According to the American Red Cross, Only 2 in 10 Americans feel prepared for a catastrophic event.
This is shocking if you consider a nation; we provide aid and support to other countries in times of need. Why do we neglect our preparation when so many resources are available?
Is it true that, as the world’s physicians, we need to heal ourselves?
When a disaster strikes, there won’t be enough boots to care for everyone. We must become self-reliant and care for ourselves, especially during 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 Katrinas,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 build your supplies slowly.
When working with volunteers, I noticed the moms 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 essential things done. It is no different here!
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Would You Take the 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 more accessible.
We all need a little help getting started.
- Schedule a Weekend
The most crucial step is to schedule a time and put it on the family calendar. Otherwise, life happens and
Something else will come up. I you get the right mindset, you are halfway there. It was helpful for my husband and me 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, calm, 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. Chi drew makes up 25% of the population and is our most vulnerable. The has been a national effort to address the inadequate preparation in this area.
Children may wonder why you are suddenly interested in disaster preparedness if this has not been a regular part of your conversation. But 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 the need to prepare, you are helping to build their confidence in the event of an actual emergency. Plea e don’t make them feel like the sky is falling; instead, 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 f els good to be prepared and remember it is an ongoing 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. You ed a base list and then tailored it to our family. One of my children has unique dietary and medication requirements. Once you have the essentials down, there are no hard and fast rules. Use y 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 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 alw ys 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 is half the battle.
We can happily conclude we are one less statistic.