Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Preparing for Disasters

Disasters can be as small as a single person or as large as an entire nation. A disaster can be a house fire, a wildfire, a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, a pandemic or a terrorist action.

How you prepare is the same regardless of the size or type of disaster. There are several publications out by countless organizations to deal with disaster preparedness.

I am going to supply the links, and let you decide which one makes the most sense for you. If you happen to have a source for preparation, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

New Link Added 8/5 - WOW
Really Ready
http://www.fas.org/reallyready/index.html
The Federation of American Scientists hopes to achieve two purposes with ReallyReady.org:
To provide clear and correct information to citizens interested in preparing themselves and their families for an emergency
To persuade the Department of Homeland Security to take a serious look at Ready.gov and their policy on the accuracy of information and to make important changes that will help Americans to prepare for terrorist attacks or natural disasters

It also has a section just for disabled folks to prepare. VERY cool.

First, Personal Preparation
There are a couple of links
I like The Red File – it is well written, concise and has tons of common sense.
www.TheRedFile.com
Citizen Corp has many links to publications to assist you in every aspect, from preparing, preventing and recovering. Very good! http://www.citizencorps.gov/ready/cc_pubs.shtm
Really Ready Family
http://www.fas.org/reallyready/america/index.html

Emotional Preparation
North Carolina has done a great job compiling links and publications to assist folks with the emotional aspect of any disaster.
http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/mhddsas/disasterpreparedness/index.html
Child Advocate has come out with a small booklet for children and I have found this to be the best out there: http://childadvocate.net/disasterbooklet.pdf
A book entitled Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. While this book deals with coping with disaster after the fact, reading it before it happens will give you a great weapon on coping before during and after such a serious event.

Financial Preparation
The best I have found in handling this particular aspect is from an organization called Operation Hope. It’s detailed, calls for several lifestyle adjustments in order to put their plan into place, BUT it will work! They have what they call an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) that you can download for free:
http://www.operationhope.org/fileupload/File/effak_english.pdf - This is 28 pages.
And a Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide
http://www.operationhope.org/fileupload/File/pdpg_english.pdf - 18 pages.

Finally, Professional/Business Preparation
The Hancock County Chamber of Commerce gave this to me. I’ve not found it in any files or websites I’ve come across and it’s simple, common sense stuff that is so easy to overlook. I have left this information at the top of their page:
http://hancockcountyrelief.blogspot.com/2006/06/chamber-lagniappe.html
Really Ready Business
http://www.fas.org/reallyready/business/index.html

One more Note
http://www.hurricanefriends.com/ offers registration and matching of people willing to share their homes and facilities (hosts) with those needing shelter (guests) to ensure a smooth evacuation when the time comes. One can register as both and the role you play will depend on how the storm is tracking. It is important to register early, especially for families with children, pets, and people with special needs. (recommended by the Hancock County Chamber)

I feel these links do the best job of covering all aspects of preparing for a disaster. Please let me know if there are others you find that you feel are better or more concise, etc. I’m more than willing to add to the list!


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