SURVEY SAYS: Disaster Preparedness

July 22, 2013 – Last week, we covered a survey that found 54% of Americans are prepared for a long-term power outage or a disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake, flood, wildland fire or terrorist attack and have the necessary supplies.

Focusing only on natural disasters, I asked NewsDash readers, are you prepared with the provisions you need in case you are without power, stranded or have to leave your home in case of a disaster, and which disaster do you feel you are most likely to face?

Nearly one-third (32.7%) of readers who responded said they are prepared, while 21.2% indicated they are not. Slightly more than 46% responded that they have some provisions needed, but not all.

The most likely disaster to be faced by responding readers is a snow/ice storm, cited by 34.6%. this is followed by a hurricane (21.2%), tornado (19.2%), earthquake (13.5%) and wildfire (1.9%). Nearly two percent of readers indicated there are no natural disasters they are likely to face. Those who chose “other” listed facing a zombie apocalypse, Rush Limbaugh, werewolves, vampires and sharnado.

Some of the humor continued in the verbatim comments. “With the return of the Twinkie, I am confident I can now make it through all natural disasters,” one reader said. Some readers shared their personal stories and advice, with one pointing out the upside of the experience, “we did meet all of our neighbors – everyone was outside and we cooked dinner together each night at a different house in the neighborhood!” But, Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “People may laugh at those so-called “doomsday preppers,” but I sure would like to have one as a friend – just in case!”


I lost power at least six times for extended periods before breaking down and buying a generator. Even then, if I hadn't been able to buy it just ahead of a hurricane landfall, I'd probably still be "meaning to buy it." That said, dealing with those kind of situations without small children is a world of difference, in terms of worry/concerns.

With the return of the Twinkie, I am confident I can now make it through all natural disasters.

You have to change out your batteries, water and food periodically to ensure they are fresh and ready to go when you need them. You should keep at least a week's worth of required medication ready, and also have a plan for obtaining more if needed for a longer time. After the last major hurricane, my family was able to get to a safe destination, but one of our family members did not have enough required medication and had to spend three frantic days tracking down her doctor and getting prescriptions phoned in to the pharmacy. If you have insulin or other medication that must be refrigerated, you can use cold packs for short term but otherwise you will need to have access to a refrigeration unit or a fresh supply.

I live in the Chicagoland area & for the most part I'm not very concerned natural disasters. Live in the moment -- that's my motto.

I should be a pro in a disaster, you see, I work in Human Resources where everyone seems to have a disaster everyday.

It's hard to be prepared when you have to fight with wackos stocking up on 6 yrs worth of canned beans because a rain storm is coming!

Living in the upper Midwest, if a monster snow storm comes, we have some lead time to stock up.

People may laugh at those so-called "doomsday preppers," but I sure would like to have one as a friend - just in case!

Having "provisions" doesnt' always help. One of mine is a solar operated radio which, naturally, sits in my kitchen totally uncharged except for the first week following the first tornado of each year.

I don't even know what I would need if I had to leave my home. I would be fine in the case of a power outage or if I were stranded in my home.

Verbatim (cont.)

Power interruption is critical ....

We went through Hurricane Ike in September 2008 and were without power for almost 2 weeks - in Texas, that's quite a long time without power. We did have a small generator and we had a stand alone room air conditioner but I certainly wouldn't want to go through that again! On a positive note, we did meet all of our neighbors - everyone was outside and we cooked dinner together each night at a different house in the neighborhood!

For the past two years we have been challenged by storms, first Hurricane Irene which left us with ducks swimming in our backyard, then Snowtober, which left us without power for 5 days, then Hurricane Sandy which left us powerless for more than a week. We now have a generator that can power our entire home via our natural gas line and we always have extra water on hand. Before large storms, we've learned to fill up our cars with gasoline. Hopefully we're ready for next time (which now that we're ready, won't come).

I've lived in Miami for 30 years, that means you're prepared for a hurricane starting June 1st.

I would like to know if the companies your readers work for have business continuity/disaster recovery/emergency response plans in place to ensure critical business functions can resume in the event their facilities/data centers/vendors are inoperable.

Here's how I see it; I'm always next in line when they close the register, at the furthest point from the clubhouse when the storm hits, the first to hear just sold out, have my vending machine selection hung up on the spindle and the 999,999th customer. My chances aren't so good - regardless.

In the '60's my father loaded up a closet under our basement stairs with shelved and all kinds of canned foods, in preparation for "the big one." Being a WWII vet, he meant a bomb. 20 years later, that food was still there! Who was going to eat that if we were confined to our basement for God knows how long? Certainly not my brother or me! Eww!

Following the way I grew up in the 60's, I have a full stock of canned goods, waterproof matches and candles, batteries and radio, first aid kits, blankets, etc., to get me through a tough New England winter. Experienced 10 days of no power last winter and it was easy getting through it. It's also a mental discipline, keeping your head and having the willingness to embrace the silence when all the electronics don't work, and socially network face-to-face. Time to light the candles and get the board games out!

Many years ago, after an ice storm, we were without power in January for 18 days. My partner kept the little wood stove going 24/7 for the duration, 3 dogs, two cats and two people lived in one room of the house, I commuted 1/2 hour to work, in a city where most people were not affected. I showered at friends or the Y, and friends brought soup that we could heat on top of the wood stove. I learned a lot from that and now keep farily good stock of canned goods, bottled water, and plenty of wood for the stove.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.