As a whole, most of the population is not prepared for an unforeseen disaster. Although emergency websites have stressed how important it is to be prepared, this advice has been ignored and fallen on deaf ears. In an article written by Mac Slavo, he emphasizes how unprepared our population really is:
Whether we’re talking about earthquakes, snow storms, hurricanes, floods, electrical outages or terrorist attacks, government officials, as well as individuals, have demonstrated time and again that we have a psychological inability to cope with high stress situations, a lack of foresight to stock emergency reserves, and have failed to prepare effective emergency response plans.
It Can’t Happen To Me Mentality
In my opinion, although this population is a caring and sympathetic one, many are living in an illusion that they are untouchable. They haved not learned the lessons from previous disasters because they simply cannot relate to them and believe that even if something bad were to happen, they will somehow be taken care of. Because of their inability to relate, many will simply turn a blind eye to their present situation until they are in an emergency situation of their own.
Ignoring or denying the warning signs of emergencies that are present (be it natural, man made or economic) is something this country does best. From a psychological standpoint, this coping mechanism gives you time to adjust to distressing situations — but staying in denial can interfere and even deter you from actively pursuing a solution to the problem. Procrastination and complacency could come at a high price. In an article about the unprepared population, I explained why it is important to have supplies on hand before a disaster threatens:
There is a mass rush to the stores to stock up on supplies. Some people are able to buy a surplus of goods (if they get to the stores in time), and some people get there too late and walk home empty handed. The supply of food has run out because everyone is buying the same types of foods. Foods such as basic food pantry, canned goods, bread, condiments, water, batteries, flashlights, emergency supplies… The unspoken truth is there is simply not enough food in the stores to supply a large population all at once. As a result, many families will go without food and chaos will ensue.
Even though emergency organizations have suggested that each family should have at a minimum a two week supply of food, how much of the population listened this advice? Maybe 10%. And with most of the population living on the East coast, those that are planning on riding out Hurricane Irene are going to take a beating if they are not prepared.
Learning the Hard Way
Sadly, many will learn that not being prepared for emergencies, having emergency items in the vehicle, and plans for emergency evacuations can cost them dearly. However, let’s not lose sight of the fact, that those that go through these short-term emergencies may have their eyes opened and see the importance of being prepared. Learning from previous mistakes could make a profound change in their lives. They will learn that having emergency supplies prepared and ready for use will eliminate the stress of fighting the hoards in the stores. Further, if a prepared family had to evacuate, the one’s who are prepared ahead of time will be able to expedite their evacuation and ensure a more safe trip than those who are unprepared and waiting until the last moment.
Staying Ahead of the Game
Ensure that you are ready for emergencies by preparing ahead of time. Below are some additional articles to get you started on your road to preparedness:
- Beginning an Emergency Food Supply
- Emergency Plan Checklist
- Short Term Emergency Checklist
- Evacuation Checklist
- 72-Hour Bag
Emergencies typically occur with little or no warning. As a result, many are caught off guard and are ill-equipped to handle such a sudden crisis. The underlying reason why we prepare is to be self-reliant and have the peace of mind knowing if an emergency were to arise, we can care for our loved ones. Repeating past mistakes of not being prepared is a costly gamble that many have learned not want to take a chance on.
Habits form after 14 days and being prepared is a habit that does not need to be broken. By simply suggesting to your friends and family to take 30 days and focus on their personal preparedness efforts, you are motivating them to become more self reliant, helping them prepare for unforeseen disasters, and assisting them in creating a preparedness plan that will ensure their safety and well being. I urge each of you to encourage family members and friends to be more self-reliant and get prepared. Let’s try and break the pattern of an unprepared society and help them see the logic in preparing ahead of time.