Disaster preparedness

November 6, 2012 

LESTER SOUSLEY, Kennewick

Why should my lack of preparation become a burden to emergency service responders? Do the math for a region with a population of 8 million. Assuming a family consists of 3.2 persons per family, we're talking about 2.5 million homes. If 80 percent had enough food, fuel, and supplies for a week; we're talking about rescuing 500,000 families that weren't prepared for a natural disaster. Assuming the disaster also denies access to food, fuel and supplies to 20 percent of families that we're prepared we're up to 1 million families in need immediate assistance.

The reality is that only about 10 percent of families have enough food, fuel and supplies for a week. In this scenario, that means 2.25 million families require immediate assistance for their basic needs. And where do they look? The government? Red Cross?

I ask again: Why should my lack of preparation become such a burden to emergency service responders? Our lack of preparation, coupled with natural disasters that seem to beset us with increasing frequency, is a recipe for trouble.

When will self-sufficiency become a priority in American life once again? Until it does, disaster relief will continue to be plagued by long lines, meager supplies, and violence.

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