I normally try not to be so dramatic with my post titles, but so many people think that during an emergency or disaster that they’ll just be rescued by someone else; fire, police, CERT, military, random person, etc. Lots of people are ‘rescued’ or ‘saved’ during an emergency or disaster, but it usually takes quite some time, it’s not immediate help and also, not everyone is saved.
Let’s examine why there’s a low probability of being saved:
1. How many people live in your area? If there were some sort of huge crisis going on, how many people would be effected? If you live in a big city, then probably quite a lot. How many people would be needing help? Probably quite a lot. How many people are available to help? Probably NOT quite a lot. How many police stations are in your area? How many fire stations do you have? How many CERT volunteers are there? How quickly does FEMA or Red Cross actually work to help those in a crisis?
2. Availability to reach YOU is slim: Let’s say there’s plenty of support out there and they’re on top of their game to try to help people. Great, but if they can’t reach you immediately when you need attention, then what are you going to do in the mean time? What if there were an emergency and help was 2 days away? That’s not an outrageous number to consider. It took days for help to be dispatched to Hurricane Katrina. People will NOT be able to help you exactly when you need help. This is especially true if they just can’t reach you, if it’s too flooded, etc. You need to help yourself.
3. Even emergency response will help themselves first: When I went through CERT training, we were told to make sure that the conditions were safe for ourselves before even attempting to help others. Of course, there are other emergency responders who might and will put their lives in danger to help others, but more often than not, people must make sure it’s safe for themselves before they can help others. If they die trying to save you, then they can’t save you or anyone else, make sense?
4. Government can’t be by your side 24/7: During emergencies and disasters, there’s looting. There just is. People take advantage of the lack of authority and do what they want. The government, whether police, fire fighters, military, FEMA, etc., they cannot be by your side waiting to help you 24/7. As said previously, you need to be able to take care of yourself. “When seconds counts, the police are just minutes away.”
5. When you’re taken care of, you can help others: Since so many organizations will be pulled in so many different directions to help people across your city, if you’re prepared and safe and have extra resources, you can then help others. When Hurricane Harvey hit, so many people brought in their boats to help rescue people and it was amazing. But even those selfless volunteers took a while to reach those in need. With so many people needing help, it’s great when there’s one less person in need of help, who can instead either help themselves or turn around and help others.
The point is, by being prepared, we’re less of a drain on the system. We won’t have to be rescued because we have emergency plans in place, emergency food and water and general emergency resources, as well as training on how to handle ourselves and others during an emergency or disaster.
Regardless of when help is going to arrive, there are always signs of an impending emergency or disaster. But before you even see those signs, get prepared today so that you won’t get caught off guard when something bad happens.
Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today.