As a society, we have made tremendous strides in prioritizing self-care and integrating wellness into our communal list of priorities. In concert with this evolution, we have subscribed to, purchased, consumed, and adopted endless techniques and tools that have promised to deliver perfect health and well-being. In the meantime, we have overlooked one of the most obvious and accessible means of securing our own well-being...personal preparedness.
Studies have demonstrated that we can experience a reduced stress response to uncertain situations when we have a perceived sense of safety, or that we will be ok. Preparing for an emergency provides that sense by giving us some idea of what to do and/or what to expect. The benefits of reducing or limiting our stress response are well established both from a health perspective as well as an emergency response perspective. Indeed, the negative impacts of excessive stress on our bodies is well documented, so anything we can do to reduce stress levels is a step in the right direction. This benefit is multiplied in the emergency context, because a reduced stress response during an emergency allows for clearer focus, improved memory, and better decision making.
The Ripple Effect
While personal preparedness is obviously a 'personal' endeavor, the fact is that increased readiness or resilience of one person within a family, community, or organization increases the overall resilience of that unit. Think about it...if you take the time to put together a go-bag or stockpile basic supplies, your ability to sustain yourself during a disaster will in turn allow you to also support others.
The ripple extends even further when we prioritize the readiness and resilience of others. For example, when a leader supports their employees or team members in becoming personally prepared, those same individuals will be able to support the continuity of the organization during a disaster. The resilience of that organization may in turn contribute to the overall resilience and well-being of the community in which it is located...and on and on.
Be the First Drop
To start the ripple, we need the first drop. The best place to start is exactly where you are. Understanding your currently level of readiness and resilience is critical to mapping your way forward. Take my Ready or Not Assessment to determine your resilience score today.