No matter the amount of planning you do, some disasters cannot be prevented. For instance, a country like Japan has the most advanced, state-of-the-art earthquake technology, and even this nation cannot predict when an earthquake will hit with more than a few seconds to spare.
Still, this shouldn’t stop people from trying. It shouldn’t prevent them from putting in place measures to minimize the effects of earthquakes and other types of disasters, especially at a community level.
In essence, it boils down to having the right information, learning real-life skills to cope with uncertainty, and building an environment of collaboration where everyone is involved for the benefit of one another.
Having the Right Information
One of the biggest reasons why many elite athletes underperform when the lights are brightest is pressure. At the gym, nobody is watching, and mistakes often have small consequences. On the other hand, if there are less than two seconds left in game seven of the NBA Finals and your team is down by one, needless to say, there is a lot on the line on the next shot you take.
Feeling pressure is a combination of two things. The first one is panic. You are afraid of what is in front of you. Whether it’s a hungry bear in the middle of the wilderness or the massive expectations of adoring fans, you do not want to fail.
The second is not knowing what to do. There is no procedure to follow for some things in life which leads to a feeling of not being in control.
Oftentimes disasters happen unexpectedly. Still, there are ways to deal with them. If people enroll in universities and colleges to learn valuable lessons for their future lives, the same can be said for disaster-related training.
Of course, you cannot predict everything that will happen during a crisis, let alone deal with it. But the more knowledge and information you have, the better the decisions you will be able to make.
Learning Valuable Skills
Aside from knowing what to do in any given situation, the most important thing is knowing how to do it. Having the right skills will not only maximize your chances of survival but also give you the tools you need to help others.
To better deal with a disaster, a few skills you could include in your arsenal are:
- First aid. Among other things, basic first aid knowledge includes the treatment of burns, bleeding, and cardiac arrest. All of these things and more are likely to happen during a disaster.
- Leadership. Difficult situations are the perfect time to show the type of character you have. Even though many argue leadership is innate, you can also do things to learn how to perform for the benefit of many.
- Provision of food. As long as people have air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat, they will survive. In an emergency, regular food might not be available, and if it is, there may not be enough of it. As such, knowledge of what you can take from natural sources for nutrition purposes is vital.
- Building shelter. The winner of the hit American TV show Survivor is usually the contestant who can do two things. First is leading others to victory. The second is finding or creating shelter. If you are stuck in the open, your chances of survival will greatly diminish.
These and other skills will give you and the members of your community a solid foundation to rely on when disasters happen.
Creating an Environment of Collaboration
The word community comes from the ancient French word comunete, meaning common or shared by many. From the first known complex civilizations of Mesopotamia more than six thousand years ago to the modern notions of nation-state, region, city, and neighborhood, the concept of community has always entailed collaboration. If people are to succeed, they need to work with one another to achieve a common goal.
It couldn’t be truer during a disaster as the stakes are at their highest. The question, thus, lies in finding ways to bring people together and having them trust each other.
Ways to do this include neighborhood volunteer programs, local cultural awareness schemes that help people understand their backgrounds and the backgrounds of those living close to them, and fun events that let neighbors get to know each other at a deeper level.
If you want your community to be prepared the best possible way for when a disaster hits, have the right information and learn adequate crisis-management skills. You can also build stronger communities by motivating people to take part and get closer to each other.
Doing this will not only make the experience of a disaster much more bearable but also help communities strive through it.