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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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04.18.11         michael's insights  

The Top 5 Reasons You are NOT prepared for a Major Disaster


Top 5 Reasons Why You (and I) are Not Prepared (for a Major Emergency)-

I have been thinking a lot about emergency preparedness since I have been home. While it is still fresh on my mind, here is some food for thought. Despite the fact that I have a huge bag full of gear and equipment, I am still not ready. Here are the top reasons why I (and most likely you) are not ready for a major disaster.

1. No Ability to Receive First Aid- I think there is a common mistake in that when we prepare for an emergency, it makes the deadly assumption that…somehow, we would all escape it unscathed. Chances are if it is serious enough, and you are lucky enough to survive, you could be seriously injured or encounter others who are. The bad part of this is if it is a catastrophic disaster, the police, ambulance or other help will be overwhelmed and not be able to help you. As strange and bizarre as this sounds, it is a very real thing. 911 wont be working and even if you could get through, there will hundreds or even thousands of other people needing help just like you.

2. No Ability to Communicate- We take the internet and cell phone technology for granted. You can bet money on it, if it is serious enough, you will have neither. In many cases, you will lose these before it hits. (as we did with the Tsunami warning). Think Satellite Coms or Radios for this.

3. No Ability to Move- If you believe you will be able to hop in your car and drive away…think again. Your car will be useless for one of the following reasons:

A. The roads will be damaged or destroyed.
B. Roads which do work will be full of cars and traffic jams.
C. You will not be able to swing by the gas station and fill up.

Have a back up plan for transportation. Think Horses, Bicycles, or motorcycles.

4. No Ability to Eat or Drink- I know many people who have stock piles of food in their homes. This is a good start. However, it makes the assumption your home will be livable after the disaster and or that the ability to move all that food is doable. Chances are, you will have to move…how will all that food be transported?

5. No Ability to Defend yourself- As uncomfortable as this will be, it is something we have to consider: Armed Looting (or worse). In nearly every major disaster in the USA, (as well as Haiti) armed looting takes place in the first 24-48 hours after a major disaster, especially when there is insufficient law enforcement. Unless you are armed, and have a certain amount of training to be safe and proficient to defend yourself, just know there are many less honorable people out there who will be armed and willing to do anything to survive. Looting also occurred in Japan, though it was uncommon and unarmed.

Bonus Reason- No Long Term Secondary Shelter- Again, we tend to make the assumption our home would survive a disaster. Don't count on it. Whats the back up plan? If it's in the same city, it probably wont work.

Im am not "waiting to get ready" anymore.

If I am not ready now, I am not ready period. (And the same goes for you) :)

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