Community and Disaster Preparedness, Part 1

| 12/2/2019 12:00:00 AM

Lone Wolf

I was going over the books available for Christmas and, as I do, I checked out the “survival” books. I don’t know how else to say this. If you are lost in the woods and separated from rescue these books have good and helpful information, but In a disaster scenario the advice in some of those books will leave you exhausted and friendless within a week.

During 33 years of working in disaster situations and conflict zones, and after hundreds of interviews with war and disaster survivors, I have never heard a single soul say; “I wished I’d had a gun, that would have made everything better.” What they said was, “I wish I’d have had my friends and family.” The other most heard desire was, “I wish we had a safe place to go.”

The two most common desires of people who are displaced by disaster or war was people they could trust and a safe place to stay. This was even in places where there was little food and water. This aspect of access to community is important. 

Survival vs. Surviving a Disaster

There is a distinct difference between “survival” and “surviving a disaster”.  In a survival situation you are separated from society. You have to survive on your own because you are separated from people, services, shelter, and supplies.

In a disaster situation you will often find yourself in a group with others who are similarly affected by the disaster. This can be an advantage. The reason you can survive is because you are not separated from people even when you are separated from services and supplies.  

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