Friday, September 03, 2010

NPM10: The Ethics Of Prepping



Note: This is day 3 of National Preparedness Month.  Follow this campaign on Twitter by searching for the #NPM10 hash tag.


# 4863




There are some who believe that it is unfair, or somehow unethical, to ask those with greater financial means to prepare for disasters while some with fewer resources may be unable to do so.


A noble idea, I suppose.


But the reality is that the more people who are prepared before a crisis, the fewer people that will need emergency assistance later.


And by being prepared, you are in a better position to offer help to a friend, a neighbor, a relative, or your community.


Prepping is ethical.   And it isn’t just me saying that.


In October, 2008 I wrote a blog which highlighted the John's Hopkins Study entitled Ethics and Severe Pandemic Influenza: Maintaining Essential Functions through a Fair and Considered Response


It included the following snippet from the summary provided on  the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics website.


. . .  individuals and families who can afford it should do their best to prepare for any disaster. The paper notes, the more initiative the general public exercises in stockpiling several weeks' worth of food, water, paper goods, batteries medicines, and other needed supplies, the less vulnerable they will be to a break in the supply chain.


It is important for leaders to communicate to the middle class and the wealthy that it is their responsibility to prepare for self-sufficiency in order to free up scarce supplies and allow first responders to direct their attention towards those too poor or vulnerable to prepare themselves.



While this may not have been the main thrust of this paper's message, it is a powerful component.    One that bloggers such as myself have been trying to promote for several years.


As long as our supply chains are intact, grocery store shelves are full and capable of being restocked, and no major shortages exist it is not hoarding, selfish, or unethical to be stockpiling a reasonable amount of emergency supplies for you, your family, and others you might be able to assist during a disaster.


During a crisis relief agencies will have their hands full trying to help those who were unable to prepare, or who lost their preps due to a disaster.


By being prepared in advance, you take some of the burden off these agencies, which will allow them to concentrate their efforts on helping those less able to help themselves.


And by being prepared, you are in a better position to help others.



And that’s a win-win situation. For you, your family, and your community.


The American Red Cross sponsors a Do More Than Cross Your Fingers preparedness campaign, with spokesperson Jamie Lee Curtis that can get you started. 




You’ll find scores of other Red Cross videos on the RED CROSS YOUTUBE CHANNEL.  You can also follow the Red Cross on Twitter by subscribing to @RedCross.

While 72 hours is considered the minimum amount of  time you and your family should be prepared for, there is nothing that says you shouldn’t strive to do better than that. 


A week or more of emergency supplies is a laudable goal.


And of course, the Red Cross isn’t alone in promoting disaster preparedness. For more information, you’ll want to visit.





It’s the ethical thing to do.

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