Your first reaction could be…perhaps they have not experienced a major incident/disaster/awful or horrible situation.
I am thinking…maybe they have been living in a cave! I mean really…after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the greatest tornado deaths in 60+ years (just a month ago!), a drought affecting 16 southern states like it was 1930 (remember the dust bowl), wildfires galore…OMG, what does it take? What will it take to make American’s take emergency/family/home preparedness seriously??!?!?
A new survey finds that most Americans are unprepared for major disasters and that they maintain a false sense of security with regard to what will happen if a major disaster or a terrorist attack took place. If fact, contrary to reality, almost one-third of respondents believed that during a major disaster, calling 911 would bring help within an hour. Where have we gone wrong?!?!?! What are they thinking?!?!?!?!
Frankly…that is depressing!!!!!
Contrary to reality, almost one-third of respondents believed that in a major disaster calling 911 would bring help within an hour, while 30 percent said they believed help would come within several hours. 19 percent believed that it could take more than a day.
I repeat…where have we gone wrong?!?!?
In actuality, major disasters quickly overwhelm emergency responders and residents are often left to fend for themselves for several days before help can arrive. The survey clearly reveals that people’s faith in emergency response is completely unrealistic. Following the 9/11 attacks and more recently the Great Japan earthquake and tsunami, phones did not work and first responders were completely and immediately overwhelmed.
Still, the survey reveals that many, many people believe that within an hour or two, you will have someone knocking on your door. There is a strange delusion that, even after all we have been through, people imagine that the rescue response will occur rapidly.
Again…what are people thinking?!?!?!
In the event of a disaster, individuals MUST have enough supplies to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours including prescription medicines. In addition, families should have a designated family meeting spot in the event that they are separated and communication is lost.
As a profession, I am wondering out loud…how to we (business continuity and emergency management professionals) really tackle this menacing problem!?!??! I would love to hear from you about your ideas on how to make preparedness an important issue in people’s lives.
Check out these great websites for basic preparedness information.
- My personal favorite…CDC Zombie Apocalypse http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters
- FEMA basic preparedness www.ready.gov
- Quick Reference Guide: www.72hours.org
What are your favorite preparedness websites?!?! Let’s talk!