For many, this is the first hurricane they have ever experienced. However, complacency about preparedness can be more of an enemy than high winds and torrential rains. The earthquake tremor of Tuesday shows the apparent lack of preparedness of those people in the affected area. “This is a significant indicator of how unprepared people are to handle a hurricane”, says Norris Beren, Executive Director of the Emergency Preparedness Institute, a preparedness training company and author of the book When Disaster Strikes Home!
Beren added that “communications failures, trains not running, bridges that may have been closed, power outages (perhaps days or longer) and dozens of other unexpected results of the earthquake were frightening realities and people got caught unprepared”.
Now we face Hurricane Irene and the predictions are that high-population areas will feel the impact of the storm, including regions that are not used to such storms. Beren suggests that preparation before, during and after a hurricane is not optional. He states, “Your life and the lives of your family are at risk”.
While there was no warning about the earthquake, we do have knowledge of the expected path of Irene. It is necessary to be prepared for these occurrences. Each of us must think of ourselves as our own first responder. Whether it involves making a family or business disaster plan, gathering emergency supplies or even evacuating an area at risk, we must all embrace the need to be ready for emergencies, think about what to do if we are affected and take the necessary actions. This is the new reality.
The Institute has launched a national campaign to teach public service organizations, business and institutions how to communicate preparedness using this “you are your own first responder” approach and interested parties should contact the Institute for help.
Norris Beren is available for media, radio and TV interviews regarding both family and business emergency preparedness. In addition, he offers strategies and tips to help people be ready for expected and unexpected events.
For more information, contact EPI at 877-670-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org