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Are You Ready? Planning and Preparing for Disaster

Posted by: Byllye Avery, Founder, Black Women's Health Imperative on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 4:21:44 pm

When I was in elementary school, we were taught “duck and cover. It was an exercise that provided a way to protect ourselves in case the United States became the target of a nuclear attack. We were told, that when we saw a flash of light, to duck under our desks or a table, assume the fetal position and cover our heads. In addition to fire drills this became a routine that was repeated at least once a year.

As we learned this drill at school, many adults built bomb shelters in their backyards and basements. Recently on HGTV, a couple discovered a shelter built under an abandon school with canned goods and other staples. Most people took the idea seriously, since many in Japan suffered two nuclear attacks.

In March 2011, we watched in horror as Japan was hard hit by a tsunami that destroyed towns and tossed cars and homes around as if they were toys all near nuclear plants. I was mesmerized as I watched the wall of water approach the beaches of Hawaii. I thought seriously about those of us who live in beach towns and how Mother Nature can powerfully and quickly destroy her creation.

It certainly made me think is my family ready.

There are many types of disasters that we need to prepare for such as fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, tornados and terrorism. Thoughts of these disasters present many questions:


  • How do I prepare my home before a disaster?
  • How will we be notified in case of an emergency?
  • What do I need to have in a to-go bag?
  • Where is the nearest shelter?
  • What about my aging or disabled family members?
  • How do we communicate when there is a power outage?
  • What if cell phones don’t work?
  • How much and what kinds of food should we have available?  
  • What do I do if my children are at school and I am at work?


These are a few of the questions we must address as we force ourselves to think about disasters that we hope never happen to us.

If you are like most of us and have not given this much thought then you must think about how to protect yourself and your family. Knowing what to do could save your life and the ones you love. Tune in to First Wednesdays: Conversation with Byllye and Ngina on BlogTalkRadio, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at 2 p.m. EST to learn how to prepare your plan. Click here to listen.

If you have a plan for your family share it with us.


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