Be prepared

SUMMER is about to start, bringing with it the increased risk of a natural disaster, and like every year we have no idea what is coming, or when.

You can be pretty certain some kind of disaster is headed our way. Lives will be turned upside down, homes damaged, the things we hold precious destroyed and people pushed into financial crisis.

For some life will never be the same again.

Being prepared is not complicated; it is about four things: knowing the local risks, knowing your community, making a plan and having an emergency kit.

In addition, it is about developing a mindset that will help you deal with the emotional and psychological impact of a disaster.

It is not just about how to survive a disaster; it is also about how to recover from one.

Recovery can take years, but people who have prepared are more likely to get their lives back on track faster, with less stress and anxiety.

A key part of that is a plan to protect those irreplaceable things that matter most to you, that shape who you are � that 80s� vinyl collection, your child�s teddy bear, your high school diary.

Emergencies happen: take practical steps today to protect those things that are precious to you.

You will never get the chance to go back afterwards to reclaim what you have lost. Plan not just to survive but also to recover.

There are many free resources on the Red Cross website to help you get ready and make a plan at redcross.org.au/prepare.

Share the resources with family and friends and make sure they are prepared too.

STEVE JOSKE,

executive director,

WA Australian Red Cross.