It won't happen to me
By Ayushri Jain
One of the most pervasive challenges in advocating for emergency readiness is the human tendency to underestimate personal vulnerability. Even when individuals are aware of potential risks, there’s a prevalent belief that they won’t be the ones directly impacted. This mindset often leads to a dangerous complacency, where despite knowledge about the risks, people assume they’ll be exempt from facing those challenges. It is a phenomenon observed across various domains, including natural disasters and emergencies. The recent SAFER TAMU movie night served as an eye-opener to this very issue. The screening of “Volcano: Escape from Whakaari” starkly portrayed the stark reality that disasters don’t discriminate. They can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. Despite this reality, there’s a pervasive disconnect between awareness and action. The belief that ‘it won’t happen to me’ fosters a false sense of security, deterring individuals from taking proactive measures to prepare for emergencies.
This attitude is not unique to any particular community or institution. It’s a universal challenge that necessitates a fundamental shift in perception. Acknowledging the possibility of being directly affected by a disaster is the first step towards fostering a culture of preparedness. SAFER TAMU, through its initiatives and engagements, strives to bridge this gap between awareness and action. By facilitating discussions, events, and educational campaigns, the team endeavors to challenge this complacency by highlighting the importance of preparedness, irrespective of perceived personal immunity. The goal is not to instill fear but to inspire a sense of responsibility and empowerment. Every individual has a role to play in ensuring their own safety and that of their community. Ultimately, breaking the cycle of complacency requires a collective effort. It is about encouraging a shift in mindset - from assuming immunity to embracing preparedness as a proactive and responsible approach to safeguarding ourselves and our communities.
Led by Amanda, an Emergency Management Specialist whose dedication to the cause is palpable, the movie night delved into the repercussions of insufficient emergency preparedness. It is disheartening that despite the evident risks, emergency readiness often fails to receive the attention it warrants. I think it is time to recognize that preparedness is not an option but a necessity. Let’s heed the wake-up call and collectively embrace the responsibility of being prepared, because when it comes to emergencies, it’s not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’.