Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Diocesan Preparedness Month: Stock Up on the Basics (Lessons from Toto's Home State)

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

So says Dorothy to her little dog, stepping out of her transported house and into the magical land of Oz. And while twisters don't typically move whole houses into alternate realities, there is one thing the Wizard of Oz got right: there are a lot of tornadoes in Kansas.

Spring is a particularly vulnerable time for the prairie state, and the Kansas City Star recently published an article to remind residents about the importance of preparedness.

While it may be the last thing you want to think about, a little preparation before the dark storm clouds roll in can make it much easier to pick up the pieces if disaster strikes.

“People know that emergency preparedness is necessary, but many are not taking action,” said Almitra Buzan, public relations manager for the American Red Cross in Kansas City. “We encourage people to become prepared.”

Tom Morgan, community preparedness and national incident management system coordinator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Kansas City, offers the same advice.

“Emergency preparedness is incredibly important,” he said. “If a disaster hits, you can be financially destroyed, and you also can lose personal items that can’t be replaced. Some people assume that if there is a disaster, the government will help them out, but that’s not always the case. The first response is from local government, and only a small percentage of incidents ever receive federal assistance.”

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