It can’t happen. It will not happen. It will not happen to me. If it happens, there is nothing I can do. If it happens, the government will take care of me.
Many believe disasters will not impact their community or affect them and, if a disaster does happen, that they will be taken care by a relief agency. The reality is, disasters can and do strike communities in America every day.
Hampton Oaks neighborhood in Raleigh following 1988 tornado.
While we are lucky to live in a region where natural disasters are infrequent, those who have lived in Wake County for the past 20 years, will remember the ice storm of 2005, Hurricane Fran in 1996, and the tornado of 1988. These storms severely impaired transportation, our ability to communicate, and electrical and water service. It is important that we prepare ourselves and our families in advance so we can stay safe and healthy in the event of a disaster.
In the past, emergency preparedness organizations recommended everyone keep enough supplies on-hand to for 36 hours. After massive disasters like Katrina, it is now recommended that we all keep 96 hours of supplies on hand. In a previous blog, I listed some suggestions for your disaster preparedness kits.
Glenwood Ave looking toward Crabtree after Hurricane Fran in 1996.
But, supplies are not the only way we can and should prepare. And home is not the only location we need to think about. We also need to be prepared for disasters at work, school, and any other location where you or your family spend a significant amount of time. It is also a good idea to carry a small kit in your car with nonperishable food, water, flashlight, and a blanket or two. Additionally, we need to think ahead and make a plan to reconnect after the disaster.
Please take some time to review these exceptional online resources, talk with your family and be prepared for the unexpected.
American Red Cross
Barb Bisset is the executive director of the WakeMed Emergency Services Institute.