Reinventing the Wheel Is Not Necessary for Planning
By Tom Herrin
Many times, when people think about emergency planning, they spend considerable time and effort trying to imagine something creative. It is fine to use some of those skills, but there are plenty of resources available where wise and careful planning has taken place. Learning from the mistakes of others has been a practice for many agencies and organizations that try to provide services for those in need. There are ready-made items and kits that can be purchased, as well as all kinds of planning material that can serve as a guide. Using those resources is not a way of finding shortcuts but saving time.
Disasters Are Seldom Expected
While there are many who live in areas that are frequently exposed to certain kinds of natural disasters, many people are still caught by surprise. The extreme circumstances that may be caused by the onset of some kind of emergency situation can still be managed with some careful planning. Shortages of anything are often the greatest cause of people making decisions that become entangled in panic. Food, water, and electricity are often disrupted in extreme emergencies due to damage, shipping problems, and a variety of other issues.
FEMA Is One Resource But Not A Cure For All
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides many kinds of information, as well as alerts and cautions. Many local agencies are connected to FEMA and try to provide localization of general information. In emergencies, people would do well to pay some attention to these local groups as they try to manage the flow of assistance and evacuation in a given area. People tend to get into the most serious, and sometimes life-threatening, situations when they ignore the information available and make independent decisions.
A Family Plan Can Be Fine-Tuned From General Information
While it is a good idea to use the information and resources available, you will be best served if you meet together as a family to make your disaster plan personal. You don’t have to create it in its entirety, but there may be things particular to your family and/or area that need to be identified in your plan. Regardless of what you decide, storing items that may be stored (in a five-gallon bucket, for example) easily and transported quickly should be done. Plan for an evacuation even if it is something you feel could never happen. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just take what is available and create a personal disaster plan for your family.
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