You Have a Disaster Plan


by Don Metheny, SEN CERT Lead

We all have a plan.  It may be to do nothing.  It may be to do everything.  Or something in between.  It’s fine to have a plan.  But if you don’t put that plan into action at some point, what good is it?  So let’s be reasonable.  A little planning and a little action can go a long way.

We all just experienced a “disaster” in the form of several ice storms.  Some of us experienced extended periods with out power.  Is there now something you would do differently to be prepared?  Keep more food on hand?  Keep more fuel on hand?  Know your neighbors better so you can check in on them and they on you?  Do you have a list of neighbors and phone numbers?  Should you learn how to put on those tire chains?

So you get a little better prepared for next time.  But next time may be a long way away.  We may not have another ice storm for 20 years.  So why prepare for something that may never happen?  It turns out this is a very key question.  Many people see no need to prepare for something that may never happen.  But yet we buy homeowners insurance.  I don’t know about you but I have never had my house burn down.  So why do I keep buying insurance?  Well, just in case.  So at some point we trade off uncertainty for peace of mind.  I find it more peaceful to have some extra food in the house, an alternative heating source if power goes out, some water stored up just in case, some warm clothes, fire insurance, auto insurance, medical insurance, and the list goes on.  And that can be a problem.  The list goes on and gets overwhelming.  We can’t do it all at once.  But it’s still good to have a list.  That list becomes part of our plan.

To me, disaster preparedness is a process.  It is a journey toward resilience and self reliance.  We don’t need to have it all or do it all at once.  We can build up our resources and knowledge over time and every step moves us toward that peace of mind goal.  It helps us to be better prepared come what may and be better able to help each other.

So where do we begin?  More on that next time….