Photo Credits – NCDP
The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health was established in 2003 in order to understand and improve the nation's capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.
Their website is a tremendous resource for all things preparedness related, and even offers FREE online certificate training courses, webinars, and lectures.
And under Special Reports and White Papers you’ll find literally dozens of disaster related research papers and documents for your perusal.
In other words, there’s more than enough here to keep you busy for quite some time.
But today I wanted to highlight their Disaster Preparedness Wizard, which in a few short minutes can help you define, and then download a personal disaster plan for you and your family.
By answering a few simple questions (no information is asked that will identify you beyond your first name), this wizard will steer you towards a basic level of preparedness.
Along the way, you’ll also find helpful preparedness tips, like this one on purifying water.
Since the threats you will be faced with will vary depending upon your location, the first question asks where you live. In my case, I responded with Florida, and here is the list of likely threats the program generated.
You will then answer a handful of questions on the number of Adults, children and pets in your household and any special needs they may have.
Once completed, you’ll be presented with on screen advice on how to prepare, and the option of downloading a multi-page personalized preparedness plan in PDF format.
For anyone new to prepping, and wondering just how to get started, this seems like an excellent organizational tool. It’s quick, easy, and you end up with a written plan.
Their recommendation of three days of food, water, and other supplies is a bare minimum, of course. As I’ve written in the past (see When 72 Hours Isn’t Enough), in a major disaster you could end up wishing you had a week, or even two weeks worth of supplies.
But if you don’t already have a family disaster plan in place, getting prepared for even three days is a good initial goal.
September is National Preparedness Month, and as a coalition member, I’ll be writing extensively about preparedness issues all summer long.
To read some of last year’s offerings select this link.