Summertime is ideal for beach trips and backyard barbecues, but it’s also an active time for natural hazards. From hurricanes on the East Coast to tornadoes across the Midwest, these hazards can strike suddenly and leave long-term devastation. Disaster preparation is critical for families and entire communities in order to reduce risk and potentially prevent hazardous situations. But how do you prepare for a disaster? It’s a complicated answer, as there are many factors to address. From mental preparedness to having supplies at the ready, true disaster preparation starts with a keen level of awareness for the world around you.
Arizona State University’s expert faculty from the Master of Arts in emergency management and homeland security online program specialize in risk and hazard management. The program aims to develop students into leaders that help communities prepare for a disaster.
Professor Melanie Gall, the co-director of the ASU Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and professor Brian Gerber, the director of the emergency management and homeland security program, are actively involved in research and policy management that can help communities become more resilient when disasters occur.
We spoke to Gall and Gerber about how everyone can participate in disaster preparation.
Prepare on an individual level
While it’s challenging to imagine natural disasters and all they may entail, an important part of disaster preparation is making sure you're aware of your surroundings.
“It’s hard to get individuals, organizations and political systems to focus on something that hasn’t happened yet. It’s difficult for all humans throughout history. It’s just the way we’re built,” Gerber said.
However, there are ways you can reduce the risk and impact on your life. Gerber and Gall specifically recommend following these disaster preparation tips: