Thursday, October 1, 2009

Five Things to Consider About Personal Preparedness Planning

It's been another busy week of conferences and meetings. There are many planning and preparedness things going on at the state and federal levels which pertain to overall infrastructure and public (this is public in general, not public as in you specifically) security and preparedness. While planning at this level is very global in scope, I am more concerned that each individual person is prepared which is something that can't possibly be done on a state or federal level. So it is up to YOU, individually, to be prepared to the highest level possible. Here are five things to consider when preparing you and your family for disaster:
  1. Loss of key infrastructure, loss of assets, and a huge increase in demand for services will happen with a big disaster. Plan accordingly.
  2. Depending on the size of the disaster you will be on your own for hours, days, or weeks. The bigger the impact of the disaster both geographically and population-wise, the longer you will be on your own.
  3. Plan and drill for every possible disaster scenario that could impact you. Plans and theories are nice but if you don't drill and exercise your plans you won't pick up key things that you are missing (ie: a fire escape plan on paper and discussed with your family is good but unless you do an actual fire escape drill, you won't realize that the window in the guest room has been painted shut, the flashlight that is supposed to be under your son's bed is missing, and the basement smoke detector's battery is dead).
  4. Disaster survival is often a team effort. Working as a team is much more efficient and effective than working individually, hence the need to plan and prepare with your family, friends, and neighbors. BTW, these are the people you will be relying on immediately after a disaster.
  5. Besides luck, knowledge is the key to survival. Where can you get an H1N1 vaccination? Which way is the plume moving? What is the weather forecast for the upcoming week (this can be life critical in some cases)? How do you purify a gallon of water? Is it a couple of drops of bleach or a couple of cups? You get the idea...

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