Are You in Disaster Denial?

The following section addresses just a few of the arguments people use for not being prepared. Let’s contrast them with powerful counter arguments to prove they are not ligitimate!

“I don’t know what to do.”

While you undoubtedly don’t know everything about preparing for a disaster, give yourself some credit! Preparing for disaster doesn’t require a lot of study or survival expertise; nor is it esoteric. It is hands-on and pre-active. In fact, most disaster preparedness is common sense. Even without this information, you possess some basic knowledge:

Food and water are critical. Okay: learn how much you actually need and understand details of the long-term storage of each.

Roads become parking lots in large-scale emergencies. So: learn to protect yourself and ride out the disaster at home (of course, this excludes a mandatory evacuation).

At times, evacuation is mandatory. No problem: learn the basics of an orderly exodus to safety.

“It’ll take too much time.”

This is another misconception, but don’t get wrapped up in the big picture. Rather, break down the problem into reasonable chunks of time and energy. No, you won’t get completely prepared today or even next week. Focus instead on the issue at hand; what you can make happen…the small individual motions that are part of the larger process. You’ll be there soon enough.

Decide where you are going to keep your emergency flashlights and candles. It can be in any cool, dark place, just so you and your family know where to look when the lights go out.

Time required: seconds

Add candles, waterproof matches, a flashlight or two and extra batteries to your next shopping trip.

Time required: less than 5 minutes

Schedule a time with your family to have a conversation about preparing for an emergency. An hour or so over dinner can mean the difference between chaos and calm during a disaster.

Time required: 60-90 minutes

“It’s too expensive!”

Think large, act small.

When shifting our focus to preparing for a disaster we unnecessarily pressure ourselves right away. This all-or-nothing approach backfires because we end up doing nothing! However, if we approach preparation more constructively and think in terms of manageable pieces, anyone can afford to prepare, regardless of their budget. Don’t feel ineffective if you don’t have enough money to buy a generator. Feel empowered by having a couple of flashlights on hand (along with fresh batteries) and some long-burning candles. Other easily affordable items include:

Plastic soda, water or similar containers for water storage – The bottles you acquire in your normal shopping should be rinsed out and filled with tap water and stashed away.

Extra rations of peanut butter, protein bars, canned vegetables or dry cereal – These non-perishable items can be a part of your emergency kit a long while before they must be replaced. Remember to have a can opener handy!

Make sure everyone in the family knows how and when to call 911.

Sure, you can spend a lot of money preparing for a disaster, but it’s not necessary. Many of the most basic supplies can be ready very economically, often for as little as $30 – 50.

“What’s The Point?”

While we all admit we should be prepared for a disaster, to some degree at least, we also acknowledge there is no way to be ready for every eventuality. This discouraging thought can become generalized and cause us to think there is no point in doing any preparation at all. We need to witch gears now. In a more positive light we can prepare for many emergencies. Here’s how:

Water – Supply can be cut off without warning. So, fill several plastic gallon containers with water and store them away.

Time to Prepare: Low Cost: Low Potential Benefit: High

Food – Granted, storing food will do no good if your home is destroyed, but it will help in most other disasters.

Time to Prepare: Low Cost: Low Potential Benefit: High

Evacuation Plan – Often you don’t know what kind of disaster to expect, so you can’t predict if you will stay put or evacuate. Having a plan will facilitate a logical and calm decision.

Time to Prepare: Low Cost: Low Potential Benefit: High

In summary, you really can do many things to make a significant and positive difference for you and your family before a disaster is upon you. As you may have noticed, many of the suggestions involve minimal effort, time and money. It’s only a matter of changing your attitude and outlook from leaving things to chance…to being in control.