The survey also found that about 20 percent of those respondents think they would get help at their residence within the first hour. Another 18 percent of respondents expect aid anywhere between seven to 24 hours. Seventeen percent believe help would not arrive for more than 24 hours and about 14 percent said they did not expect to get help from emergency responders.
As part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security advises Hoosiers to be prepared to sustain themselves for three days.
“Indiana has some of the best and most dedicated emergency responders anywhere, but faced with a widespread or even statewide emergency, they probably could not meet the expectations of many of our survey respondents,” said IDHS Senior Public Information Officer John Erickson. “We have about six million Hoosiers spread all across the state and emergency responders would react first to the hardest hit, most vulnerable population. That means, in a widespread emergency, it could be several days before some residents see help.”
Erickson added that, according to the survey, more than half of Indiana households who responded did not have at least three days’ worth of food and water on hand should a disaster occur. Even more than half did not have other items recommended for a family preparedness kit, including things like flashlights, extra batteries, first-aid supplies, extra medications, extra pet supplies and copies of important documents that are hard to replace.
IDHS suggests all households try to prepare so that they can be self-sufficient for at least three days should disaster strike and leave an area with no working utilities, clean running water or passable roads.
Many communities in Indiana have Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), made up of trained volunteers who know how to provide basic emergency functions such as search and rescue, basic fire suppression, emergency medical treatment, triage and even disaster psychology. CERT is a nationwide program administered by the states, with Indiana having 47 CERT teams spread throughout the state. Members of CERT receive training from active first responders.
To find out what should be in a three-day preparedness kit, visit www.getprepared.in.gov or www.ready.gov. To find the closest CERT or to read information about how to join or start a CERT, visit www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams.