A national survey showed almost two-thirds of Americans do not have a home disaster plan in place, indicating there’s been a lack of progress toward community disaster planning.
The study by the National Center for Disaster Preparedness found over a third of households with children are not familiar with their school’s emergency plans, and about 41 percent don’t know where their children would go during an evacuation.
Racine County Emergency Management Coordinator David Maack said it’s a concern for local officials and even himself. “As a parent of a child, I would want to know what’s the plan…where are you going to go if you have to evacuate,” he said.
Maack believes the complacency many have towards preparing is largely due to the rarity of major disasters, even though Wisconsin faces the potential for everything from chemical spills to tornadoes that could drive people out of their homes. “Fires can occur, hazardous material spills can happen, and we do have severe weather that impacts us,” he said.
The report argues there should be renewed efforts to improve community engagement on emergency preparedness issues, including working more closely with organizations that serve children on a daily basis.
Affiliate WRJN contributed to this report.