In a completely informal poll of friend’s Facebook statuses, I would say that about 85 percent of my peers chose to drink any worries they might have had about Sandy away. Their emergency kits included cases of beer, bottles of wine and brownies instead of water.
This is the first natural disaster I’ve spent in my own apartment. I made an attempt at emergency preparedness. I bought some emergency candles. I stocked up on a little extra food but ate most of it today while watching CNN’s storm coverage. I bought a flashlight, but my dog chewed it. So, I gave up on storm preparation.
It turns out that my approach to weathering the hurricane may be all too typical. According to a September news release from the Ad Council on emergency preparedness, only 17 percent of Americans consider themselves very prepared for a natural disaster, while 71 percent agreed that taking simple steps to plan ahead could help protect them and their family.
Where is the disconnect between what people think is important to do to prepare for a storm and what they actually do?
For one thing, storm preparation can be expensive. TheDollarStretcher.com offers a few tips for readying for an emergency on a budget, including a recipe for hardtack.
But I don’t believe that I’ll be in a situation that will be dire enough for me to resort to eating hardtack, and I think that is actually the heart of a young person’s attitude toward emergency response. As a 20-something, I also feel invincible. Sandy take your best shot. Flood a road, and I’ll swim across it. Drenching rain, lashing winds, that won’t stop me from going outside.
And more importantly, I’m not responsible for anyone’s safety but my own. I don’t have a spouse, children or even my own home to be responsible for, and until I do, or I experience a situation that makes me wish I had put together a First Aid kit and an emergency plan, I don’t think my attitude will change.
Me and the other 20-somethings out there will probably continue to scoff at serious warnings until we grow old enough to know better.