One of the things that most people dread is the occurrence of a disaster. After the storm has passed most people usually say that they wish they had a solid plan before the event. Although the thinking about disasters can be scary, with just a few tips, you can easily prepare your family. If you take your time to get ready, you can prepare for several scenarios so that you be ready for in case of an emergency.
If you start thinking about how actions such as bracing overhead light fixtures and lighting down your gas heater, disaster preparedness can be a bit complex. While all these actions are very important the first step should be to create a disaster preparedness kit. Overall, there is a lot of value in being informed. In fact, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency, those who are exposed to information on how to prepare are are likely to take significant steps.
Types of natural disasters
While some natural disasters are predictable, others can wake you up in the middle of the night and give you very little room to prepare. This is where preparing very well is very important when it comes to natural disasters. When we talk about natural disasters, we are talking about hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, landslides among others. As you can depict from the list, there are so many disasters that can destroy us within a matter of seconds.
Although this should make you panic it should give you some signals in your head so as know how to prepare well. If you have never thought about getting ready then this is the best time to do so. The main advantage that most people have besides preparedness is that some of these usually favor some areas.
Natural disasters such as volcano eruptions, hurricanes, and landslides normally occur only in certain areas. However, disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and extreme heat do not care about the area.
It’s, therefore, important to choose the one that’s likely to occur and have a contingency plan for it. When creating your plan do not forget to involve and include your family in the plan. By doing this, they will better understand the risks hence know how to prevent being caught unawares.
Remember, Mother Nature is full of surprises and it loves giving them in 4 elements. Here are the ten tips that will help you get ready for natural disasters. By mastering them well, you will greatly protect yourself.
1. Create a plan and discuss how to get ready for most disasters
This is perhaps one of the most important things to do. By creating a plan, you will not be caught unawares. Create a plan for your household in case a disaster occurs. Include information such as out of town contacts, household information, childcare contact information, workplace and other emergency contingencies. Do not forget to add your shelter plans and evacuation routes as well.
Also, make sure that everyone knows the way to respond in case the event happens. Make sure, you identify the safest spots for each kind of disaster. If you are living near a waterway or dam, have a plan for food and other essentials that you might need. If you have a cat or dog, be sure to know their location at all times with a pet GPS tracker.
2. Gather the most essential items
Items such as food, water, and other essentials are very important in the event of natural disaster occurs. You need to have at least a three-day food water and a two week supply if you are at home. Also, you should collect easy to prepare nonperishable food items such as canned food, vegetables, and meat and fruit items. For food preparation, have charcoal and start fuel, simple barbecue, propane unit and some basic cooking containers. Don’t forget lighters and waterproof matches.
3. Identify three methods to get warnings and determine some of the best evacuation routes
When it comes to natural disasters, sirens are generally very inefficient. However, if there is a power problem you can solely rely on your landline phone, television, or mobile phones for warnings. Sign up with your local authority so as to receive mobile alerts. You also need to have a radio using batteries.
Also, identify all the entry and exits and arrange how you will leave your home. In case you cannot remain at home, you need to know where you will relocate to. Next, identify different routes of getting out of your region or state. Do not forget to brief your family about all exit plans and evacuation strategies.
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4. Have a waterproof LED headlamps
In case there is no electricity then headlamps are very important. This will not only keep your hands free to assist others but will also help you work even if you are exposed to water. As compared to the traditional lamps, they are also more durable, shock resistant, and consume a very small amount of energy. They will also allow you to see more clearly when they are perched on your head.
5. Choose a meeting point and decide how you will communicate
In case all your members are not able to reach the designated meeting point, have a variety of contingency plans in place. Choose one location that next to your place or your neighborhood and inform all the family members about this place. In the event that there is an emergency you need to arrange to meet at the closest location possible and have an out of town location as a backup in case the disaster shields you from meeting in the main location.
Also, organize a communication system if all of you are separated because of natural occurrence. You may need to give each family member a phone and make them contact cards so that they can have all their addresses and phone numbers in place. During emergencies, text messages are much more dependable than phone calls. Ensure that your children master how to use a cell phone and can be able to send a text message.
