Still Unprepared For Natural Disasters

Blacks more likely to be affected and less prepared

It appears that recent natural disasters such as the California wild fires and Hurricane Katrina have taught Americans very little about emergency preparedness. According to a 2006 American Red Cross study, 19% of African Americans say they are not at all prepared for a natural disaster, compared with 10% of whites.

In another study, Harris Interactive, an independent marketing research firm, found that most Americans do not have an emergency kit, a devised evacuation route, or plans for their pets, should a catastrophe strike .

Darlene Sparks Washington,_the Red Cross’ director of preparedness, explains that African Americans should pay particular attention to developing an emergency plan: “Because of geographic concentration, African Americans are more likely to expect a natural disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane in their community in the next two years, 44% compared to 34% of whites.”

It is recommended that all families take action by selecting an emergency contact, preparing a medical kit, establishing a meeting place, and purchasing emergency supplies in advance, among other things.

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