According to new research, the number of natural disasters per year has increased significantly over the last thirty years. While the scientific community debates what the causes may be, disasters and destruction seem more and more prevalent in today’s world than 30 years ago and it is becoming increasingly important to prepare for emergency.
The following table taken from the Natural Disasters Data Book shows the increase in number of natural disasters per year from 1975-2010. (A disaster was entered into the database if at least 10 people perished, over 100 people were affected, was declared a state of emergency or there was a call for international assistance.)
How Do You Compare?
One year ago, National Geographic initiated a survey conducted by Kelton Research that found some interesting results on the preparedness of Americans. The following are some of the findings:
How long will your supplies last?
If a disaster occurred, nearly 40% of people said they would only last two weeks based on their current supplies. I’ll let you decide if two weeks is a long enough supply...
If you only had to take care of yourself during a catastrophe, about how long do you think you would survive based on the supplies you currently have in your home?
How prepared for emergency do YOU feel?
When asked how prepared they felt compared to their neighbor, 53% said they were “about as prepared” as their neighbors. Ironically, 85% felt that “in the event of a catastrophe,” Americans as a whole will be under-prepared.
In the event of a catastrophe, do you think that most Americans will be...?
How much time would you need?
When asked how much time they needed to vacate town if there were a catastrophe, more than half, 52%, said they would need at least 30 minutes or more. Again, I will let you be the judge on whether or not that is fast enough -- after all, it does depend on what the catastrophe is. Just keep in mind, you will be much better off if you can grab a bug-out-bag and stay ahead of that rush of people trying to get out of town.
Would you help a neighbor?
If you are one of the unprepared reading this you might be in luck, 24% of Americans said they would help a neighbor in a disaster by sharing resources or supplies. Of course, they may be one of your neighbors that only have a two week supply so I wouldn’t bank on bumming off your neighbor as your emergency plan.
How prepared are you?
According to Michael R. Greenberg, Ph. D., Susannah Dyen, MCRP, and Stacey Elliott, BS, in the article The Public’s Preparedness: Self-Reliance, Flashbulb Memories, and Conservative Values, 56.8% of respondents say they have a family communication plan so that they can contact family members or loved ones if they get separated during an emergency. Only 40.8% of Americans say they have developed a plan for an extended stay at home in case of a disaster which also corresponds to USA Today’s survey that 56% of Americans “say they aren’t prepared.”
Let's All Get Prepared
There is a peace and assurance that comes from knowing that you and your family is prepared for emergency. If you haven’t already, we encourage you (no matter the companies used to become prepared for emergency) and your household to start preparing now. It doesn’t take much, just start doing a little every month or week to start building your food storage, emergency kits, and emergency plans. We strongly recommend that you sit down as families to discuss and practice your emergency plans so that, if the time comes, every family member knows what to do.