Both Military and Civilian Families Unprepared for Disasters

More from ACEP in NOLA:

American citizens are unprepared for a terrorist attack or natural disaster, and there are no significant differences among military, retired military and civilian families regarding preparedness for disasters, according to a new survey released during the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in New Orleans.

Drs. Richard Dagrosa and John McManus, both emergency physicians in the military, surveyed people in San Antonio, Texas, including patients in two military hospital emergency departments. The survey results show no significant differences among military, retired military and civilian families in regard to having a disaster plan, designating a meeting place or having a disaster kit. Only half the families in the survey had prepared any kind of disaster plan, and only one-third possessed a disaster kit.

This surprises me, a little.  We have all of the above, and I wonder why anyone wouldn’t.


  1. Ha! Preparing for a terrorist attack? Don’t buy into the hysteria so much, the chances of one affecting you are very slim (despite what the media would have you believe.) Furthermore, I haven’t seen any indication that having a plan for a such an event is even possible or plausible, since they are unpredictable by nature. Nonetheless, having a predetermined course of action in case of fire or lengthy power loss is a good idea for any household to discuss just in case, but the reason not a lot of people have these plans is because their frequency doesn’t warrant it. If you want to mitigate risk then don’t allow anyone in your family to drive in cars.

  2. I confess–no disaster plan.

  3. TheNewGuy says:

    Heh… I live and practice in a hurricane-prone area; disaster planning/mitigation is a part of life here.

    MREs in the closet? Check.
    Water and filters/sterilization equip? Check.
    Generator and fuel? Check.
    Aux. gas for vehicles? Check.
    Bug-out container for “the big one?” Check.
    Communications equip? Check.
    Network of ppl in the neighborhood similarly prepared? Check.

    When you’ve been through a few natural disasters, you tend to have it pretty tightly wired from that point on.

    That is, if you’re the kind who learns from previous mistakes…

  4. MI has a government funded ad campaign out right now directings its citizens to a website to help families plan for a disaster, natural or otherwise. Its actually a decent amount of fairly helpful info. I happen to disagree with one of your first commenters, anything can happen-who ever thought airliners would take down the WTC?

  5. We live in Houston so we have the required bottles for fresh water, stored non-perishables, propane stove, batteries, lights, the gas cans, etc. (Some of this is a given since we’re campers.) We don’t “worry” but we do have a plan. If it’s a hurricane that’s BAD, pack the papers, the pictures, and the dog. Head northwest, enjoy the Hill Country for a few days. Because of the petrochemical industry here it’s not completely insane to think there might be a terrorist attack or just a horrific industrial accident. In that case the plan is pack the papers, leave the pictures, get the dog, the guns, the food, and all the ammo. Meet at a pre-planned, specific place west of town, abandon the smaller vehicle, and Get The Hell Away From Houston.

  6. Jane Ann Williams says:

    Found “The Ten Commandments for calling 999” on a Brit site – thought it might be useful. It’s the Oct. 6 post. Obviously, 999 is Britspeak for 911.