Three little pigs and a young girl with a red hood all faced the same hazard — a big bad wolf. People can learn a lot from these children’s stories. The Dare to Prepare at the Fair booth, put together by the Richland County Disaster & Emergency Services and the American Red Cross, will follow this theme, encouraging the community to prepare for potential disasters just as the clever pig with the brick house did.
The booth still will have great prizes, including cool survival gear, Powder Keg pizza gift cards and other local donations, but this year Richland County fairgoers can win prize tickets for steps they’ve taken to “Beat the Wolf” and prepare for disasters such as storms, floods and fire.
Little Red Riding Hood teaches the importance education and knowledge can have in avoiding and surviving disasters as three key risk factors emerge:
Ignorance — Had Little Red known how to recognize wolves and how they behave, she would have responded quite differently. In the same way, our knowledge of potential hazards, such as how quickly storms and floods can become dangerous, can save lives and property.
Inexperience — Red Riding Hood had never met a wolf in the woods before, so of course she had no idea what to do. Do you doubt the value of a fire drill? Scientific evidence shows our brains default to the familiar and struggle to process a new situation. Each time we reinforce “hear an alarm, respond immediately, follow a certain route to safety, account for every family member,” we multiply our odds of “beating the wolf” in a crisis.
Invincibility — The attitude of “it won’t happen to me” has cost many a life. If we believe a severe tornado or a hazardous materials crisis can’t happen in Richland County just because it hasn’t yet, we are fooling ourselves.
The three little pigs show the value of forethought and follow-through. The pig who built his house of brick had a wise plan and implemented it. Many have solid intentions, but never seem to get around to acting on them, leaving them just as vulnerable as his two brothers. This week is a great time to take action.
We want to reward all the clever little pigs at our fair booth in the Event Center. Stop by each day and receive a ticket for each step you’ve taken to “Beat the Wolf,” from installing smoke alarms to creating emergency plans. We’ll have fun for kids and a new theme every day so come Dare to Prepare at the Fair.
To learn more about preparing for emergencies, visit www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies.html.