Let's hope we never have to relive the tornadoes that hit our area in March 2012. And, let's pray that we never have to experience a disaster the magnitude of the one the people of the Philippines are now enduring.

We have a good record of helping our neighbors when disaster hits, but how many of us can say we're fully prepared for an unforeseen episode?

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says individual emergency preparedness is lacking.

The survey found that more than half of Hoosier households may not be ready for widespread emergencies such as tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes or man-made disasters.

The state survey was completed by more than 2,500 people. It included a series of questions about preparedness plans, kits and various resources.

More than half of the households who responded in the survey did not have at least three days of food and water on hand should a disaster occur, according to the IDHS survey. Even more did not have other items recommended for a family preparedness kit such as flashlights, batteries, first-aid supplies, extra medications, extra pet supplies and copies of important personal documents.

Survey respondents cited several reasons for not having a disaster preparedness kit, according to an IDHS news release. The reasons included:

• People not believing an emergency will happen in their area

• Being too busy

• Not knowing what supplies to include

• The expense of the extra supplies

• Not believing the items are necessary.

IDHS spokesman John Erickson said the lack of preparedness partly stems from a false sense of security. He said 87 percent of those surveyed said they had never really experienced a widespread emergency and most people think it won't happen to them.

We know better.

So, what do the experts suggest we need to have on hand should a disaster hit?

• One gallon of water per person per day;

• two to three weeks of nonperishable food items;

• flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, copies of important personal documents, family and emergency contacts, cash and area maps, and,

• prescription medicines and medical information.

And, remember, it doesn't take a deadly storm to create problems. A snowstorm might not create fatalities, but it can keep us homebound for a few days.

Act now. It's better to be on the safe side.