Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bunker Mentality

Speaking of the holiday spirit, the blog on international social marketing, Houtlust, recently looked at emergency preparedness campaigns in Canada and the United States. I was surprised to see how the American campaign showed such a conventional view of the two-parent family with a wife who either doesn't work or is clearly subservient to her husband. Because these campaigns require families to assemble disaster kits, they depend on citizens visiting websites, where online documents give them more specific instructions.

I also think that another question to be asked about any prospective disaster is: what is your plan for caring for neighbors, who may be more vulnerable than your immediate nuclear family? In actual emergencies, like earthquakes, I've noticed that people run out of their houses in the middle of the night, sometimes with no clothing on. People who aren't home owners may not have tools like gas shut-off wrenches. Elderly people may have problems locating medications in post disaster wreckage. We should all have a plan for our immediate communities as well.

(I have a nerdy tendency to give people gifts like first-aid kits or fire extinguishers, so I'm probably a biased source.)

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