Thursday, September 11, 2008

Disaster Preparation: 72 Hours Is Not Enough

preparing an emergency supply kit

JoAnn Scordino doesn't mince words. She says that in the event of a major disaster, forget the 72 hours you hear about so often; you need to be prepared to be on your own for at least a week. She tells of one situation where relief organizations were indeed on hand after three days - which meant people got to stand in line for five hours to get a single bottle of water.

I was fortunate enough to hear JoAnn speak last night, and she's a wealth of information, and passionate about helping us all get more prepared. She's also one of the driving forces behind the new web site for the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services. Don't worry if you don't live in San Mateo County, California; the information here would be useful to anyone, and it's presented as a series of easy-to-deal-with checklists for both home and office. There are also links to other good sources of information. If you are at all interested in being prepared for a fire, flood, earthquake, or other such disaster, check it out!

I was also pleased to hear JoAnn say the being prepared for a disaster is like being organized; it's not black and white, where you're prepared or you're not. Rather, it's a continuum, and we can all take steps to move ourselves along that continuum to being more prepared.

[photo from online video about preparing an emergency supply kit]


Michele said...

This is a great reminder. I have not tackled an emergency kit yet, and I liked the suggestion of moving along the spectrum of readiness. I can start small.

Jeri Dansky said...

Michele, you can absolutely start small - but may I encourage you to move "starting on it" up on your priority list? And to make sure you have a kit in your car?

You're in the Los Angeles area, so you have earthquakes to be concerned with, along with the standard concerns like fire.

My next step is to start keeping a pair of shoes right next to my bed. The speaker pointed out that in the last major LA earthquake, which struck during the night, many people had injuries from walking on broken glass.