I was reading recently in the book Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide, a publication by the Backwoods Home Magazine people. I'm not familiar much with their website or what else they have, but their book is great because it delineates clearly many simple principles in helping your family lived a preparedness lifestyle.
Some may get tired of hearing that we need to take care of our families in this way. But I think that after seeing the devastation, the despair, and the frustration of the people hurt by Hurricane Katrina, individuals around the world have a better idea of how sudden a disaster can occur...even with warning.
Hey, it wasn't like we didn't know it was coming. Whether it was complacency or some other factor, there were people whose families were torn apart by the tragedy caused by that mighty storm. Some people were NOT able to leave and how frightening for them to have this thing tearing up their surroundings. But for those who could have left and didn't, ouch. Hindsight can be very painful.
That hurricane was out there in the gulf for a few days. Forecasters had been talking about it. It wasn't an eency-weency storm. Yet all along the coast, people were still caught-off guard by its fury--even the natives of the state. Even of the people who COULD leave, some didn't. The "government" cannot be in all times and places, folks. It is unrealistic, numerically impossible, and impractical to think so.
All this, from a disaster that was public knowledge. What about those sudden disasters that come without warning? That brings me to the first page of the book I have in front of me, Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide. The author of the first chapter, Gary F. Arnet, D.D.S. points to the complacency of our society. He mentions the people lined up to get bandaids after a California earthquake (Ibid., p. 3) Bandaids!
These weren't the severely injured, but those people who presumably had scratches and bruises. They needed bandaids. One could presume that perhaps these people weren't able to get to their homes to get to the bandaids. But what if it's as the author states, that they simply hadn't bothered ever to purchase a 1st aid kit? Now THAT is being unprepared.
The whole point, folks, is that there really are things we need to take responsibility for. As Dr. Arnet states in his article, these people were impeding the progress of the medical personnel trying to deal with the truly injured.
So do you have a 1st aid kit for your home? It would be wise also to obtain one for each car. It would be even better to have a tiny sandwich bag of at least bandaids and ointment, safety pins, etc. for your purse, backpack, briefcase, or desk.
In the case of Hurricane Katrina, that hurricane's arrival was not a surprise. But in many instances, we have no notice.
Tip: Get your 1st aid kits today. And remember to put one in each of your kid's school backpacks.