Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

February 26, 2014

OUR VIEW: Preparation key to survival

Are you more prepared for a natural disaster?

If your answer is no, you still have time to make a plan. And now — with next week being National Severe Storm Preparedness Week — there’s no better time to do it.

It’s not hard. It’s not expensive. It is, however, like going to the gym. You dread going and complain the whole time you’re there, but you feel better when you’re done.

Same goes for putting together an emergency plan. It’s a pain to do and it seems pointless, but you’ll feel better once it’s done because you’ll know your family is better prepared to survive a catastrophe. When disaster does strike, there is much that’s out of our control. Being prepared puts more things under your control and increases your chances of survival.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security suggests residents prepare themselves by adopting a goal of being self-reliant for three days. A winter storm, tornado or flood can cut you off from grocery stores and services, including immediate response from police or fire protection. Officials encourage residents to collect enough supplies to get them through three days.

So, how do you do prepare for three days on your own? Make a plan. Get a kit.

Work with family and neighbors to make an emergency plan — such as where to go, how and where to meet and what to do in case of an emergency. Go to ready.gov/make-a-plan for free downloadable emergency plan templates.

Preparedness kits are not a one-size-fits-all situation. Kits should include the essentials that fit the household’s needs and budget. Don’t know where to start? Visit ready.gov/build-a-kit.

If you’re worried about costs, think ahead and try to accumulate extra items over time by using coupons and hitting sales. Wait to buy supplies at the end of a season when there are good deals. Don’t wait for the storm to hit the news before hitting the store. You’ll pay a fortune later.

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