more Katrina’s,9/11′s, floods, fires, tornadoes, and international disasters do we need?
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It’s time to jump-start Americans to do what we do best, and that is to prepare. It’s time to change these staggering statistics. You don’t need a boatload of money, just a little organization, and the mindset to slowly build your supplies.
When working with volunteers, I noticed it’s the moms who are excellent multi-taskers and typically make it happen! Time and time again, on project after project, tired, overworked moms motivated by their love of family juggle everything under the sun to get the important things done. It is no different here!
Check out…Emergency Go Bag Checklist
Would You Take Steps Necessary to Prepare for Emergency Disaster If It Were Easier?
The American Red Cross found that 82% of us would happily prepare if it were made easier to do so.
We all need a little help getting started. Start small.
- Schedule a Weekend
The MOST IMPORTANT first step is to schedule a time and put it on the family calendar. Otherwise, life happens and
Something else will come up. If you get the right mindset, you are halfway there. It was helpful for my husband and myself to schedule the time.
- Set Simple Goals
We also set simple goals such as finding a location in our home to put supplies, cleaning, preparing the area, and picking up our base items.
We don’t have much room except for a nook under the stairs in our garage. It was so full of junk that we needed to prepare the space. We checked it thoroughly for rodent droppings, excess moisture, or anything else that might be of concern. It needed to be clean, dry, cool, and accessible. It worked well for us!
Disaster Preparedness Tips for Parents
What about our children. Let’s get ready for them. The National Commission on Children and Disaster is particularly concerned about our nation’s children. Children make up 25% of the population and are our most vulnerable. There has been a national effort to address the inadequate preparation in this area. Particularly with the rising concern of terrorism.
Children may wonder why you are suddenly interested in disaster preparedness if this has not been a regular part of your conversation. Bit by bit, help them be a part of the process, and they will begin to see that you are doing your best to be ready when the time comes.
When you share with your children about the need to prepare, you are helping to build their confidence in the event of an actual emergency. Please don’t make them feel the sky is falling, but rather you want them to know you have thought through the details and have provided an example for them to follow.
With your weekend on the calendar and kids on board, you have tackled the most challenging part of getting started.
Did I mention that you get added peace of mind! It feels good to be prepared and remember it is an on-going process.
What Gets Done First?
My first goal was to put together a 3 day 72-hour kit. There are several expert-recommended lists available. We used a base list to get started and then tailored it to our family. One of my children has special dietary and medication requirements. Once you have the essentials down, there are no hard and fast rules. Use your instincts as a mom to include items you think your family will need.
I bought a large plastic tub from Target with a solid lid. It is recommended that you tape the lid shut. It fits under our stairs, and I can get to it quickly as I continue to add things. If you put it somewhere difficult to get, you will be less likely to keep it up, such as changing batteries or water.
Secondly, I wanted to have enough water. The recommended amount is 1 -2 gallons per person per day.
Our family goal was to get started and realize disaster preparedness is something you never perfect. We just wanted to start. We always talked about it. It was time to take action!
We feel a sense of accomplishment by having an accessible location with base supplies and water. We knew there would be much more to learn, but starting really is half the battle.
We can happily conclude we are one less statistic.