The Huffington Post April 26, 2015 23:25

Disaster Prep: Are You Ready?

Posted: Updated: 

Lately I've been inundated with messages about disaster preparedness. Is the universe telling me something? I sure hope not! Being prepared is one of those things I never thought to bother with because I'm optimistic that any sort of catastrophe won't happen to me. Many people are in the same school of thought as I am on this, yet most of us tend to make health insurance a priority, right? Is disaster prep that much different?

So, as television and the Internet are starting to kick open my firmly closed door on the reality that I actually am a physically vulnerable human-being, I thought I might actually take a look at what other people are doing.

Disaster preparation can be a sensitive topic to bring up with people. Nobody wants to feel like a Chicken Little explaining to their friends that they keep astronaut food in their backpack in case a meteor hits. And I certainly don't want to live under a cloud of "something might happen." My outlook has been that I'm not likely to use a personally prepared survival kit, so why waste the time and money. 

But I live in New York City and have friends who were directly impacted by emergencies such as terrorist attacks, crane collapses and storms. And that's a city that's not even susceptible to disasters that are more likely to happen in other parts of the world. So when I put two-and-two together -- disaster-plus-preparation - the answer is Yes! Yes! We must be prepared. It can't hurt, it will only help.

The most user-friendly disaster preparedness strategy is the Bee Prepared: Go Bags concept created by mother and activist Michelle Manning Barish. This is a logical and un-scary approach to possible catastrophe. In fact, she even includes her daughter Bee in the YouTube video, which puts me at ease knowing that if a sweet little girl can prepare for disaster with a smile and style, then so can I! The video is captioned as a "Mom's practical guide", but Barish's refined and articulate direction is appropriate for anyone who needs a smart and efficient go-bag. 

The next level up on the intensity scale is Black Umbrella's emergency safety plans and products. Created by Catherine Hooper, the company was conceived out of Hooper's own frustration with not having an emergency plan for her family. Black Umbrella taps into resources such as certified and bonded tactical specialists to provide emergency plans, preparedness gear, and more. There are different family plans available and some include practice family drills, on-call service and more. 

But nothing is as intense as National Geographic's Doomsday Preppers. Not so much a 'how to', unless you're the prop-master for the next Planet of The Apes movie, but definitely entertaining. So if you need any motivation to subscribe to Bee Prepared: Go Bags, Black Umbrella or any other disaster preparedness information, then start here!

And lastly, let's hope none of us ever really have to use our go bags or emergency family plans, but it's always better to be safe than sorry!