I’ve always found the concept of “all hazard preparedness” to be far too much and what scares folks away from taking the practical steps. Get ready for earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, pandemics, landslides, tsunamis, pyroclastic flows, lahars, terrorism, biohazards, asteroid impacts, locusts? Um, no. No, thank you. Generally speaking, I’d argue that most preparedness actions fall into three big buckets: Injury Prevention, Evacuation Readiness, Post-Utility Resilience.

Let’s touch on the last of those buckets. Being without utilities is a hazard in and of itself. Ironically, the steadfastness of our utilities has contributed to our societal vulnerability to disasters. Sometime between the 19th century and today, running water, electricity, telecommunications and the rest went from being a neato marvel to an extension of our existence, no less so that the clothes on our back. So when an event occurs that causes those utilities to disappear, we find ourselves…exposed. There may be no better or more tragic example of that exposure than the Texas Freeze of last February, when more than 200 people tragically died in a winter storm that neither they nor their utility infrastructure were prepared for.

This video addresses a specific issue – how to stay warm in unconventional ways when it’s really cold outside. This video series, however, is meant to help you think more generally about your agility in a dangerous world. Do you know how to avoid injury in the face of danger? Are your able to quickly get out when danger approaches? Are you equipped to withstand the environment when a hazard deals a blow to our infrastructure? If you answered yes three times, congratulations. I, for one, am like the rest of us. My preparedness is a work in progress, and my work is to encourage you to progress as well.


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