Report: Most people know how to prepare for disasters, but they're too lazy

Posted at 4:39 AM, Mar 01, 2018

CINCINNATI -- When the worst flooding the Tri-State has seen in 20 years recently hit the area, the Hamilton County Emergency Operations Center was set up and ready. 

Now emergency officials want to know if local families are as prepared as they are for a disaster. They recently released the Hamilton County Hazard Mitigation Questionnaire Response Report, which details about 1,800 responses. Seventy percent of the responders live and/or work in Hamilton County.

Ryan McEwan, the assistant director of Hamilton County Emergency Management, said most of the people who responded have been through tornadoes, flash floods and the 2008 wind event. But that still doesn't mean they're ready for the next big disaster.

"I think the results tell us that most people know they need to be prepared, but they aren't taking the steps they know they should take," McEwan said. 

The survey asked about preparation methods: Do you use a weather radio? Do you have an emergency plan? Do you have enough food and water to get through 72 hours?

"Most people who haven't prepared for disasters honestly said ... 'I'm just lazy,'" McEwan said. 

Thirty-eight percent said they didn't know what to do. 

There are several components that experts say should be included in an emergency plan: communication, a meeting place and delegation of tasks. 

"Somebody's going to grab the kit, somebody's going to grab the pets, somebody's going to make sure the utilities are turned off," McEwan said. 

It's also a good idea to keep copies of family focuments and medical information in the preparedness kit, along with family phone numbers and some cash, according to McEwan. 

Officials plan to use the survey results to work on a public education plan.

"We're going to let people know how to be prepared, how easy it is, how cheap it is," McEwan said.