Is your family prepared for a natural disaster?
Natural disasters can wreak havoc on your life without any notice whatsoever. Whatever type of disaster happens, it’s always good to have a plan. Many experts agree that the difference between surviving a disaster lies in whether you have a plan.
But what are some tips for preparing for a natural disaster? It’s good to know.
Read on for some of the most important tips to keep in mind. With these, you’ll be better prepared for whatever kind of disaster will go your way.
1. Be Updated With the Latest Information
The best way to stay updated is to find and read the websites of state and local emergency services. Also, you can use social media platforms to stay informed. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are great places to start looking for info.
These channels can provide real-time updates on potential threats. They are also great sources of safety tips during such disasters.
One may also consider subscribing to MySafe, a National Weather Service program. It sends out emails to subscribers informing them of potential storms and flood watches in their area.
Tuning in to local news broadcasts is also an effective way to stay informed of the latest info. These networks usually partner with emergency services to provide accurate and reliable information.
It’s very important to stay updated before a natural disaster hits. By doing so, you can quickly and effectively.
2. Identify Meeting Places
Identifying meeting places is a key element in preparing for any disaster. Be sure to pick meeting places in advance. When doing so, take into account the layout of the area, potential hazards, and the safety of the people who will be gathering there.
It is important to choose an area that is easy to access, well-lit, and close to transportation routes. Additionally, the structure should be able to withstand extreme weather.
With this, it can keep people safe from potential threats. Be sure that they are strong enough to handle flooding, tornadoes, or wildfires.
Choose a spot that will be easy to recognize and remember. All family members, friends, and neighbors should be familiar with the exact location. This is so that everyone can meet at one set area in the event of a disaster.
Examples of the best meeting places include churches, government buildings, and open spaces. Churches or other places of worship can provide shelter. Also, they can offer spiritual and emotional support for those in need.
Government and public buildings can be often used for shelter. People can also use them for command, control, and coordination.
Open spaces like town squares are usually accessible, recognizable, and easy to find. The important thing is to pick a place that is safe and has enough supplies to last for a few days.
3. Make a List of Emergency Contacts
Making a list of emergency contacts is an important first step in your disaster planning. Be sure to have copies of your list stored in many locations in print. They should be accessible in case of an emergency.
Try to avoid relying on electronic copies of these contacts. This is because you will most likely lose power during a natural disaster.
Start by listing the 911 service and other local emergency contact numbers. Then list family, friends, and neighbors who you can reach in case of an emergency.
These contacts should include their address, phone numbers, and email addresses. Make sure to provide any special instructions they may need to alert them in case of an emergency.
Also, you should have the contact information of local officials or government agencies who can provide help. Be sure to include evacuation centers and shelters. These are among the first contacts that you should get in touch with when disaster hits.
Finally, list helpful contact numbers as well. Examples are your bank, water, electric, and gas companies.
It would also be useful to have the contact numbers of those that provide post-disaster services. One great idea is to have County Action Restoration ready to fix up damages after the disaster hits.
4. Identify and Save Evacuation Routes
Before a natural disaster strikes, it is important to identify evacuation routes. Then, you should also know how you can save these routes.
You can start by writing down the directions to places that you consider going to for evacuation. Ensure that you note alternative routes in case the primary ones get blocked off due to the disaster.
Determine which roads will be the safest and quickest to travel. When writing these routes down, make a note of any bridges, exits, roads, or routes that may have obstructions. There is a possibility that there may be flooding or debris on these routes.
Make sure to also plan for any alternatives these roads may have. Once you identify these evacuation routes, save them in a digital format. Include important information such as address details and contact information.
Mark them on a map for easy reference. Then, label them according to the type of disaster that may occur.
Be sure to store them in both a physical and digital copy. Relying on just one copy can mean trouble in case things don’t go as planned.
Being prepared ahead of time not only saves time. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that you have enough preparation for what is to come.
5. Stock up on Supplies
When preparing for a natural disaster, always stock up on supplies beforehand. Start by making a list of items that you might need. These should include food and water, medications, personal hygiene items, flashlights, and batteries.
To ensure that you have a good supply of food and water available, buy non-perishable items. Examples include canned goods and boxed meals. Also, be sure to have enough water stored up that would last at least a week or longer if possible.
Make sure you buy the right medications and health items to last a few weeks. This is in case you’re unable to get to the pharmacy for a while.
