After 10 years without a hurricane in Florida, residents have lost interest in preparing. With tropical storm Erika traveling up towards Southern Florida, it’s high time to prepare. [caption id="attachment_18967" align="alignright" width="300"] Tropical storm Erika's projected path[/caption] Just yesterday it was thought that tropical storm Erika was expected to become a category 1 hurricane when it reached Florida, which means it would have wind speeds between 74 and 95 miles per hour. That’s definitely enough to do quite a bit of damage. Today, however, the storm is not expected to reach hurricane strength. But that doesn't mean it won't bring strong winds and a lot of rain. As Erika passed the small Caribbean island of Dominica, it left over two dozen people dead in the wake of severe floods. The Orlando Sentinel reports that tropical storm Erika could Replace its way to South Florida by Monday morning, and if that happens, it “will be too late to start planning.” The lack of hurricanes for the last decade has instilled an air of “it can’t happen here, it will happen to someone else” within many of the people, according to Orlando Sentinel. For folks in Florida, the time to prepare is almost past. But there is still time. True, tropical storm Erika could still miss Florida and hit somewhere else, but if you were living there, would you want to wait and Replace out? By then it will be too late. Floridians, it’s high time to prepare. For the rest of you readers out there, what have you become complacent about? Florida isn’t the only state to be effected by natural disasters. Tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and even winter storms can really make a mess of things. And then there’s job loss, stock market crash, and other economical disasters. These can be just as bad – or worse – than the natural ones. According to an in-depth study in regards to people’s emergency prep, a 2012 public safety survey suggested that “despite an increase in the number of disasters, too many Americans remain disturbingly complacent.” This complacency causes a failure to act in time to sufficiently prepare. Now it’s time to look deep into your soul and ask yourself, “Am I too complacent?” If you are, you can start preparing now. Turn over a new leaf, if you will. If you aren’t, then congratulations! You’re an inspiration to us all. If you’re not sure, then you may need to check your emergency preparations and make sure you have what you need. Even if you aren’t complacent, it’s still wise to check over your emergency prep every so often to make sure everything is still in good condition and ready to go should a disaster happen. In the past, perhaps you were able to “ride out” a storm or disaster. According to the University of Buffalo, this “can lead people to feel complacent when receiving emergency warnings.” Maybe the disaster wasn’t as bad as it was broadcast to be, or maybe you were just on the outskirts of the storm. Or, perhaps the local emergency services came in to save the day. A University of Newcastle scholar is afraid that people have become too reliant on emergency services. Such overreliance “leads to a disempowered society.” When disasters head our way, the last thing we want to be is disempowered. Take the steps now to be prepared, so when a stronger storm than you’ve seen comes, you will be the one in power, not the disaster. [caption id="attachment_18968" align="alignright" width="300"] Be vigilant to disasters, both seen and unseen[/caption] Florida may not have had a hurricane in a decade, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone for good. Just because you haven’t been in the path of a tornado doesn’t mean you won’t. As the saying goes, we’re sitting on a railroad track and the train is coming. We just don’t know when it will reach us. Likewise, we’re all in the path of all sorts of disasters. We just don’t know when they will hit us. National Weather Service meteorologist Will Ulrich hopes that, “regardless of [Erika] or any tropical system, people already have a plan in place.” And that’s our hope, too. Regardless of the disasters approaching – now or in the future – we hope you will already be prepared. Have you ever wished you were more prepared than you were for a disaster? What was it like? Let us know in the comments below!