Disaster Zone

Sharing Disaster Public Education Materials

Do you like this form of help, or oppose it?

by Eric Holdeman / October 6, 2017

Generally when we think about getting disaster public information materials into the hands of people, we look to government publications from a variety of sources. FEMA materials and those produced by states and local jurisdictions have a variety of written publications that are shared in person-to-person contacts.

Then see this, When Disaster Strikes​—Steps That Can Save Lives, which is an electronic version of a Jehovah's Witnesses paper pamphlet. I came across it when I saw "Metropolitan Witnesses" which is what they call their stationary posts in metro areas making various publications available. I stopped to ask what kind of reaction they were getting from average citizens (two of whom I saw walking away with the pamphlet in their hands). They don't put the document in people's hands, they have to ask for them. They shared that with all the recent disasters happening, there was more interest in this topic than usual.

The emergency management content is about half of the document, followed by other information moving from energy conservation to more religious topics. It isn't something you can control — since they are free to distribute their messages as they see fit and as people ask for the information.

From an emergency management perspective only — I'll take all the help I can get. There was an old American Red Cross study done more than 20 years ago that said people need to hear a preparedness message more than 20 times before they take the first step toward disaster preparedness. 

Going back to one of my favorite quotes, "Give up some control in order to be more effective."