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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Be Prepared For The Apocalypse (Or Anything Slightly More Realistic)

Ok, let’s face it: in all likelihood, the world will not end, nor will any other global catastrophe strike on December 21st (see evidence provided by NASA or presented by The History Channel from the oldest-known Mayan calendar). But the buzz around this “event” does present a great opportunity to discuss preparedness. We at the Red Cross love to be prepared, and we love it when Coloradans - and anyone else, for that matter - are prepared, too.

Take the alleged-impending-doom this coming Friday, for example. Denverites, do you have an escape plan in case of an alien invasion of the Denver metro area? Have you discussed where to meet with family members in case of any emergency requiring an evacuation?

What about an emergency kit? If a supervolcano erupts in Wyoming, causing the I-25 corridor to flood with feet of boiling lava, do you have essentials to help you wait things out on higher ground?

I’ll grant you that these scenarios are... extremely far-fetched, at best. But as with the CDC’s spin on zombie pop-culture to help get communities prepared for more realistic situations, I’d like to apply the same concepts here. If you had lived in Colorado Springs when the Waldo Canyon Fire struck, would you have been prepared to evacuate in a matter of minutes, as many did? Would you have a meeting place outside your neighborhood to gather with family? Would you have set up an out-of-town contact to use to communicate in case local cell phone services were overloaded?

These are just a few of dozens of questions you should ask yourself now, so you aren’t spending time asking yourself how you’ll get by when disaster actually strikes. There are many, many resources you can utilize to figure out what questions to ask, including redcross.org, ready.gov, ASPCA.org (great for pet preparedness), and cdc.gov (which isn’t limited to just health-based emergencies). So ask these questions - to yourself, and to the rest of your family.

Many times during any disaster, you have minutes (if not less) to head out the door. Preparedness can only help. And there’s always this bonus: the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to be one of the few lucky survivors on Saturday morning... or Friday night... or whenever global catastrophe is supposed to happen this time.

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