Things to think about before responding to any Emergency Operation
With Katrina fresh on everyone's mind and the information finally starting to flow albeit slowly out of the affected areas. I thought it important to cover a few of the questions I ask myself and maybe you and anyone else should also before activating yourself for an Emergency.
Am I and my family safe and do they have what they need to survive for the foreseeable future?
Are they capable and prepared to survive without me for the foreseeable future if I go and assist with this Emergency?
The next two deal with activations outside of your normal area of concern:
Do I have the discretionary funds (extra spending money) of my own to afford doing this and how might it affect my future obligations (bills, household supplies)?
If this is an out of state activation, who will pay my bills while I am gone? Will my job still be there or will my company allow me the time to assist?
This last is just as important as the rest and probably more so for many:
Can I truthfully deal with all that I may see, hear and feel while deployed and how might it affect me afterwards?
It is important that we all ask ourselves these questions and any others that you may think of before we agree to deploy for an emergency. Many of us do not have the extra cash to make trips like what is being asked for to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida just on a whim. Most of us have jobs that while they profess a good game are more interested in you being there than at some humanitarian function. The obvious counterpoint to this is a local event where your company or business is also affected by the event. That is not to say that Corporations are unfeeling, they are some of the biggest donors when it comes to Humanitarian Efforts and at the same time need to continue to generate income to fund their business and these donations.
The last item is one in which everyone needs to be very truthful with themselves and also realize that no one can foresee the magnitude of the carnage and destruction nor can they easily assess the affects psychologically that they may feel during and after the event.
It's not that I nor anyone else does not wish to help or for your help. Quite the contrary, every bit of help is important in an emergency. Some people just are better suited and prepared to deal with the issues that will arise. Make sure you are 'Prepared and Ready'!