Put one hundred people in a room and ask, “How many of you think being prepared for a disaster is a good idea?” and likely all hands will shoot up.
Then ask the same audience, “How many of you have invested time in preparing for a disaster at home or at your workplace?” and an embarrassingly few will raise their hands.
A study sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found that nearly 60% of American adults have never participated in an evacuation or shelter-in-place (SiP) exercise. The study also found that only 39% had any type of emergency plan or even discussed the topic with their family. This, even though over 80% of the respondents live in communities impacted by a weather-related disaster.
The Growing Cost of Disasters
We are still slow to adopt a proactive attitude toward disaster preparation even though the after-costs of disasters continue to rise.
In the 1950s, natural disasters led to combined insurance claims of approximately $53 billion.
In the 1990’s the claims rose to $778 billion.
·In the 2000’s losses reached a record loss of $100 billion in 2005 alone. This was eclipsed in 2017 by single year claims estimated at $134 billion according to Impact Forecasting, a division of Aon Insurance. These increased claims were accompanied by a rise in insurance premiums which seemed to further discourage devoting time and resources to preparing for a disaster.
So what does this mean?
Everyone says they are ready until they find our that they really aren’t. No one wants to admit that they haven’t prepared and more often than not, they haven’t thought through what is really means to be prepared.
Here at Evacuteer we often speak about your personal tolerance to an adverse condition. When you and your family sit down to discuss your plan, start with each person’s tolerance.
How long can you stand to stay where there is no electricity? (Are they seniors? Babies? Children?) Each person can tolerate adverse conditions differently based on their circumstances.
What about no running water? What does that really look like on a daily basis?
What do I need during the day to keep me safe? Medicine? Access to certain types of medical equipment.?
These are just a few questions that each of us should consider BEFORE we make our plan. Everyone has a risk tolerance and risk aversion that is different than members of their own families. By starting with that understanding our plans will be better suited to everyone!