Prepare for organized chaos

Monday, September 17, 2012

Poet William Yeats has said that life is a long preparation for something that never happens. It may be somewhat tempting to take on this apathetic attitude when discussing emergency preparedness, but that would be unwise.

Luckily, we have people in our communities who have devoted a portion of their careers to seeing that we are prepared for the worst on a city, county or area-wide basis. It is our personal responsibility to see that we are prepared for the worst on an individual basis.

September has been designated at National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Their goal is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.

They are encouraging all Americans to take some simple steps to make themselves and their families better prepared for emergencies. The steps consists of:

Getting a Kit -- make up a kit of emergency supplies that you and your family could use to survive for up to three days in the event of an emergency. Some considerations for kits would include water, food, and medical supplies.

Making a Plan -- plan as a family in advance on what to do in the event of an emergency. Include plans for pets, livestock, senior citizens, and workplace.

Becoming Informed -- familiarize yourself and your family of possible threats that could affect you in some way. This could include natural disasters, pandemics, home fires, accidental hazards, or terrorist threats. Several web sites area available with a lot of information including www.bereadynebraska.com or www.ready.gov.

Getting Involved -- take a first aid or CPR class, or volunteer in a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Donate blood.

To some, the whole idea of disaster preparedness may seem oxymoronic. How can you possibly be "well prepared" for a calamity? But "organized chaos" at a time of adversity is much preferred to the panic, confusion, and disorder that would occur without some advance action.

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