Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year and have lasting effects – people are seriously injured and killed and property damage runs into the billions of dollars. A disaster, either environmental or by a terrorist act, can strike quickly and without warning. It can force people to evacuate or confine them to a building or home. Being prepared and understanding what to do can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters.
According to Ready.gov, 1 in 4 families have not planned for emergencies and only 40% know how to plan.
It’s Your Responsibility
FEMA: “Preparing Makes Sense” – A short instructional video explaining the key steps to emergency preparedness, including: being informed, making a plan, building a kit, and getting involved.
At a moments notice, you may have to leave your home and everything in it that you own and hold dear.
- Do you know what to do and what you will take with you in the minutes that you have?
- What if you’re not at home? And if so;
- What if your spouse or children are at home?
- Do they know what to do?
Unnecessary loss of life and damage to property has been caused because of ignorance and lack of knowledge, prior preparation or necessary skills. It is now being realized that an informed public is better prepared to adapt and respond to disasters and can significantly enhance the outcome of the warning process.
Being prepared, having a plan and understanding what to do is the best protection, is your responsibility and can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters.
Weather-Climate Disasters Map (1980-2016)
NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) tracks U.S. weather and climate events that have great economic and societal impacts (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions). Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 203 weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, as of January 2017). The cumulative costs for these 203 events exceed $1.1 trillion.
In total, from 1980–2016, the U.S. South/Central and Southeast regions experienced a higher frequency of billion-dollar disaster events than any other region, as shown in the red total disaster map. This map reflects the cumulative diversity, frequency, & severity of weather & climate events impacting these regions.
- Ready.gov – Ready Responder Toolkit: http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/RRToolkit.pdf
- Video Source: http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7046 [Accessed: May 23, 2013]
- Image Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/summary-stats [Accessed: August 23, 2014]