There’s one thing more frightening than all natural disasters and unexpected events combined—the belief that none of them will happen to you.
While there’s no need for excessive alarm, today’s reality is that natural disasters can and do happen with increasing regularity. In 2012 alone the United States was victim to 112 natural disasters that spanned 40 out of the 50 States. In 2011 there were more than double that number: 242 total FEMA disaster declarations with nearly 100 of those being classified as “major disasters” (think Hurricane Sandy). And not to keep the bad news ball rolling or anything, but unexpected events, like car accidents, job loss, home damages, etc., can happen to the best of us—often times, when we least expect it. Here’s why having a family emergency plan is crucial:
- Thinking Clearly– The time to build a tornado shelter is not after the warning sirens go off. We don’t put our seatbelts on after a car accident; and it’s certainly not possible to start saving after we lose our job. Why should an emergency preparedness plan be any different? Having a plan in place before a catastrophe happens allows us to think clearly and objectively about the situation, which helps to ensure the best possible outcome.
- Reconnecting– With a disaster preparedness plan in your back pocket, the likelihood of meeting up with loved ones is much higher. A designated meeting place outside of your home will help family and friends know where to go when communication isn’t possible.
- Survival– The best survival experts didn’t venture into the wild before they learned the tricks of the trade; they went out in the woods with the necessary knowledge and equipment (unless you’re Bear Grylls). Having an emergency preparedness plan is a plan for survival from food to first aid, and shelter to energy sources.
- Insuring Assets- While the effects of a natural disaster or emergency situation are often far-reaching and can do some serious damage to our personal property and possessions, a jump drive or waterproof container with important documents can come in extremely handy in the face of disaster.
With the real threat of emergency situations and natural disasters looming, it is essential that families establish a disaster preparedness plan. So next time you fall victim to thinking your family is immune to disaster, take a look to your left or right and realize that not too far down the road someone has dealt with a life-altering event in the last 12 months. There’s no better time to prepare than now.