Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each disaster has lasting effects, to people, to property, to the area it occurred and economically too. There is always that awkward moment of shock after tragedy strikes. Everyone's thoughts are racing, wondering, “What is going on?” “What happened?” “What is wrong?” Then the bystander effect or denial phase kicks in, where people just kinda stand there and say “I can’t believe this!” yet do nothing and it's in these crucial moments that action must be taken.
Just think, after only seconds of a person being unable to breathe, irreversible brain damage begins, gradually progressing and unless someone acts a life could end. It doesn't take a Doctor to step up to the plate; anyone can help if they know what to do. The same is true with any crisis that can occur to you or in your area.
Apply this to a disaster that occurs in your community: Local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but they may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. Federal responders may shoot for 3 days to be on site and helping, but recent crises show the average to be closer to 5-6 days. So ultimately you need to be ready to take care of you and yours, without any assistance from these entities.
It's not really all doom and gloom if you shift your perspective to "needs planning and preparedness”, rather than “crisis planning and preparedness". While all crisis events can't be totally avoided (tragic, catastrophic or small and controlled or not), you can have peace of mind knowing that you did your best to avoid loss of life and property and to reduce your trials and tribulations for you and yours.
It’s your gamble - You can choose not to have a disaster plan in place. If nothing occurs, then all is well! However, in the event that something does happen or even worse, a disaster directly affects your family, then the consequences could be unthinkable. Bottom line: It is YOUR CHOICE alone.
Being prepared does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. It does not have to be a major lifestyle change. However it will require some honesty, thought, time, effort and hard core planning; on top of some sacrifices, like only going to the movies every other month instead of every month.
As with just about anything we humans endeavor to do, we seem to hit a point where we ultimately ask; “What’s in it for me?” Ok so what are the advantages of being prepared vs being oblivious and or dependent on outside entities?
William H. Johnsen
Depression-era realist/impressionist painter