Why Is Emergency Preparedness Important?
An emergency can happen anytime, anywhere. This means there’s no real way to ensure your safety unless you happened to plan for the worst before the emergency occurred. Fortunately, more people these days are realizing how critical it is to be prepared for emergencies that range from hurricanes and tornadoes to fires and floods, depending on the location. But if you’re still hesitant to plan ahead and you find yourself asking, “why is emergency preparedness important?” here’s what you need to know to improve your safety if the worst occurs.
Every Area Is Subject to Extreme Weather At Some Point
No matter where you live, there is likely some weather-related threat to the area once in a while. Maybe you live in a coastal California city with mild weather all year—but you have to deal with earthquakes or mudslides occasionally. Perhaps you’re far from a fault line in the Southwest, but you have to handle extreme heat, monsoons, and dust storms. If you live in the Midwest, there’s always the possibility of tornadoes, while the East Coast has to deal with hurricanes…and both areas are subject to snowstorms, too! So why is emergency preparedness important? Because extreme weather affects everyone at some point in time, and any of these issues can leave you stuck inside for days at a time. Plan ahead to make sure you have enough food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities to ride out the storm, literally.
Your Family Deserves Protection
You might assume you can deal with a day or two of no electricity and limited water, but what about the rest of your family? If you have young children or elderly relatives in your household, they’re depending on you to protect them with emergency preparedness. Vulnerable members of the population cannot go very long without food, water, and any necessary medicine. And if the emergency lasts longer than a day or two, you’ll be especially glad you thought ahead. You’ll wonder why you ever asked, “why is emergency preparedness important?” because the answer will be clear.
Being Prepared Isn’t Hard
Another reason to plan ahead is that it doesn’t take much time or money to do so. All you need to do is start stocking up on bottled water, nonperishable foods, medical supplies, and basic tools. For example, the general rule of thumb is to store enough water for each person in your household to drink one gallon per day for three days. You should also buy canned foods, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and any other nonperishable foods your family would eat in an emergency. Plus, make sure you have a first aid kit, hygiene items, flashlights, a manual can opener, fresh batteries, a fire extinguisher, and blankets, to name some necessities. You can easily stock up on these items any time, which means there’s no reason to put off emergency preparedness.
Emergency Resources May Be Scarce After a Disaster
Many people assume government agencies and community organizations will help them immediately after an emergency. But in the case of widespread disaster, there’s no guarantee those groups will have the time or resources to get to you quickly. Even resources you regularly expect to be available—like the police and emergency medical personnel—will likely have their hands full with people who need them more than you. This means you’ll be expected to get access to water, food, and basic medical supplies on your own. Fortunately, putting together an emergency preparedness kit for your family can usually hold you over for a few days until more resources are available to you.
So if you’ve been asking yourself, “why is emergency preparedness important?” now you should have some idea. If you’re inspired to start planning ahead for emergencies, check out what the Red Cross suggests for emergency preparedness.