Monday, March 19, 2012

Why You May Never Decide to Prepare for an Emergency

When I began blogging here, I knew before I began that even if people read my posts and heard how it easy it is to prepare by making a plan and taking action, most would never do it. It's a fact I understood long ago when I first starting seeing more and more FEMA commercials. I would strike up a conversation with family members or friends and ask them if they had made any emergency preparations and every single one answered, "No." I struggled with a way to try and convince them but knew that like everything else, once people get set in their ways it's hard to convince them otherwise.

Maybe you're the same way. Maybe you're reading this post and thinking to yourself why should I bother preparing? Nothing is ever going to happen to me. Or maybe for you it feels more like a tug-o-war, should I or shouldn't I? I understand why you would feel that way. I felt the same way years ago, that is until my husband was laid off, until a blizzard trapped us with little food and no heat, until our basement flooded, until we had to file bankruptcy to save our home. We have all thought that nothing is going to happen to us UNTIL it actually does.

But what if I told you that the reason you do not prepare for emergencies is because your mind, your brain, won't let you?  Did you know that your brain actually has a propensity for forgetting the negative and only remembering the positive? So even if you live a town prone to tornados or earthquakes, for example, and you know that your chances are good for having one, you may only remember the positive information that your neighborhood has never had one. Remembering only that fact, because that's all your brain decides to remember gives you a false sense of security that it could never happen to you even though it could.

So when you begin considering whether you should become a prepper, or at the very least make an emergency plan and a 72 hour kit, remember your brain will want to talk you out of it. Your brain doesn't want to think about the possibility that something bad could happen, so don't listen to it. Making yourself override your positive outlook just long enough to make preparations for an emergency might save your life, or help you get by until help does arrive.

Finally, when the government tells us to prepare, we really should listen and not push out the idea that a disaster may or may not happen. Why? Because the government warns us for a reason. Everyday emergency agencies all across the country are battling to keep funding for emergency preparedness and every day they lose a little more. The "Ready or Not" report stated in November that our nation is facing tough challenges to keep us ready. You see if we do not do more to help ourselves, we risk relying on services and help that will likely be nonexistent, even if our brains want us to think otherwise. Here are their "key findings," to read the entire report go here.
  • Fifty-one cities—located in 40 states—are at-risk for elimination of Cities Readiness Initiative funds, which support the ability to rapidly distribute and administer vaccinations and medications during emergencies.
  • All 10 state labs with “Level 1” chemical threat testing status are at-risk for losing top level capabilities, which could leave the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with the only public health lab in the country with full chemical testing capabilities.
  • Twenty-four states are at-risk of losing expert epidemiology support, which has supplemented state and local gaps in the past.
  • All academic preparedness research and training academic centers are at-risk for elimination.
  • Potential cuts to the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) mean the ability for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to mount a comprehensive response to nuclear detonation, radiological attacks, chemical attacks and natural disasters is at-risk.
  • Forty states and Washington, D.C. cut their state public health budgets—29 states cut their budgets for a second year in a row, 15 for three years in a row.
  • Forty-one states had cuts in state and local preparedness support through the Public Health Emergency and Preparedness (PHEP) grants from FY 2010 to FY 2011.
  • All 50 states and Washington, D.C. had cuts in the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) from FY 2010 to FY 2011.
Need more information? Read and listen to more on why we don't prepare at the following links:
Living In The Century of Disasters
Your Brain Won't Let You to Believe...
Why We Don't Prepare for Disaster

1 comment:

  1. This is one reason I wrote "An Open Letter to Family & Friends."