Monday, July 21, 2008

Making Preparedness Attractive and Important

A few weeks ago, The New York Times ran a fascinating article about disaster preparedness. Here are a couple things that stood out to me, from author Eric Klinenberg:

For the poor, scrambling to make it through the small crises of everyday life is far more urgent than planning for a possible emergency, and investing time in preparedness efforts seems relatively unimportant.

I think this is something our volunteers see a lot in the community. The people with the fewest resources are the ones who need the most help. And of course, this:

Participants complained about having to prepare for too many specific disaster possibilities and in turn feeling overwhelmed, if not helpless.

Part of the Red Cross’s job is to make people feel empowered and prepared. How can we do a better job of communicating this message?

(Check out to see what we’re doing now.)

Kristin Claes is a writer for the Greater Chicago Chapter. Email her: claesk at

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