The Stuff of Life

The Stuff of Life
For those of us who find nature to be both aesthetically beautiful and life-sustaining.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Save Yourself! Why You Can't Count Count on the Government and FEMA in Disasters and Emergencies

As a child you probably remember falling down, scraping your knee, going to your parent or caretaker and expecting them to kiss it, clean it and make it all better. We all grew up haphazardly jumping around from couch to coffee table, moronically leaping over stairs, and running so fast that our top-heavy head was generally ahead of our body and begging to crash into protruding objects and table corners. We hopefully stop doing these things by the time we are adults because as we grow up we begin to calculate risks and realize that a kiss and squirt of the painful, antiseptic red stuff won't fix everything ( and I still have nightmares about the painful, antiseptic red stuff).

We, as adults, begin to recognize our own responsibility and accountability for our actions. We know that if we go to work and leap from desk to desk yelling you can't catch me, we might hurt ourselves or lose our jobs, our dignity and our friends. Part of being a responsible adult is recognizing to what degree you are responsible for yourself, your actions and your own personal safety.

Some adults, after years of someone else catching them and making things all better for them when they fell or hurt themselves, are still just as haphazard as they were as a child. These people are responsibility stunted. In disasters and emergencies, they are incapable of taking care of themselves. They have a false belief system that someone, somewhere out there will take care of them no matter what happens. They do not plan. They do not prepare. They do not take their own safety seriously. They expect that someone will assist them no matter what situation they find themselves in.

The problem is that no one will and especially in emergencies, catastrophes and natural disasters. The government is overloaded, organizations such as FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is overtaxed and unable to respond fast enough to help everyone. In true emergencies there is so much happening and so much chaos that nothing is organized, nothing is effective, everyone is in a state of panic and unless you planned ahead and prepared, you will likely be too.

Everyone should have a disaster supply kit in their home at all times. Even the disaster response organizations recommend that you do this step. Why do you think disaster response organizations recommend that you take steps to take care of yourself in the event of an emergency or disaster? Because even they know that they cannot save everyone, or respond fast enough or be in all places at all times, or be prepared to meet the unfolding demands of disasters in an effective enough manner to be able to organize health, food, safety, water, fire and rescue efforts fast enough to save everyone. Even under the best circumstances, they cannot always save everyone or supply food and water to everyone fast enough.

So, put yourself a disaster kit together that is assembled before an emergency occurs and that is small enough and portable enough that you can grab it and go if the situation called for you to quickly evacuate. You will not know how long you will be required to survive without assistance on your own with no supplies. It could be one day, it could be three days, it could be weeks. Electricity, gas, water, phones and even sewage could be not working for hours, days or more.

You cannot know the length of time that you will be on your own ahead of time. But, you can know that if a disaster or emergency occurs you need to be able to take care of yourself and the basic needs of your family for a while. So, have enough food, water, medical supplies, flashlights, candles and other necessary supplies all packed in a portable "just in case" bag that will sustain you and your family for at LEAST 3 days (72 hours).

Take this advice and take your safety and your family's safety into your own hands. Do not leave something that precious and important in the hands of the government and organizations. If they are able to reach you or your family with supplies or rescue efforts fast enough, great. But, if not, and you didn't plan ahead. What would happen then?

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