Today, the Emergency Preparedness Institute (EPI) issued an early warning to the public, business owners, first responders and NGOs in the hurricane-prone regions of the country. EPI is alerting high-risk groups to the need to start considering “what if” scenarios now. The Institute has surveyed dozens of the nation’s top experts on emergency preparedness and disaster recovery to determine what lessons learned can be applied in preparing for emergencies. The interviews revealed a need for rethinking a number of preparedness issues including how we promote preparedness, communications and the need to focus on first responders as really ‘second’ responders.
“We’ve learned a lot about how to save more lives and recover more quickly since the series of devastating hurricanes that struck the southeast a few years ago.” said Norris Beren, Executive Director of EPI, host of The Preparedness Report talk radio program and author of When Disaster Strikes Home. The book and its companion workbook provide easy-to-understand disaster planning strategies to help get people prepared and ready for virtually any emergency that could happen at home or at work.
Perhaps the most important thing we have learned that needs to be spread across all “at risk” groups is how to more effectively talk to people about getting prepared. Statistically the old approach has seen very limited success even among first responders and their families. Our research suggests that a better way is desperately needed and that a better way in fact exists. So we’re spreading the word to preparedness organizations about how to talk to the public more effectively about getting prepared,” said Beren.
During interviews on The Preparedness Report, Beren uncovered that simply telling people to get prepared is not enough because of a phenomenon called “optimism bias.” Optimism bias leads most people to believe that they will not be among those tragically affected by a major hurricane this season and, as a result, most will be unprepared. The Institute found that to drive the preparedness message home, people must be moved from thinking “it’s not likely that I will be affected by a hurricane (or other disastrous event)” to “what if I am affected?” This is a critical distinction in the approach to encouraging preparedness. This ‘new reality’ thinking needs to be embraced by all parties involved in preparing the public, businesses and institutions.
The Institute has launched a national campaign to teach public service organizations, business and institutions how to communicate preparedness using this new approach and interested parties should contact the Institute for help. To learn more, visit http://www.getpreparedtoday.org or contact EPI at 877 670 7444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Available online at http://www.getpreparedtoday.org
When Disaster Strikes Home: 101+ ways to protect your family from unthinkable emergencies
Written by Norris L. Beren (EPEI Press) –(also available in Spanish)
ISBN: 0972906509 - $17.95 USD (Amazon.com – Kindle edition - $ .99)
When Disaster Strikes Home: Workbook – (also available in Spanish or Portuguese)
ISBN: 0972906517 - $19.95 USD (Amazon.com – Kindle edition - $4.99)