Anyone who has gone to the FEMA web site, attended a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training program, listened to the news, etc., knows that they should keep enough supplies on hand to allow them to survive an emergency for at least 72 hours.
Ask yourself this:
If right this moment, as you are reading this, your area was hit by a severe earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado or other disaster, how long could you survive using only your own resources? Do you have food and water for several days for everyone in your household? Medicine? Supplies for your pets?
The government repeatedly tells us it can't get to us or assist us in any way for approximately 3 days after a major disaster. They have proven this to be an optimistic estimate in
If you are not fully prepared for you and your family to survive at least three days without electricity, running water and help from anyone outside of your household, it's time to remedy that. Before you give a single dollar to help the Katrina victims, make sure you have sufficient disaster supplies for your household. Any emergency worker will tell you the first priority is to take care of yourself and your family in an emergency and THEN worry about helping others. While this truth may be brutal and seemingly selfish, it ensures that you and yours will not become victims that will require other people to spend resources rescuing and taking care of you. This means that those needier than you have a greater chance of getting help because you won't be part of the problem.
Here's my recommended priority list for protecting yourself and then helping others:
1. Prepare a disaster plan for your family and make sure everyone learns it. What should you do? Who should you contact? Where should you go? Where should you meet if phones are down?
2. Get a 3 day emergency kit for your home
3. Get a 1-3 day emergency kit for each of your cars (after all, you could be trapped anywhere, while commuting, while at the store, etc.)
4. Get a 1-3 day emergency kit for your place of work (most people spend 5 days a week at an office, so chances are good that an emergency could find them at the office rather than at home.)
5. Give what you can to help Katrina vicitims.
Before people call me selfish, know that everyone in my household has already followed the above 5 steps, including donating money and supplies to Katrina victims.