Additionally, be sure to have a few flashlights. Having extra pairs of batteries would be handy as well. You can’t tell when power will be back, so it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.
Finally, don’t forget to keep a radio so that you can listen for updates. As mentioned above, it’s always important to keep yourself updated during natural disasters. This should be before, during, and after a disaster.
6. Don’t Forget Your Pets
It’s important to remember our furry friends during times of natural disaster. As part of the disaster prep process, it is important to consider the safety of pets as well.
Remember to bring enough supplies to care for your pet in the event of displacement or power outages. Be sure to set aside food and water specifically for them.
Designate a “safe area” inside your home to bring your pet in. Prepare a safe or weatherproof kennel. It should be complete with safe toys and any other necessary items your pet may need.
You should have enough food or supplies to last their normal amount of time of expected stay in their kennel. Also, never tether your pet to a stationary object.
Additionally, it is important to have pet carriers and leashes. Having up-to-date identification is also helpful if you and your pet become separated. Consider collar tags and microchips for these types of situations.
If possible, prepare a rescue alert sticker that includes your pet’s name and your contact details. You should place this on the pet’s kennel or carrier.
Your pet should also be vaccinated, and a copy of the records is on hand. Talk to your veterinarian about possible calming medications if needed. With the proper preparation, you and your pet can get through any natural disaster situation.
7. Store Important Documents
This is key to keeping your work and personal documents safe. One important step is to store all important documents in waterproof folders and containers. These containers should all be properly sealed.
Place them in a safe, dry, and fireproof area. Great examples include a document safe or an external hard drive.
Put backup copies in a safety deposit box or separate storage facility. This is so that you can still have access if you are unable to return to your home.
If you have digital copies of your documents, such as bank statements or pay stubs, back them up in an online cloud service. There are many reliable cloud services that you can choose from nowadays. These include Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and Dropbox.
Furthermore, remember to scan the different copies of all your important documents. Be sure to have copies of your birth certificates and social security cards.
Have them stored on an external hard drive or USB flash drive. Then, store these drives in your safe or safety deposit box as well.
8. Have a First-Aid Kit Ready
Having a first aid kit ready before a natural disaster is essential. Start by stocking up on bandages, gauze, non-stick pads, tape, scissors, and tweezers. Other essentials include sterile wipes, hand sanitizer, antibiotics, pain relievers, and cold packs.
Include anything else that you think would be helpful in the event of an emergency. You should gather enough supplies for your family to use in the case of an emergency. It’s best to consider all types of natural disasters when preparing your first-aid kit.
It is also important to store all these items in a place that you can easily access. Good options include the top shelf of your closet or your attic.
Additionally, remember to check over the contents of your first aid kit at least once a year. By doing so, you can replace any expired items. By following these basic steps, your family will be better prepared for any type of natural disaster.
9. Don’t Use Tap Water
During or before a natural disaster, it is best to avoid using tap water. This is due to the potential for pollutants to be present within it.
Most water sources at these times are unsafe for drinking. Consuming them can lead to a range of health issues.
Even if the water looks and smells normal, it can still have contamination. It may contain dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli, or other harmful pollutants.
E. coli is a bacteria found in the intestines of animals and humans and is usually harmless. But if ingested, it can cause food poisoning and other serious health issues.
It can also cause more serious infections such as meningitis and septicemia. For these reasons, it is important to use only boiled water during a natural disaster. By doing so, you can avoid the risk of getting exposed to E. coli and other potentially hazardous elements.
10. Prepare Your House
Doing this will minimize the risk of losses and damage. Start with an assessment of your home and prepare an emergency plan.
Inspect your home for areas that are vulnerable to flooding, hurricanes, and other extreme weather. Make sure to secure any loose items, such as outdoor furniture, grills, and tools.
Check the integrity of your roof, as well as your windows, doors, and gutters. Trim trees and bushes that could cause damage in strong winds. Thoroughly check your property for any drainage or erosion issues.
Lastly, contact your insurance company to review any necessary property coverage options. Preparing your house before a natural disaster can be a daunting task. Keep in mind though that taking the necessary steps can help ensure your family’s safety.
Why You Should Prepare for a Natural Disaster
We can never fully predict when a natural disaster will occur. What we can do is prepare ourselves and our families.
By taking proactive steps, we can minimize the potential impacts of a disaster and help everyone stay safe. So, don’t wait! Get ready today!
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