Crossing Your Fingers – Not Enough?

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A new survey shows that while about half of Americans have experienced a significant emergency, many people still are not ready for the unexpected because they do not know what to do. To help people take needed preparedness steps, the American Red Cross is launching a new  public awareness campaign.

The American Red Cross has launched the campaign – Do More Than Cross Your Fingers this month.  A major focus of this campaign is to get people thinking and planning about preparedness more, and stresses the importance of getting emergency supplies together, which is actually at odds with a recent shift in focus by DHS/FEMA away from kits and towards the “getting informed” aspects of their Get Ready campaign (apparently mostly because of the cost factors involved).

Personally and professionally, it would appear that having sufficient emergency supplies available for your family should be non-negotiable, and there are plenty of ways to do this effectively on a budget and at little to no extra cost (think stock rotation).

The campaign e-mail, which read in part that “The Do More campaign encourages families to take easy steps to prepare for the unexpected and provides a game and many resources to help parents do so.”

The Prepare 4 game will collect your name, zip code and e-mail address and then has you search through the aisles of a grocery store to find missing items in your emergency kit.  The game will pause at some point and ask you some questions about your household (number of persons, pets, etc.) and you’ll soon receive an e-mail with a customized emergency supply list that you should get for your household.  It’s a good list.  The one they sent me you can see here.

The Do More site also has a flash bulletin board called My Kit where people can post and share their own ideas for items that should be included in an emergency kit, or you can simply browse the ideas of others.  (I assume someone is vetting the submissions before they are made publicly available).

Making learning about preparedness to be a fun online experience is a great way to attract an audience and impart important knowledge.


Here are a few good disaster preparedness simulation games that we thought we would share with you:

Beat the Quake: developed by the Earthquake Country Alliance: in which you attempt to ready your room by securing furniture and other items before a quake hits  (impossible to get them all I’ve found)

Stop Disasters: developed by UNISDR (the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction): a very detailed and complex simulation about how to mitigate natural disaster risks from tsunamis to wildfires to earthquakes to hurricanes and more.  You have to build a resilient and resistant community before a natural disaster strikes in order to minimize the loss of life and property.

Red Cross The Game: developed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): a simulation of responding to international humanitarian disasters as the IFRC’s Emergency Response Unit does.  (Great fun, it reminds me of my days in the field).

So do more than cross your fingers, if you do, you’ll be Living Prepared™.


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