Disasters are inevitable, and most of the time, they are sudden. But all of the time, they are destructive and cause pain. So, preparing for them is key.
If you’re wondering, “Why is disaster preparedness everyone’s responsibility?” we’ve outlined all the reasons, along with the things you’ll need to make a survival kit and more!
So, Why Is Disaster Preparedness Everyone’s Responsibility?
Planning and being prepared for disaster can greatly reduce risks and their potential negative outcomes. When preparation is done individually, the damage rate can be decreased, but when it’s done collectively, the survival rate can be increased.
Whether it’s structural control that protects an apartment complex during an earthquake, proper security alerts and alarms that keep a school safe from a terrorist attack, better sewerage lines that reduce the impact of floods, or fireproofing systems that shield the valleys from forest fires, having an efficient emergency system helps the community to deal with the problem quickly and incur less damage overall.
Benefits of Preparing for Disasters
Disasters can hit anyone at any moment, and no matter how effective the relief management teams are, they can only help so much. As a community, it’s important to keep your neighbourhood and home safe and take up some responsibility for damages.
Here are some important reasons why:
Disaster Management Saves Lives
A disaster does not have to be on a large scale to become a potential threat to humans and animals. Even a small leak from a sewage pipe can damage a building’s walls and cause it to collapse!
So, a disaster management system that identifies all potential threats and ensures the safety of everyone, including the disabled, elderly, and homeless groups, saves lives.
Planning for Emergencies Prevents Catastrophes
If there’s a proper damage relief plan installed, it reduces the likelihood of catastrophe and decreases the impact of disasters.
For example, having proper evacuation routes laid out prior to a fire ensures that fewer lives will be lost, a stockpile of water, bread, and other essentials keeps the community from going hungry, and security drills protect schools and other institutions from terrorist attacks.
Awareness of Relief Systems Can Decrease Anxiety
When the relief and recovery systems are made public and the community is properly guided towards them, it keeps chaos at bay and allows responders to provide first aid efficiently.
Also, the people are kept safe from harm sooner rather than later, which reduces fear and uncertainty. This can be done by educating the youth about disaster prevention, management, and relief.
Preparing for Consequences Eases the Recovery Period
Every disaster results in some kind of damage. It’s inevitable, but when there’s an emergency system engineered, it allows the community to bounce back faster.
Having shelter homes to go to during a bombing or first aid responders available to help the wounded can only increases the chances of recovery.
What Do You Need to Do to Prepare for Disasters?
Experts say that, on average, it can take anywhere between three days to a week for a crisis management system or a relief team to get back to every community and respond accordingly.
So, it’s best to pack an emergency kit that can cover you, your family, or your community for at least three days. Here’s what to keep on hand:
- Non-perishable food (canned beans, dried fruits/vegetables, nuts, canned soups, curries, and meats)
- Three gallons of water per person
- First aid kit (covers supplies for every person)
- Sanitary items (toilet paper, sanitary napkins, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitizer)
- A pot
- A flashlight
- A few packets of matchsticks
- Duplicates of all important documents (ID cards, passports)
- Extra clothing (sweatshirts, sweatpants, tank tops, long shirts)
- A sleeping bag per person (blankets too, if it’s winter)
Make sure to check on your neighbours as well, and don’t be shy to ask around for help. Preparing for a disaster as a community will help everyone recover from the impact much faster.
What Can You Do to Prepare for a Disaster as a Community?
As a community, it’s important to prepare a relief management system that keeps everyone safe from a disaster. Here’s what you can do:
- Create awareness of disaster preparedness in the community through social media, societal meetings, and seminars.
- Make a list of all the relief solutions available nearby.
- Involve the community in your efforts. Collective help promotes creative solutions.
- Take into account the groups that are at greater risk, such as the very young, the elderly, the homeless, and the disabled.
FAQs About Disaster Preparedness
What can you do to prepare for a disaster in your community?
Educate people on the importance of community disaster preparedness and the benefits of individual emergency preparedness. Create evacuation plans, build food/water and shelter spots, and install a message broadcast system.
Partner with the local leadership to ensure adequate funds are received for emergencies and address inclusive plans for potential disasters. Remember to stand with the community and involve the youth.
There’s so much one can do for the community, but remember to do it together. Every helping hand matters.
Why is it important to educate the youth about disaster awareness, preparedness, and management?
It increases young people’s knowledge of all potential disasters, their risks, and their consequences, which instils in them the need to keep their communities safe and prepare for catastrophes efficiently.
Younger adults are the most likely to be able to help with the physical side of disaster management (i.e., carrying supplies or relocating people) so it’s important for them to know what to do in case they are hurt or a loved one is wounded or needs help.
Now that you have a general idea of the answer to “why is disaster preparedness everyone’s responsibility?” as well as the benefits of preparedness and all the ways you can contribute to the community in emergencies, you can work together and reverse the consequences if ever a disaster strikes.