How prepared are you?

If you’ve been watching any of the major news channels lately you might think the world is about to end. There are predictions of a major terrorist attack later this year, more category 5 hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and then there are always the small disasters to be concerned about.

How timely that the American Red Cross put on a program at one of our libraries yesterday called, When Disaster Strikes – Disaster Preparedness. The program covered the basics of preparing for a disaster and we even received some free bags to keep emergency supplies in.

The program really got me thinking though, so here are some questions for you to ponder.

If on your way home from work you discovered that for whatever reason the roads were impassible would you be able to get home? What kind of shoes do you wear? Do you keep a pair of walking shoes in your car? Do you have a map with alternate routes? Do you have a flashlight and batteries? What about water? Does this scenario seem improbable? It’s happened to me. Twice! I’ve had to leave my car and walk several miles home–once due to a flood and once due to snow and ice. Both days started out as ordinary days with no inclination that bad weather was looming. So just keep in mind it’s these “small disasters” that you really have to prepare for.

Do you always carry your keys with you? If you are in a meeting or the restroom at work and are told to evacuate the building you may not be able to go back to your office to get your keys, wallet, money, ID. (This one has happened to me too!)

If you got home to find out that your water supply has been contaminated, do you have enough bottled water to sustain your family for at least three days? Do you have any bottled water?

Do you always have at least twenty dollars cash on hand? When the power goes out so do ATMs and credit card machines.

This is just a start but it is something we all need to think about. You can learn more by looking at the American Red Cross Disaster Services Web site.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.

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