(An emergency personnel carries an elderly resident from flood waters brought on by Hurricane Sandy in Little Ferry, New Jersey, October 30, 2012. (REUTERS/Adam Hunger)
The AP has written an interesting article discussing the mandatory evacuation orders ignored by residents in the path of Hurricane Sandy. The article asks the question, why don’t people listen to the evacuation orders? This quote sheds some insight into their reasons for staying home.
Often, though, people believe that a storm won’t be so bad or that their homes are built tough enough. Some want to avoid shelters or the expense of staying in a hotel. Still others worry that their homes will be looted.
The points the author brought up, such as believing the storm won’t be so bad, or that their homes are tough enough, I think are fair points. With Sandy though, this storm was known from early on as being very dangerous. We’ve all heard our local meteorologist clamor for a large winter storm, only for their to be little snowflakes for 20 minutes, but this was a unique situation. With such mass evacuations ordered, did people really think this storm was not going to bad? Why would people ignore the unprecedented amount of evacuations ordered? I cannot explain this.
As for belief in your home being tough enough, I just don’t see how one can justify this thought after all the images of houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Another point, fear of your house being looted, is fair I suppose. The problem is, if you are dead, who cares if your stuff is looted? I mean seriously. Are people that attached to their houses?
The biggest problem is that rescue team members risk their lives to come and save these people who ignored evacuation orders. Rescue workers have friends and family that they risk never seeing again if they die trying to save you. So next time you refuse to honor an evacuation order, think about how selfish it is. Now, if there was some reason, such that you were sick, elderly, or handicapped, and no one assisted you in evacuation, well you cannot be at fault. I am not ranting at you. From my knowledge, however, the government sent out workers to help in the evacuation process.
In order for the evacuation process to go smoother, I would pack an emergency backpack, just incase I had to evacuate quickly. I would have this bag fully packed and store it in a closet or laundry room. In my bag would be
- emergency reflective blanket, wool socks, wool beanie, fuel canister, dehydrated meals (just need boiling water to cook), Iodine tablets (purify water), Nalgene water bottle (water storage), waterproof matches, GORE-TEX pants and jacket (waterproof), compass, headlight with lithium batteries (lithium lasts longer than alkaline), extra batteries, and a swiss army knife
The bag above would give you enough tools to survive a disaster. The greatest way to prepare for a disaster is to make a plan. The US Government has created a downloadable .PDF which features a chart that keeps track of everyone in your family. It provides the name, date of birth, social security number, and medical information for each family member. The .PDF also has a spot for emergency contacts, neighborhood meeting places, and out-of neighborhood meeting places. Complete this form and store it in your emergency backpack.