Graphic by Jayden Liu


Recent events, like earthquakes, fires and hurricanes, draw attention to the importance of preparation and planning.

Natural disasters and their lasting aftermaths make us question whether we are truly ready for emergency situations. We are given an abrupt reality check when we see victims suffering the effects of a great catastrophe.

Real experiences will not always be the same as practices and drills, in which nerves and panic are variables we usually forget to consider.

For example, students take part in drills for earthquakes every year, such as our state’s Great ShakeOut on Oct. 19. We are thoroughly prepared for earthquakes, as we have been trained to “Stop, Drop, and Cover” ever since grade school. However, when we have not experienced the firsthand dangers of a natural disaster, we are prone to taking earthquakes lightly and expect it to not happen to us.

This leads to lowering our guard, possibly having serious occurrences, even though earthquakes are dangerous and no one knows when one will strike. We must always anticipate what we least expect in order to deal with challenges as best we can.

In order to be prepared, we should have emergency resources available in our homes and cars. Liters of water, non-perishable packs of food and flashlights are essential. Unless we have truly experienced having no resources, the thought of having no water or electricity is frightful to imagine, especially since we are a generation who relies heavily on the Internet and technology.

Having a plan ready is just the beginning. Being able to initiate and follow through without frenzy is what we should strive for. This does not only apply to natural disasters but also to everyday situations, such as school, sports and social relationships.

There may be times when a teacher hands out a surprise test or quiz; moments like these require preparation and readiness. We could have taken some time the night before to review class material. Even though the quiz will be unexpected, it is still a smart decision to go over information from each day’s lessons, which can benefit us in the long run.

We must not wait until we are struck by an unexpected change in our day, big or small, and end up suffering the consequences. We end up regretting what we could have done to avoid those consequences. Instead of these regrets, we should take the time we have now to prepare for the future.

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