Citizens For A Better Norwood

Monday, September 11, 2006

Will we be the next disaster?

Five years after 9/11 and a little over 1 year after Katrina, are we as a community any more prepared? A 2004 study by the American Red Cross found that while 80% of Americans say that they are very or somewhat prepared for a disaster, only 42% had an adequate disaster kit and 32% had a disaster plan.Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine how prepared you are.

1. Do you have a basic emergency supply kit which includes: water (1 gallon of water per day, per person,) for 3 days, food for 3 days, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, dust mask, moist towelettes, wrench or pliers, can opener, plastic sheeting and duct tape, garbage bags and plastic ties, extra batteries?
2. Do you have a Family Evacuation Plan from the home in the event of a fire and from the area, in the event of a large scale evacuation?
3. Do you have a Family Communication Plan?
4. Do you have a Family Disaster Plan?
5. Do you have shelter in place for severe weather or major chemical spill?

If you answer no to any of these questions or don’t know what they are, then you may not be prepared for the next disaster. While that puts you in the majority of the population, it can also cost you your life or the life of a loved one. While we as a nation were stunned by the lack of preparationin New Orleans, we in Norwood may be no better prepared. You can visit the Department of Homeland Security's website for more information.