Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Preparation is Key: Tips for Disaster Preparedness

Preparation is Key: Tips for Disaster Preparedness

Story by Daniel Granderson

Professionals from our October feature “Ready? Set. Pack!” say they’ve learned a lot from the many hours they’ve helped disaster victims. Gain from their wisdom and be better prepared for the next natural event:

  •  No two disasters are exactly alike. Bob Mitchell, the Potomac Conference’s Adventist Community Services (ACS) coordinator, trains volunteers to always be flexible when responding.
  • Individuals, families and communities that prepare are much more likely to survive and recover quickly. A family that has an escape plan and survival box with three days of food, medications, changes of clothing, a reliable communication device and some cash (among other vital items) is better prepared to cope with such a disaster, says Minnie McNeil, ACS/Disaster Response coordinator for the Columbia Union and director for the Allegheny East Conference.
  • Personal care products are underrated luxuries. “One of the most important things we have learned is that, for people who don’t have anything, they need personal care kits: toothpaste, deodorant, soap, hairbrush, etc. Personal care is very important,” counsels Joe Luste, New Jersey Conference’s ACS/DR southern area coordinator.
  • Pay attention to the media. “Too often, out of sight is out of mind,” notes Luste. “In a very complex society—including faith-based organizations, such as our own ACS/DR and denomination—fall into this trap. Media, in this case, helps remind us that, yes, news sells and storms are news, but they are also raising people’s consciousness levels.”
  • Realize that no one person or one state is immune to natural disasters, notes Luste. We can all be impacted when we least expect it.


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