Why Should a Person Be Prepared for Emergencies?

Why should a person be prepared for emergencies

Why is it important to prepare for emergencies? The answer may seem obvious to some, but all too often, families find themselves unprepared to face potential hazards like natural disasters and accidents at home. 

Having an emergency preparedness plan can be the difference between life and death in the face of severe weather events, accidents, and shootings. Being prepared can also help you prevent injuries, expedite the recovery process after a disaster, and give you greater peace of mind.

Being Prepared Can Prevent Some Emergencies

Preparation measures can stop the development of certain emergencies before they get out of hand. 

  • Having a fire blanket or fire extinguisher near the stovetop enables you to put out a small kitchen fire before it burns down your house.
  • Constructing a new home using disaster-resistant building techniques and materials can greatly reduce any damage to your home in a hurricane, earthquake, flood, or tornado. 
  • Establishing clear evacuation routes and communication networks can help people escape dangerous situations before they become injured or trapped.

While many disasters can’t be prevented, property damage and serious injury can often be prevented or minimized with proper planning and preparation. 

Emergency Preparedness Saves Lives

According to the NSC Injury Facts, an incredible 128,200 deaths were registered in the USA in 2021 as preventable injuries or injury-related deaths in the home. Having plans in place to prevent and deal with potentially life-threatening situations at home (and work) such as accidental poisonings, falls, and traumatic injuries can save lives.

Bleeding Emergencies

Bleeding emergencies can occur due to vehicle accidents, falls, gunshot wounds, stabbings, and accidents while using machinery. When bleeding is life-threatening, acting quickly and having a well-stocked trauma kit on hand dramatically improves the victim’s chances of survival.

A bleeding control kit includes a tourniquet to stop bleeding from extremities, compression gauze to pack wounds, and may also contain a hemostatic dressing like QuikClot® Combat Gauze to accelerate the clotting process (hemostatic gauze is included in the premium version of our bleeding control kit). When used correctly, these items can slow and often stop traumatic bleeding while you wait for the emergency services to arrive.

Natural Disasters

Having an emergency management plan for natural disasters can prevent deaths from injury, drowning, entrapment, suffocation, burning, thirst, and starvation. Emergency planning is especially essential in states that are prone to severe weather events like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Families, workplaces, schools, and communities should undertake the planning process and make the required preparations far in advance of disaster season.

Homeowners can reduce the impact of natural disasters by disaster-proofing their homes and establishing a safe place to which they can evacuate. Preparedness measures include floodproofing, purchasing houses made using high-quality, disaster-resistant materials where you can shelter in place, keeping emergency food and water supplies at home, and having a safe place to go to seek shelter if it becomes unsafe to stay.

Pandemics

We’ve seen with COVID-19 the real challenges a pandemic can create. Lives can be lost needlessly in a pandemic when people can’t get access to life-saving medical treatment or run out of water or food. Some of the preparedness measures for a pandemic include:

  • Having emergency food, water, and medical supplies in case of product shortages and lockdowns
  • Investing in medical insurance to cover emergency hospital care
  • Having backup options for work in case of a short or long-term lockdown or office closure

Emergency Preparedness Facilitates an Easier Recovery

The aftermath of a disaster takes a huge toll on individuals, families, and communities. Several preparedness measures can help to ease the recovery period:

  • Secure the items in your home (particularly breakable items and hazardous materials) if your area is prone to earthquakes.
  • Keep all of your important documents together in an accessible place so you can grab them quickly if immediate evacuation is required.
  • Keep copies of important documents online, on a pen drive, and/or with relatives in another part of the country.
  • Register to receive community alerts.
  • Build with disaster-resistant materials and designs to minimize property damage from natural disasters.
  • Invest in a home insurance policy that covers the most common disasters in your area.
  • Keep emergency funds in a variety of places (more than one financial institution plus cash) in case of a fire, major injury, illness, or loss of work. Having enough money to live off for three to six months will greatly help with recovery from a wide range of disasters.

Emergency Preparedness Can Reduce Anxiety

Many families find comfort in preparedness and experience less fear and anxiety at the thought of a major disaster when they have a plan. Knowing that you and your loved ones know what to do if a fire or storm hits or if someone were to become injured can help you rest easier and enjoy greater peace of mind.

How to Prepare Your Family or Organization for Emergencies

Residents in certain areas of the USA are more susceptible to the risk of a natural disaster or an incident like a mass shooting than others. In the case of an emergency, the local authorities, health administration, and disaster-relief organizations will provide assistance, but residents must also take precautions to help themselves and those around them.

Education is key to knowing how to respond to severe weather events, fires, shootings, and serious injuries:

  • Inform yourself about how to prepare for the kinds of emergencies that are most likely to happen in your area. This could include things like hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires, house fires, extreme cold, extreme heat, severe bleeding, cardiac arrest, shootings, civil unrest, and acts of terrorism. 
  • Work with your family, neighbors, colleagues, and community to create a plan for these emergencies. This plan should be developed in line with Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines. For businesses, emergency management plans should specify whether certain employees should cease or continue critical operations in the case of an evacuation.
  • Run regular emergency drills. 
  • Purchase supplies before disaster strikes. 
  • Stay in touch with elderly, chronically ill, or disabled relatives and neighbors and neighbors with small children who may need assistance in the case of an emergency. 
  • Complete training in basic first aid skills, CPR, AED use, and fire extinguisher use, and take a Stop the Bleed® course to learn how to stop arterial bleeding and other life-threatening bleeds.

Be Prepared and Follow Official Advice

Being prepared for an emergency gives you the resources to prevent some emergencies, act quickly in an emergency you can’t prevent, minimize the damage, and recover quicker after the event. In many cases, emergency preparedness saves lives.

There are many organizations that can help you if an emergency occurs. However, knowing how to protect yourself and your family is the best course of action. When disaster strikes, tune in to communications, follow all official advice, and use the tools, skills, and plans you’ve prepared ahead to help yourself and others come out the other side of the emergency in the best possible shape.

Brian Graddon
Article written by

Brian Graddon

Brian is a former Firefighter Paramedic who also worked as a SWAT Medic, Engineer, and Captain over a 15-year career. Brian is devoted to providing life-saving information based on his first hand experience in life-saving application of tourniquets, hemostatic gauze, chest seals and other bleeding control products.

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