Why Should You Prepare for a Disaster?

FEMA Video: “National Safety Month”[1]

An important question often raised by many people is: “Why should I prepare for a disaster?”

Simply, you should prepare because a disaster can strike without warning, forcing you to go for days without basic necessities or to evacuate your home.

Moreover, the threat is real – disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year and each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property.

Preparing for the unknown does take some time, but you do not have to prepare for and do everything. Just figure out what aspects of information and procedures are relevant to your locale, lifestyle and family.

Important Reasons to Prepare for a Disaster

There are some very important reasons why you should prepare for a disaster:[2]

  • Saves Lives – Different disasters require different responses. Being prepared for various disaster emergencies can make a huge difference in saving lives as well as money.
  • Reduces Danger – Knowing the steps to take during a disaster – whether flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes or another crisis – can greatly reduce the danger and distress your family may face.
  • Reduces Uncertainty – Not having a complete understanding of a hazard threat can leave you frightened and uncertain of what to do
    to protect yourself and your loved ones. Being prepared by knowing what to do reduces uncertainty.
  • Helps Cope with Stress – Disasters are stressful events over which we have little or no control. The sudden disruption of everyday life, the experience of fear, feelings of uncertainty and a lost sense of safety are the common factors that make all disasters very stressful.
  • Speeds Recovery – How quickly you can recover from a disaster depends on how well you have planned and prepared for one.
  • Establishes Sense of Safety and Security – Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Adults can help children cope first and foremost by establishing a sense of safety and security.
  • Your Responsibility – Preparing for a disaster is simply part of providing for and protecting your family.
  • Your Civic Duty – Preparing for an emergency allows first responders to help those who truly need assistance instead of helping you who knows better and is prepared.