No Excuses! Take Time to Prepare!

Recent events due to Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma bring to mind the need for all of us to be prepared. While it is unlikely that a devastating hurricane will ever strike the Golden State, California faces the threat of other natural disasters. Past events have shown that earthquakes, wildfires, and flooding can have devastating effects on life and property in our communities.

Cal OES recognizes the importance of Californians being ready and better prepared for the next disaster. “The actions we take today to be better prepared can determine how quickly we recover or even survive when disaster strikes,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. Even Governor Brown understands the importance of being prepared, who has declared September “National Preparedness Month.” You can view the entire proclamation HERE.

With the types of disasters that threaten our state, one might wonder why anyone would not want be prepared. However, for whatever the reasons, the reality is many people come up with a lot of excuses for not preparing. Below are just some of the excuses people have used that when looked at more closely may cause one to rethink.

  1. I don’t live near a fault line where most earthquakes happen.

While California and earthquakes are usually paired together, California is prone to other natural disasters such as floods, landslides, wildfires, and an occasional tornado. So preparing for these disasters is just as important. And I bet you have at least one loved one that does live near one of the many of fault lines on the West Coast!

  1. My homeowners insurance will cover anything that’s damaged.

Homeowners’ insurance policies usually do not cover events like floods or earthquakes. They are separate specific policies that must be purchased. Besides it is the first 24 to 48 hours one should prepare for and it may take time for insurance companies to respond.

  1. The government will take care of me.

We all saw what happened with the Hurricane Katrina disaster and what is occurring now with Hurricane Harvey. In some cases, it could take the government days or maybe even weeks to arrive to assist victims. Agencies such as FEMA, the American Red Cross, and others may be able to provide some essential supplies to victims, but then they may have difficulty getting those supplies to the victims.

  1. I cannot afford to prepare a kit.

Keep an eye out for some events where organizations are giving away first aid kits. This is a great way to start preparing and gradually increase your supplies in small steps. Some cans of food, some water, batteries, etc. You’ll see how fast your survival kit grows.

  1. I’m just too busy thinking about today, to worry about tomorrow.

Well, if you don’t take the time to think about what may happen tomorrow and prepare, sadly there may not be a day for you to think about. So take just an hour or two and put your survival kit together. You can even make it a fun occasion and invite family or friends over to participate.

Additional Resources for Getting Prepared:

For Individuals & Families

For Businesses & Organizations

For Schools & Educators

For Tribal & Government

FEMA – Preparing Makes Sense

Robb Mayberry

Robb Mayberry is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He has assisted in the response and recovery efforts with some of California’s worst disasters, including the San Refugio Oil Spill, the Valley and Butte Wildfires, Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Erskine Fire, and the Winters Storms of 2017. Prior to public service, he spent 25 years managing the public and media relations for some of Northern California’s largest healthcare organizations.

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