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Less than 35% of Millennials + Gen-Zers have an Emergency Disaster Plan

Robyn Delmage | DEC 6, 2019

How many times have I run outside without a jacket and rain in the forecast? How often is my dad the one reminding me to keep a flashlight in my car in case my “ever-faithful” phone dies? A ton!

Chances are you’ve spent a lot of time helping your kids stay ready for whatever life throws at them. Being prepared probably feels second nature to you, but has it rubbed off of the Millennials and Generation Zers in your life? 

We all know it’s not that hard to get and stay prepared, but sometimes there’s just so much information out there that narrowing down exactly what you need for an emergency is a tricky task.

Having a trusted bank of knowledge on what supplies are crucial and how to get ready for an emergency situation is an invaluable resource.\

Guides like Redfora’s Creating Your Own Emergency Kit and their guide to Creating Your Emergency Plan

If you worry about how prepared younger folks in your life may be for an emergency, you’re not the only one. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests you’re right to be concerned.

Millenial Gen Z Photo

FEMA Survey - Emergency Disaster Preparedness

According to surveys conducted by FEMA, “The public can be placed into Preparedness Profiles based on beliefs and experiences.” 

There are four Preparedness Profiles:

  1. Part of Life 
  2. Working on It
  3. On Their Mind 
  4. Not on Their Radar 

You probably fall into the first two, most prepared categories that consider being ready for an emergency disaster situation just a part of life. That, or you’re actively working on staying prepared, just in case. 

Most millennials and Gen-Zers you know don’t even fall into the category of it being on their minds (Not on Their Radar)! Like a bunch of others in my generation, not only are we underprepared, we don’t even have a plan. 

For most of us, the Preparedness Profile of disasters not being on our radar at all is the best fit. Over half of people aged 18-34 are in this category, meaning we are less likely to perceive the high risk of disasters or to take part in preparedness behaviors.

80% of our Part of Life counterparts have disaster supplies in their homes and 65% have an emergency household plan. But for those of us in the Not on Their Radar Profile, only 35% have supplies and nearly 70% do not have an emergency plan in place!

What’s even crazier is that, in America, over 70% of us believe we aren’t actually at risk of a natural disaster. 

When Disaster Strikes

I was exactly the same until July of this year when California was hit with a magnitude 6.4 earthquake! It was the strongest to hit my state in two decades and it was frightening, to say the least. 

Family and friends called me, messaged me, reached out any way they could. Even though I was in Northern California and nowhere near the quake itself, they all wanted to check in on me. That eventually led to the conversation of, “Well, if an earthquake struck near you, are you ready?”

That was the real question. Am I ready? The answer was, “Absolutely not!” Sure enough, my dad was on my case in a heartbeat! After everything he taught me and how my mom would worry, how could I not even have an emergency kit!?

The next day California was rocked by the 7.1 magnitude aftershock. That’s when it really hit me. My family was right. I can never be too prepared, especially living here with the wildfires and earthquakes. 

There have been 98 Disaster Declarations made by FEMA in the United States this year so far! That’s a ton of potential emergency situations and yet preparedness is something my generation just doesn’t seem to be talking about. 

FEMA found that simply talking about being prepared had a strong positive relationship with preparedness behavior and I believe it. After all the conversations my family started about whether or not I was really ready for an emergency got me thinking about how remarkably unprepared I actually was.

Starting these conversations goes a long way to making sure your entire family, and those you know, evaluate their own preparedness.

Potential Barriers to Preparedness

The first thing I ran into was how expensive I thought everything would be. I started overthinking it all. What do I need? Where do I start? I’m internet savvy but there is so much information out there it got overwhelming super quick.

Apparently, among those surveyed by FEMA, cost and not knowing how to properly prepare were the two biggest obstacles standing in our way. 

I went to my dad for advice for his tried and true methods of emergency prep. He brought up things like keeping a small cache of food and water, being sure to have a first aid kit, but I imagined there were more options. 

I wanted to make my emergency pack ultra-useful for any sort of disaster but knew my budget was tight. I threw together a small kit of the essentials but I had no idea how limited it really was.

Get Ready For Anything with Redfora!


For months, I’ve felt satisfied with my little emergency supplies hiding away in my closet but I just found exactly what I was looking for. Redfora’s Earthquake Bag.

I was blown away by how much they can fit into that backpack. Food, water, first aid (Basically all that was in my first kit) and so much other stuff it’s crazy! It’s got gloves and goggles which I didn’t even consider but in an earthquake emergency would be beyond handy because of potential debris. 

The Complete Earthquake Bag also has a hand-crank radio/flashlight/charger combo so I wouldn’t miss any important announcements, a tube tent with sleeping bags, and even a 12-hour bright stick. There’s so much more, it’s hard to believe it all fits in a backpack.

With the holidays around the corner, I’ve decided to ask my dad for the gift of peace of mind. My poor little kit will only get me so far but I really want that Complete Earthquake Bag. It’s not too expensive but getting it as a gift would let me save a bit of money. Plus, I never really know what to ask for anyway. 

Of course, I’ve come across more kits that I really need to feel as prepared as my wiser family members. 

I got to thinking, I probably should have something for the car in case disaster strikes while I’m away from home. The Complete Emergency Car Kit from Redfora has everything I need if I break down in the middle of nowhere. 

Now, I’m not the only one living in my place. I’ve got my two baby chonky cats and keeping them safe is just as important as keeping myself safe. I want to be a good cat mom like my dad is to me and make sure they stay prepared!

Redfora’s Pet Emergency Kits are so cool and help give me peace of mind about being able to care for my pets in an emergency. It’s got a water feeding bowl, a reflective leash, a can opener, even silly little cat toys to keep them entertained. Not to mention a ton of other essentials. It makes so much sense to have this on hand. 

The rest of my family is aware of my little wish list this year and I’m jazzed. Starting conversations like this can be hard but we can’t wait for the disaster to get talking. Getting and staying prepared is crucial and I’m so happy we’ve finally decided as a family to keep each other in check. 

Get the conversation going by sharing Redfora’s guides for Building Your Own Emergency Kit and Creating Your Emergency Plan. Or go the extra mile this holiday season and surprise them by customizing a kit to fit their needs. Redfora.com has so many options to choose from, you’ll have no trouble putting together the perfect emergency kit for your loved ones.

Make sure the Millennials and Gen-Zers in your life put preparedness on their radar so they can be just as prepared as you want them to be. They may not get the message otherwise.