Sara Evans knows firsthand the need to be prepared for a disaster. The country music star grew up in a small Missouri town that suffered a devastating flood. 

“The American Red Cross came in and helped so many families and it always stuck with me and made a deep impression,” she says.

From this experience, Evans learned the importance of giving back to those in need. After all, you never know when you are going to be the one who will need that helping hand. Evans is using her childhood experience to encourage everyone on the need for disaster awareness and preparation. As an ambassador to the Red Cross, Evans learned that many people aren’t prepared for a potential disaster.

Getting equipped

The first step for preparation is simple. Both the home and vehicles should have a well-stocked supply of basic everyday items such as bottles of water, blankets, flashlights, first aid kits, and spare batteries. The second step is having a plan in place for emergency situations before they happen.

Some families, for example, have designated meeting areas or a binder filled with copies of important papers, including important phone numbers in case cell phones aren’t accessible. Having that plan can go a long way in relief and rebuilding efforts. Evans and her family have talked through what they would do if something were to happen and have a plan in place.

“In the end, not being prepared is the biggest obstacle to being safe and finding relief in an otherwise harrowing time.”

Starting a conversation

It’s also important to talk to children about worst-case scenarios without making it too scary. They need to see that their parents are calm and collected, so they can trust their parents’ guidance.

Overall, when it comes to preparedness, general awareness is key. No one ever wants to imagine having to go through a disaster, but if you just take a few minutes to get the supplies and make a plan with your family, the situation will feel less frantic if something were to unexpectedly happen. In the end, not being prepared is the biggest obstacle to being safe and finding relief in an otherwise harrowing time.

“I encourage everyone to take just a few moments and put together a plan in the case of a potential disaster and make sure you’re prepared,” Evans says. “If something were to ever happen you’ll thank yourself and your family will thank you as well.”