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Disaster Preparedness News
Ice and Snowstorms Leave Death and Destruction in Their Wake During a December That Won't Soon Be Forgotten
The past month has been a December to remember in more than one sense. Snowstorms and ice storms left hundreds of thousands powerless and dozens dead as some of the worst weather in years hit the Central United States. Snow, sleet, rain, and ice left roads in dangerous conditions all over the country. For people who are used to such weather, it was simply business as usual, but for many who were traveling for the holidays or who simply weren't experienced in such driving conditions, the results were frustrating at best. One problem highlighted by area sheriffs and highway officials was that you simply cannot keep people off of the roads at this time of year. Though the National Weather Service and local officials tried to warn people of the dangers, many were headless of the warnings and simply took to the roads in conditions they weren't ready for (nytimes.com).
Car accidents were the main cause of death for the majority of the fatalities that occurred over the past weeks. Slippery and icy conditions left at least 19 dead in Kansas, Indiana, Texas, and Wyoming. Aside from accidents, many were left stranded in their cars as they waited for aid. It is at times like these that officials warn people to always be prepared with disaster supplies or auto emergency kits. When help can't come, a disaster kit may be the only thing you can count on in such emergencies. Advice like this probably went a long way for the hundreds of thousands who were stranded at home without power in Nebraska, Iowa, and Oklahoma. Even if they were in serious trouble, the power outages would have made it impossible for most to call out for help (nytimes.com).
When disasters like this occur, they really strike a point home. It's so important for people to pay attention to incidents like these and to prepare for them by themselves. If a storm left you stranded at home, would you have the necessary disaster supplies? If you had to travel in dangerous conditions and ended up stranded with no immediate hope of help, would you be able to find comfort in the few items that should be kept in an auto emergency kit? A properly stocked disaster kit may be the only thing that will help you become an asset instead of a liability during just such an emergency. Make sure that if you are ever unfortunate enough to find yourself in such a disaster that you are able to care for yourself, and more importantly, possibly help someone else.
By Jon Stoll
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