All it takes is one incident.
Sometimes it is big. A fire that dislocates your family. A tornado that destroys a town. A hurricane that decimates cities.
Sometimes it is small. A dead car battery making you miss an interview. A bad bike fall leaving a cut in a hard healing place. A snowstorm trapping you on an interstate highway for the night.
Whatever it is, it only takes one for you to realize that you are your own emergency manager. For the founders of Storm Packs, it was a hurricane. A family separated with no communication and no preparation once was enough to never let it happen again.
From skateboard falls treated by band-aids and Neosporin, to floods and earthquakes destroying homes and displacing families, every person should have a plan for them and their families.
Now you might be asking, isn’t that the role of local State government and the Federal government to provide aid during an emergency?
To some aspect you are correct! But probably not to the extent that you think. So let’s consider how it works!
Federal & State Emergency Management: 69 Year History
On April 1st, 1951, the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) started off as the Civil Defense Staff College. This was created to help monitor and mitigate any threats posing large scale or national effects. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was founded in 1979 under President Charter and is significantly staffed from EMI graduates and faculty. For 69 years now, EMI and FEMA (41yrs) have been supporting, expanding, and developing ways to mitigate, combat, and respond to emergency situations.
In FEMA’s 2018-2022 strategic plan, administrator Brock Long states, “we need to help individuals and families understand their personal roles in preparing for disasters and taking action – they are our true first responders.”
The 2017 hurricane season left tens of thousands displaced, homeless, and vulnerable. We understand that in a personal capacity.
From the lessons learned that year, FEMA states the following:
“One lesson we learned from the catastrophic 2017 hurricane season is that no one department or agency can undertake this effort alone … The ability of the Nation to be truly ready depends on everyone knowing and understanding the part they play in our collective resilience. People who are prepared will be able to act quickly and decisively in the face of disaster, preventing death and injuries, minimizing loss of property, and enabling successful recovery.”
With all the research, lessons learned, and modern technology, our local, state, and government officials realize that the best way to mitigate the risk of emergency situations to its citizens is for them to be personally prepared.
Personal Emergency Management: Live Ready to Live Free
Now, this isn’t meant to inspire you to go build a bunker under your kitchen, convert a van into an armored tank, or turn your garage into a grocery aisle of non-perishables. No, you don’t need a gas mask and 5 years of food in your basement.
Live Ready means understanding the limitations of government aid and the possible emergency situations surrounding your geographic location, professional workplace, and recreational hobbies.
FEMA, Ready.gov, and the Red Cross all have suggested a minimum of three steps toward personal preparedness. We have synthesized it to the following three steps:
Make a Plan
Make a Pack
Review & Refine Annually
You can read more about how to Make a Plan here and how to Make a Pack here. To use our free guide download it here. For reviewing annually, we will come out with another post shortly on best practices for going about that, especially for those with young kids.
Remember the goal in Personal Emergency Management isn’t to live in a bunker under your kitchen. The goal is to live ready with the confidence of realistic preparedness so that you can live free in the moment!
References and Resources Below: