Natural disasters are unpreventable and have detrimental effects such as loss of lives, property damage, and displacement of people. Among the common natural disasters include earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and floods. Many natural disasters occur abruptly and catch people off guard. When you are properly prepared for a natural disaster, you can protect your family and property.
Here are several essential ways to prepare for a natural disaster.
It is essential to assess your area and identify the disasters that are most likely to happen. For instance, if you live in a near a waterway, make an emergency plan for a flood. If you live in cold areas, prepare for winter storms. Ensure that your family members are knowledgeable about how to respond to different disasters and not only the probable one. You can create a plan with your family about what to do in the event of a disaster. Identify the safest point in your home for every disaster. For example, the lowest point in your home is safest for a tornado while the highest point is safe for a flood. Determine the best evacuation routes in your home and city.
Pinpoint all the entries and exits in your home and city in case you cannot remain there. Also, develop a plan of where you and your family will go in the event you have to evacuate your home and city. For example, think about a friend’s or relative’s house you can go to. Importantly, decide on how your family members will communicate in the event a disaster separates you. You can provide a cell phone for each family member and a contact card that includes phone numbers and addresses that they may require.
Advice family members to use social networking sites like Facebook and text messages to communicate. If towers are down and the network is jammed, you cannot rely on phone calls to contact family members. Make sure that all members have installed social networking sites and know how to use them in case calls don’t go through. Ensure everyone knows the emergency plan and have practice drills.
A bug-out bag can be of great help in the event of a disaster and contains the items you will require for survival when evacuating from a disaster. It should include a three-day supply of non-perishable food, safe drinking water, clothing and blankets, battery-powered radio, sanitary supplies, and a manual can opener. Also, you should include a first aid kit, pet food, baby food and diapers, and prescription medicines. Do not forget to pack some cash and map in your BOB. You can search for a bug-out bags guide online to ensure that you pack all necessities. Important documents could be lost in a disaster and hence it is important to put their copies in a fireproof and waterproof lockbox.
Among the documents include family members IDs, birth certificates, title deeds, log books, passports, insurance paperwork, and immunization records. Also, pack emergency medical books to familiarize yourself with handling common emergency situations. For instance, how to care for a severely injured person in a disaster before help arrives. Apart from a BOB, create an emergency savings fund so that when a disaster damages your home, it does not destroy your finances too.
It is good to monitor and be aware of potential disasters in your region. You can watch news and weather reports or download apps to get alerts on disasters in your area. When natural disasters occur or are about to occur, people receive warnings from various media. In most cases, sirens, phone calls, radio, and televisions are used to alert people. However, these are insufficient means especially when there is a power outage and radios and televisions can’t function. It is fundamental to sign up for emergency alerts in your area. If a natural disaster is looming, evacuate before it strikes. The local government is your area may order evacuation prior to the disaster. Do not be reluctant to follow their instructions and if unable to evacuate, find a safe place to shelter until it is safe to leave.
Today than ever before, we can predict the occurrence of disasters ranging from hurricanes to tornadoes and floods. We can identify disasters that are most likely to occur in our areas and tell when a disaster is hours away. In line with this, we need to prepare properly for natural disasters to minimize their effect on our families and homes. Making an emergency plan, creating a bug out bag, and monitoring potential disasters are essential ways to prepare for a natural disaster.