Preparing Your Family
According to a recent public affairs poll, 48% of Americans lack the emergency supplies for use in the event of a disaster. Emergency preparedness for your self and your family allows the sense of security and calmness one gets from being self-sufficient. In the event of a natural disaster it’s likely you won’t even be able to get to a grocery store and relying on the food you have stocked up on may well be your only choice. We all remember the disaster that hurricane Katrina caused the citizens of New Orleans, and the devastation that was left in its wake. People with no access to food or emergency medical help literally died in their homes, and many even in the streets. Citizens were warned to leave but those who would not or could not were simply not prepared for a storm that size – and many of them did not survive.
The first and probably most immediately noticed disruption is due to an immediate loss of power. Probably more than any other system, modern civilizations are more dependent on the electrical grid for its sustenance than anything else. In a sense you could say emergency preparedness begins with asking the question “How will you survive with no electrical power?” Everything from the coffee we brew in the morning to the furnace that keeps our houses warm is dependent in one way or another on electricity. Not only convenience gadgets like a can opener but necessities we’ve come to depend on such as lighting and refrigeration depend on a ready supply of adequate electricity.
Going hand-in-hand with the loss of electrical power, the next breakdown is in the communications systems. In the event of a natural disaster cell towers either become overloaded with calls or they lose power completely. Cell phones must be recharged in order to be functional and without power there’s no way to recharge the cell phone. This means if you find that your cell phone still happens to be charged, it likely won’t be functional because of limited or no cell power availability. After which the phone will rapidly lose its charge.
The third critical challenge that families experience after a natural disaster is a failure with the transportation system. Its human nature that when faced with danger to consider flight, or escaping from the situation, in order to find safety. The problem is after a natural disaster there is a disruption in the transportation system due to fallout from the disaster which further isolates each family. Inability to access your vehicle, or unable to navigate roads due to floods or tree limbs & debris from homes, or perhaps even damage to the car all contribute to the breakdown of a viable transportation system.
Once you realize that a sense of security based on our modern conveniences is actually just smoke and mirrors you realize it is no security at all. Lights, refrigeration, television, radio, furnace, and in some cases even the ability to run water, flush a toilet, or heat food, all are dead in the water without electrical power. Don’t depend on your cell phone to call for help or even access emergency stored numbers because cell phones will have limited or no use. In the event your car isn’t underwater or doesn’t have a tree on top of it you likely won’t be able to leave the driveway because of impassable roads.
What it boils down to is your emergency preparedness in advance of disaster may make the difference between you and your family surviving, or perishing the next natural disaster.
Remember, “The only true safety net is self-reliance”.- Sean Morris
For more informaiion to help you and your family prepare for emergencies, visit Ready.gov