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Why do so Many Fail to Prepare for Emergencies?

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It’s an interesting question as to why so many fail to prepare for emergencies. Many prepare for their financial future through insurance policies, 401k’s, and retirement plans, but dismiss without much thought the real possibility a natural or manmade disaster can strike at any time disrupting their lives and putting their families at risk.

We’ve all seen and heard about it; stores emptied at the approach of a storm; whole neighborhoods evacuated fleeing a wild fire; supply chains stopped from an earthquake or other natural occurrence; a terrorist attack locking down an entire city as happened in Boston after the Boston Marathon attack, and these are just a few examples. The truth is the systems that supply our local grocery stores, bring fuel to gas stations, and keep our daily lives happily humming along are fragile as is the general daily calm we all have come to expect from our society. Government, which includes police and fire services, is often overwhelmed in a crisis as it is reactionary by nature leaving you as your own first responder and leaving you and your family on your own in the early stages of an emergency.

Today, we are having a snow event that sent people rushing to grocery stores the day before the storm moved in emptying those shelves over the possibility of being snow bound for just a few days. Many of these same people wouldn’t dare leave their family without life insurance, but put their families comfort and possible safety at risk by not preparing for the possibility of not being able to get to the grocery store. Our area was devastated by wild fires a few years ago destroying over 900 homes and forcing 1000s to evacuate their neighborhoods with little more than what they had in their hands. Yet, those lessons learned on the need to prepare ahead of time are soon forgotten as the events end and we slide back into our daily routines.

We, as many we know, are preparing for emergencies because we have not forgotten the many lessons of previous events knowing they will happen and may well sweep up our families and those we care about. We know those who fail to prepare will not only put themselves and their families at risk, but may well be putting themselves into situations where they become desperate. We prepare to not only give our families the peace of mind they will not be without the insurance of supplies, training, and equipment needed to get through an emergency, but to assist those we care about and our neighborhoods during the emergency and into recovery.

Food, water, shelter, and security seem like obvious things to ensure we can provide our families, but far too many around us are relying on our fragile systems and government agencies to provide it for them and we know from experience those systems and agencies will fail. Why do so many fail to prepare? They have any number of excuses not to, but the normalcy bias plays heavily into not preparing and that adds great pressure on emergency services and recovery operations as people become desperate and panic.

We prepare because we understand it is our responsibility, not our government’s or anyone else’s, to provide food, water, shelter, and security to our families and those we care about.



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