USA: Many Unprepared for Disaster
If you are one of the "unprepared", please visit our
FREE information site. It may save you and your family's lives.
The best preparation starts with taking that first step.
May 10, 2007
By Brad Heath
Many Americans haven't taken basic steps to prepare for a natural disaster and have little confidence the federal government is ready to help them if one strikes.
Photo: Ed Frost leans on a wall along Main Street in Greensburg, Kan., during post-tornado cleanup efforts Wednesday. (By Jason Hunter, The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
The findings come as the nation braces for a summer that government forecasts predict could bring a worse-than-normal onslaught of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. The first named storm of the year formed Wednesday off the Atlantic coast as fires burned from Florida to Los Angeles and President Bush toured a Kansas town flattened by a tornado.
When it comes to preparing for such disasters, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found 41% of people don't have a stockpile of food and water, and 27% don't have an extra supply of medicines, both of which the Federal Emergency Management Agency says are basic disaster preparations. About 40% haven't picked a person for their family to contact in the event of a disaster and 18% don't have a first aid kit.
WHO'S READY FOR DISASTER?
|Those who say they have the following things to prepare for a natural disaster:
•First-aid kit, 81%
• Supply of personal care and hygiene products, 81%
• Supply of medicine, 72%
• Radio with fresh batteries, 71%
• Designated person outside the area that your family would contact, 60%
• Stockpile of food and water, 59%
Those who say the following people or groups are ready to deal with a natural disaster:
•Local police and fire departments, 68%
•Local hospitals, 62%
•You and your family, 60%
•The federal government, 31%
Answers based on an April 13-15 USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of 1,007 adults. Margin of error: +/-3 percentage points.