Preparedness is important, especially when natural disasters, and disasters of all types, are involved. First, you need to get yourself and your immediate family on board to be prepared: because you never know what is going to happen. Having them involved is really the only way you can ensure their safety. - Learn about past disasters, and realize how relatable and personal those disasters could come if they strike. Preparing, then, for those disasters is really no different than buying health, life or car insurance. You’re basically taking out an insurance policy against future disasters. - Start slow, and don’t start with worse case scenarios – even if that’s what you’re preparing for. Ease others and yourself into the idea. - Explain to them that it’s also about preparing for things like a job loss, a loss of income, or an illness that could cause you to have to take time off of work. Talking to your kids about preparedness is also important, though you need to keep in mind to keep it age-appropriate. The last thing your want to do is over complicate it or cause your children unnecessary stress. - Focus on things that make sense to them, and try to relate to them using experiences that they can understand. Talk about what they would do if a disaster hit while they were at school. - Take it slow. Try to work the topic into everyday conversations and make sure you involve them and ask for their feedback. - Take the time to point things out when you’re out and about. Help develop there situational awareness; point out things like exits in stores, and ask questions on how they would respond to certain situations. Things you can do to convince your friends and family to prepare. - Give them the gift of preparedness. Give them something small like a vehicle preparedness kit or a first aid kit as a way to open the conversation and help change their mindset. It’s also something they can easily wrap their minds around and can help get them thinking about what else they might need. - Give them a book. A book is a great non-threatening way to introduce the subject. It covers just about every type of disaster, threat and crisis your loved ones will ever face. - Use what’s in the news. When there’s a disaster in the news, use it as a way to bring up the topic. Don’t go overboard, but try to get the conversation started and try to get your friends or family thinking about what they would do in that situation. While not everyone likes to talk about what they would do in the face of disaster, it's an important conversation to start in case (and I hope it doesn't!!) disaster strikes.