Thursday, September 2, 2010

Community Preparedness: The Facts

When I ask people if they are prepared for an emergency, I hear something like “we’ve got extra food in the cupboards and there’s a flashlight somewhere. We could get it all together if we needed to.” Nothing is said about a family plan or other emergency preparations.

I’m glad these people have supplies but what they don’t seem to understand is that there may not be time to “get it all together”. Recent research conducted by FEMA on preparedness showed forty percent of survey respondents did not have household plans, 80 percent had not conducted home evacuation drills, and nearly 60 percent did not know their community’s evacuation routes.

Nearly 20 percent reported having a disability that would affect their capacity to respond to an emergency situation, but shockingly only one out of four of them had made arrangements specific to their disability to help them respond safely in the event of an emergency. Go to this website for details - http://www.serve.gov/toolkits/disaster/

In Oregon, I have found that approximately 1 out of 10 people I talk to have an emergency kit put together and stored where family members can get to it. And we haven’t even covered the necessity of preparing for our pets.

Our nation’s emergency responders do an incredible job of keeping us safe, but they can’t do it alone. For example, Marion County has 826 firefighters. 252 are paid and 574 are volunteers. That’s 826 firefighters for 314,606 people. It is our responsibility to be prepared and to prepare our families – in doing so; we contribute to the safety and security of the state and the nation as well.

1 comment:

Murphy said...

What is the State doing about outreach and public information? Let's get some PSAs out!
The State MUST tell the public there is a problem. The problem is: The State can't do it with out the Public. And tell the Public what they must do about it: The Public must ready themselves because the Government can't be there for you (the Gov'ment will be co-ord the big picture, which is what the Gov'ment should do.) No Namby Pamby Here's the website if you wanna have a look, maybe, sometime IS NOT ENOUGH

Get those 'less Government' Libertarians and Republicans on board. Get those 'Grass Roots Community' Demarcates on board too. Get those 'Self-Sufficient Wilderness' people moving. Get those Church groups and Scout groups and high school foot ball teams and theatre groups moving. Get the Geek kids on ham radios and problem solving for local issues. Get the kids who need to give public service for school make this their issue.

Another idea: I work with DePave in Portland. Tie one string onto their 501C3: What are they doing for Search & Rescue and training? They have big ol' crowbars, make DePave's equipment available in case.

Tell my local bakery, their equipment MUST be safe so if we have to cook there it hasn't blown up.

Think! Get the word out! Billboards! Ads on the Electric bill! Printing on the grocery store bags! Get Costco, Home Depot & Lowes & Ace Hardware Coastal Farm & Ranch to work together in promoting Prepared Month.

Come on Lead us!