Are You Prepared For A Natural Disaster?

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

Are you prepared for a natural disaster? If you say no you are not alone. FEMA recently conducted a national survey and the results may have you changing your ways.

Colorado has been hit with disasters in the past, killing hundreds and causing millions of dollars in damage,and local officials are urging people to prepare for the worst. "Not enough of us are prepared and those of us who have prepared haven't got enough supplies," says Jessica Peterson, public relations for Mesa County. Results from a national survey conducted by FEMA shows that over 60% of people expect to rely on emergency responders in the first 72 hours following a disaster. "Your going be asked to stay home so calling 911 will not be the answer," says Kristy Emerson of the Mesa County Health Department.

The survey also showed that for those who thought they were prepared, 36% didn't have a household plan, 78% had not conducted a home evacuation drill, and 58% didn't know their communities evacuation routes. "People need to get involved and help prevent the worse case scenario," says Peterson.

Officials are urging people to stock up on some of the every day things so you can take care of yourself for at least 72 hours following an emergency event. "Do you have water or canned foods in case we lose power," says Emerson. But being prepared goes beyond the basics. " Basic medications, diapers, pet food, Kleenex," says Emerson. Because after a natural disaster, going to the store may not be an option. "All of things that we take for granted, if you are asked to stay home, would you be prepared?" asks Emerson.

Being prepared means planning for more than just natural disasters, there is sickness too. "We're looking at the possibility of 40% of workers being out sick," says Peterson. With regular flu season fast approaching and the possibility of swine flue, if everyone does their part, they can prevent an epidemic. "We are encouraging people to stay home when they are sick," says Emerson.

Because if more individuals are prepared, the community as a whole will be stronger. Click on the links below to find out how ready you are and how to prepare your family in case of an emergency.

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