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Friday, 15 February 2013

Obstacles to your preparedness for disasters


In the routine of the everyday, it can be very difficult for most to think ahead to being prepared for disasters; after all, disasters aren't guaranteed to happen, so why detract time from real-life present day responsibilities for hypotheticals? This type of outlook, though completely understandable, is dangerous, and is fortified by several erroneous evaluations we unconsciously allow ourselves to find security in. Here are some of those false securities:

Being prepared is too hard so I shouldn't bother trying. It can be very easy to adopt an attitude of passive perfectionism when it comes to preparedness, with a mindset that determines a thing should either be done well, or not done at all. That simply isn't the case with preparing for a disaster. To begin with, it isn't nearly as intimidating as you might think because others have done it before you, and are willing to share their advice. Websites like Canadian Red Cross http://www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=33841&tid=001 and Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/life-vie/emerg-urg-eng.php offer good starting points. Furthermore, it's better that you do a partial job than none at all: one household may have enough to eat for three days, while the other has none. In a crisis that leaves them stuck at home for five days, is either perfectly prepared? No...but who would rather be?

There's always 911. While it's true that emergency response crews will do all they can in a situation of crisis to assist those that depend upon them, when disaster strikes, their ability to respond will be restricted: for one thing, you can expect that you won't be the only person relying upon them, so there will most definitely be delays in their response to you; for another, depending on the nature of the disaster, they may be physically deterred or altogether prevented from access to you if major roadways have been damaged or blocked off. This is not to say that you should not call 911 if you have suffered serious injuries in a widespread disaster, but in forming a plan, this should definitely not be your only course of action.

I can just print off a checklist of what I need to have and that will be enough. Checklists are definitely a wonderful starting point for disaster preparedness, but don't assume that this will suffice. You and your family are going to have slightly varying needs from those of others. For example, if there are certain medications that must be taken daily, make sure to have a small backup supply in case you run out of a current round in the middle of disaster. Monitor your family's needs over a week or so, and make notes about what is indispensable for you. Use those notes to augment your list, and subsequently, your kit.

Insurance will cover everything. While insurance exists to protect you, this entails doing your part to make sure you are covered for the sort of disasters that you could be exposed to. Many people haphazardly purchase a plan they haven't given much thought to, and then have unrealistic expectations about the amount of coverage it provides. They imagine that in the aftermath of a disaster, their life will be perfectly rebuilt top from bottom in a matter of days to its exact state pre-disaster. Unfortunately, the reality is a far cry from that. Insurance policies vary greatly in what they do and do not cover, so it behooves you to do your research. Even if you end up not opting for certain types of disaster-related insurance, you should make sure you know beforehand what you're covered for. This way, when you are met with disaster that you are not covered for, your world won't fall apart a second time when you receive the nasty surprise of learning this.

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