A warning. A wake-up call. Time to take action. We've heard all of these phrases bandied about in the media during the past few days, following Saturday's earthquake off Haida Gwaii.
The recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. only intensifies the reality that Mother Nature always wins, and is nearly impossible to predict.
Yet a nationwide survey commissioned for the Canadian Red Cross indicates two-thirds of us haven't taken a single step to prepare for a natural disaster. And four in 10 of us lack the resources to support our families during the 72-hour period government officials always tell us to be ready for.
Yet assembling a kit and making a plan doesn't have to be expensive or onerous. You can buy a ready-made package with food, water and other basic supplies if you don't want to assemble your own, or make a list of items you need and buy them when they're on sale to save money.
Groups such as the Canadian Red Cross offer tips on putting together your own kit, and local cities offer free disaster planning workshops (PoCo has one set for Nov. 24).
Like making a will or taking out life insurance, preparing for a disaster is something many of us simply don't want to think about. But like the ostrich that sticks its head in the sand, we won't be able to ignore a natural disaster if one strikes.
If you haven't been motivated to put together a disaster plan and kit because you just don't think it will happen to you, consider the people (and pets) you're responsible for, and do it for them.
Think of it like an insurance policy. You hope you'll never need it, but can relax knowing it's there.