Communicate-in-a-Disaster_istockIf you browse through my Facebook wall, you may come across a few stories about apocalyptic-scale events such as the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano and the arrival of the Big One off BC’s West Coast. These were posted by a friend who has frequently iterated the importance of preparing for an emergency. It’s not that I disagree. While I may have teased him for his emphatic manner, I am well aware of the practicality of such preparations. I grew up on the West Coast, which is supposed to be a hot bed for earthquakes. I have experienced a couple of minor quakes and a number of power outages (due to high winds). Since elementary school, we have been trained in fire and earthquake drills. Every time we moved to a different house, I would scope out all the emergency exits and the neighbourhood, then tell my mom where I think our “meeting point” should be. It became a regular habit for me to always look out for dangers, etc. I wasn’t paranoid; I was simply very responsible.

The irony is since I’ve grown up and started working, my attentions have been drawn elsewhere and I have let these habits subside. The number of temporary moves I’ve had to make did not help to prioritize an emergency kit since I could barely fit in all my basic necessities for day-to-day living at times.

However, a couple of months ago I watched as a neighbouring building burnt down before my eyes. It occurred to me then how unpredictable disasters really can be. Sure, there are the big crazy incidents which no amount of preparation can prepare for, but some situations can definitely be mitigated with a bit of good sense. Not preparing would actually be more of a disservice to not only yourself but to others (who may require greater assistance because of injuries, etc.).

So without further ado, I will be fixing up my emergency kit at home this weekend!

For more information on emergency planning, check out Get Prepared.