September is National Preparedness Month, so we are reminding everyone in the Midland family to take hold of their family’s preparedness firmly by the reins. We spoke to an expert about preparedness for any catastrophe, from severe weather disasters to civil emergencies. Anthony Karaboghosian is the founder of ICON Survival Gear, a company that specializes in survival and emergency kits. Anthony started creating these kits for his family and friends and has since transitioned his pastime into a business. He spoke to us about the importance of preparing for emergencies.
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What made you interested in creating a survival kit?
My main goal originally was having my family and friends safe and prepared in an emergency/evacuation scenario since we live in Southern California. Having earthquakes, fires, power outages etc. constantly around, having a kit was the natural thing to do. My family also enjoys camping so I always stayed prepared for those trips too. Fortunately, it slowly flourished into a business that I take pride in doing and continue to make others aware.
How do you think this current pandemic has changed Americans’ mindset about preparedness?
I think it has brought more awareness in general, but I still don’t think Americans are prepared as much as they should be and unfortunately panic mode kicks in when things happen. We unfortunately witnessed the stores empty, aisles deserted. That’s the reality we live in and we need to change and be better prepared. I strive to inform people at the very least, based on the region they live in, the natural disasters within that area you have to prepare for, at the minimum if not for anything else.
What can people do to prepare for wildfires that are currently ravaging California?
I have family/friends who have been affected, have had to evacuate due to these fires as well as previous ones so this is a very close subject matter. First and foremost:
- Stay connected with the latest news, forecast and affected areas.
- Have a family game plan of an immediate evacuation plan.
- Do not wait or hesitate. Have the car packed with personal belongings, pack clothing, documents, etc. even if you might not have to be evacuated, but know the area is in danger of fires.
- Keep dry vegetation at a minimum around the house.
- Always have a survival kit and first aid kit.
- Never ever wait till the end!! Leave and obey firefighters and police when the time comes to evacuate. Doing everything at the last minute is what gets people in trouble.
Do you believe a radio would be beneficial for emergency preparedness?
Absolutely!! Staying in communication is key and essential.
What would you would like us to remember about preparedness?
Be Prepared / Stay Ready is my company’s motto. Here at ICON Survival Gear, we do our best to prepare our customers the best way possible. I too am still constantly learning, trying out new gear, learning from experts, etc. Whether it’s a day hike, vehicle kits, evacuation kits, trauma kits or first aid kits. Sometimes we have to be our own first responders!!
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You can find more information about ICON Survival Gear by checking out their Instagram @icon_survival_gear. Right now is as good a time as any to prepare yourself for disaster, whether it’s natural or man-made. September is National Preparedness Month – remember to keep yourself updated with any changing weather patterns and to have your emergency kit ready to go if you need to evacuate.