Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Emergency Response Plan

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has a great post up on the some of the emergency response lessons that better be learned from Katrina. All of it is great, but I especially appreciated this part:

7. Be realistic: Here's what the Los Angeles Fire Department tells people about an earthquake aftermath:

To those of us who live and work in the Greater Los Angeles area, earthquakes and other natural emergencies are a reality. In order to deal with this situation, emergency preparedness must become a way of life. In the event of a major earthquake or disaster, freeways and surface streets may be impassable and public services could be interrupted or taxed beyond their limits. Therefore, everyone must know how to provide for their own needs for an extended period of time, whether at work, home, or on the road.

That's just how it is. People need to be encouraged to do this. Whenever I say this, I get responses along the lines of "poor people can't afford to stockpile food." But here's a family survival kit for $50 and it's pretty good. Most poor people in America can afford food (that's why so many poor people are fat). They do have other problems that make preparation less likely, though (if you're the kind of person who thinks ahead and prepares for emergencies, you're much less likely to be poor to begin with) and local authorities have to be ready -- see the stockpile advice above.

There was so much wrong with the Katrina response, but for many (not all) people at least some of their suffering could have been lessened by having a 72-hour emergency kit to grab on the way to the roof. (UPDATED TO ADD: And it's not just the prophet telling us to have an emergency kit. Remember when Dept. of Homeland Security's Tom Ridge told every American family to make one?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it is a shame that it takes a catastrophic event to remind us how critically important it is for everyone to have an emergency kit at home. I guess the problem is that people are either complacent, they don't know what to get or, they wait until the very last minute and do not have the time to go to all of the stores to get what they need. Yesterday, a DECA business high-school student knocked on door and told the family about the fundraiser for their high-school club. They were selling a 72-hour emergency kit called the Ready Kit from American Family Safety. I don't remember everything that the kit had but, it was designed by the department of homeland security and had three days of water, food, radio, flashlight batteries and a first aid kit and a lot of other stuff all in an orange backpack. Talk about convenient. The student was selling it for $49 and a portion went to the neighborhood DECA club who was raising funds for Red Cross. The product gets shipped right to the house from UPS too. I think it is a great idea to educate everyone about the need for these products. The fundraiser is from and it's a lot better than buying the chocolate bars or cookies.