6. Know your neighborhood well
In case of a natural disaster, knowing your neighborhood can greatly help you. This means knowing the locations where you can seek shelter in case of an emergency happening and knowing how natural disasters will affect them. By looking at natural disaster list in your neighborhood, you can better understand what kinds of disasters are prominent and how you can prepare for them. This will give you a better understanding when it comes to preparing for any eventuality.
7. Have an emergency kit ready
Apart from water and food you also need to include a first aid kit and some medicine. Over the counter and prescription drugs should be put in the kit. Also, add basic first aid items such as scissors, antiseptics ointment, bandages and a suture kit. Pack extra glasses of lenses and solutions and any other supplies that you may lack in case of an emergency.
You may also need to include medicine or field medicine book for quick reference if you need one. It’s also a good thing to have some money in your emergency kit since during such emergencies even sending cash might not be very easy. To ensure that your food and medical supplies last long make sure you store them in a cool, dry place.
8. Protect your personal items and carry hygiene items
Personal hygiene products such as hand sanitizers, sanitary napkins, tampons and toiletries are usually very important when an emergency occurs. These will not only help to keep the family clean but will also make sure you stay at the shelter less worried. Hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps will help kill bacteria or virus and minimizes the chances of getting any disease. If your child is small, you should not forget to include diapers as well.
In addition to these, you should also protect your personal documents such as travel documents, birth certificates, insurance policies and other important documents by placing them in undamaged clear bag and storing them in a safe place that is out of reach in case there is too much water. In case of that you are vacating your home and seeking refuge somewhere, your emergency kit should be within reach
9. After the disaster, you watch for signs that show they might recur
Just like earthquakes, hurricanes may leave a trail of destruction. If you’ve sheltered in place, then it might be safe to leave immediately the hurricanes has ended. Although you may still see some thunderstorms the best thing to do is to leave. Next, continue to monitor emergency radio and local weather stations to see if the situation might recur. If you are not having power avoid using candles and instead use flashlight around. But if you were evacuated check with the authorities and ask them whether it’s safe to leave.
Remember, there may be flooding or stagnant flood water that might be very risky. So, just because the storm is over it doesn’t mean that it’s now safe to return to your home. Although there may not be power there may be ruptured power lines that might be very risky to step on you also need to be careful about damaged structures contaminated water and anything that might be health hazard report any strange thing as soon as possible to the authorities and safety alert for additional news about the disaster.
10. Practice, practice and practice more
In most instances, things usually happen when you least expect them. Any simple mistake could end up costing you your life. It’s, therefore, very important to practice your plan severally before the occurrence of the event. By practicing your plan at least twice a year, you will master it hence be much more at peace in case of an occurrence. Try and practice different situations with your family so that you are not caught off guard.
For instance, if you are preparing for an earthquake you need to ask participants to imagine that different parts of the house have been damaged and then ask them to search for a safe place where they can hide and teach them how to leave the house when everything has cooled down. During your practice on how to avoid disasters, you need to try different approaches such escaping with your eyes closed or blindfolded. Also if there might be a fire, you will not be able to see because of too much smoke. Don’t scare younger members of the family.
While practicing, children might not realize that this is just drill and the idea of natural disaster might end up scaring them badly. You, therefore, need to keep calm and explain as much as you can. If they are still very young, make them understand the stories using toys and other stories. If they can’t seem to understand you can seek for help from a professional.
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Although you might not need all these during in the event of natural disaster, information is very important in ensuring that you are prepared for what may. With a good amount of information, you will also be better placed to help others who are faced with the same situation. Although natural disasters are inevitable within proper preparing and planning, you can ensure that you and your family stay safe.
Having regular communication with your family members and seeking good strategies can make you prepare well. Above all, do not forget to have an up to date survival kit having all the necessities. This should include a kit for food, a kit for nonperishable items and some personal hygiene products. In flood-prone places a life jacket may come in handy. Whether you are staying in a place prone to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes or wildfire and severe winter weather, it’s very important to put in place smart plan.
On top of everything having the right insurance is very important. As a general rule do not forget to have enough food stocked up, that can last you up to 2 weeks. Remember, there is more to disaster preparedness than this list. However, this should inspire you to start getting ready.
This article has been written by Leona Harrison for Prepper’s Will. Leona is part of the content and community team at Specialty Fuel Services – providers of emergency fuel continuation services, in locations affected by catastrophic events.