Your attitude towards disaster preparedness will determine the degree to which you successfully navigate an emergency. The first thing anyone feels in a disaster is fear and confusion…the “Why me?” If the disaster is sudden, you may feel panic. If the disaster is an event like an approaching hurricane, wild fire, or even a gradually building event like extreme heat or a well predicted winter storm, anxiety and fear will build over time. The growing worry of a pandemic, as a result of what we’re now calling Swine Flu, is an example of a disaster that develops gradually. In these slow-moving disasters, real fear or panic doesn’t hit until it becomes obvious you will likely be involved; but the anxiety is there.

It’s your attitude, your state of mind, and your feelings that will determine how well you fare in a crisis. If you’ve done nothing to prepare, your fear will be elevated more than it needs to be. Your thinking will be anything but clear and you will act out of that fear. Your decisions are apt to be poor or, even worse, life threatening.

On the other hand, if you have taken the time to think through how you will handle an emergency or disaster and taken the necessary steps to prepare, you will feel far less anxious. You will be able to think clearly and execute decisions with confidence. The actions you take as a result of being prepared are likely to make your life much easier. They could quite possibly save your life as well as the lives of those you love.

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