In recent months there have been a number of articles on emergency preparedness myths or commonly held notions about disasters. These myths point out a number of topics that are still being addressed by the EM community of various public and private agencies.
Expenses & Effort Required:
Being prepared is not expensive or complicated as some advertisers might suggest. The real investment can be measured in time spent making a plan for the various threats you could encounter. Many sources suggest a 72 hour timeframe for your basic preparation, but realistically this is not enough. Evidenced by Hurricane Katrina, many disaster scenarios can lead to a disruption of services for much longer; it is important to acknowledge this and ready yourself for a longer survival period, possibly 2-3 weeks. While reliance on insurance is also a key to preparation, these company’s responses will be prolonged and they are necessarily concerned with their bottom line. Just consider the rewriting of policies and practices to exclude coverage in recent years. You will want to factor this in to preparation.
Reliance on Others:
While emergency personnel do everything in their power to prepare and respond in helping citizens during disaster, they are often overwhelmed in these circumstances. Safety may rest on your shoulders if 911 is not able to help. Even if they can assist you, it is important to remember there will always be someone in more dire circumstances, and those that can manage without should put themselves in a position to do so. There are no regulations on forming neighborhood support systems, and this is a great method toward achieving self-sufficiency in the face of disaster.
Denial of Importance:
Many resist disaster preparation efforts because it is not taught in school or promoted as a mainstream issue to the public. However, better preparation and awareness leads to a better response and recovery in affected areas. While it is true that certain areas are more prone to the various types of disaster, no area is immune. Be aware of the dangers faced in your region and in others when traveling for an extended amount of time.
Self-preservation is important in natural disaster situations, but the more prepared an individual is, the more they will be in a position to help others in their time of need; such a civic duty is central to the American theme of facing and defeating adversity.
For more on natural disaster myths, read the following article at: