Are you prepared should a disaster happen in your area today? How do you prepare for disaster? For disaster preparedness first you need to formulate a plan.
With all of the natural disasters that have taken place in recently, many people have started to realize that they may not be prepared for such events. While no one wants to think it can happen to them, we have all seen the footage of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey. We’ve also seen the wildfires that seem to be constantly occurring in the western United States. Natural and man made disasters can happen to real people, anytime and anywhere. That’s why it’s wise to prepare. You may think of the people termed by the media as prepers to be overreacting, but they have a point about being prepared. Preparation can help you survive a disaster instead of becoming a statistic.
Receiving Vital Information
The first part of your plan should be how you will receive vital information. The information may be prior to the event, as in the case of a hurricane. The warnings are usually sent out days in advance that you may be in the danger zone. Other disasters may not have any warning, such as the fires that rage in the west. Yet you still need to keep abreast of developments should the winds change and suddenly put you in danger. It is unbelievable how many people ignore the information and warnings put out by the authorities. If you are asked to evacuate you should do so as quickly and calmly as you can. Rescue efforts may not be available for those that remain behind. It is a good idea to have a battery powered radio that you can carry with you to continue listening to the instructions as you are traveling. Keep spare batteries with the radio in your kit. You can even purchase a radio that has a hand crank to supply power should you find yourself without batteries for any reason. Many of the newer radios are also solar powered.
You should have an emergency supply kit on hand at all times in case disaster strikes close to you. Bottled water and canned foods can be stored for long periods of time. You want enough for each family member for at least five days. Should you have to remain on your own for a few days until rescue teams can reach you these items will help you to survive. The food in your refrigerator can spoil if the power goes down which is common after a natural disaster. Make sure you keep medications on hand for those that need them on a regular basis.
If you have small children in the home make sure you have the necessary supplies on hand for them. Stocking up on personal items such as diapers, toilet paper, and toothpaste can help you to stay healthy during a natural disaster. Since you may be without power for several days you will want to have lanterns and flashlights readily available. Make sure to test the batteries regularly or replace them every year to be on the safe side. I can’t think of anything worse than the power suddenly going out and the batteries in your emergency lights are dead. Not a good way to start out a survival scenario.
A small first aid kit with essential items can be useful because you never know when someone will be injured as a result of a natural disaster. You should at least have the basic supplies to clean and treat minor wounds as well as supplies of basic over the counter medications. Many people worry about their pets during a natural disaster but you may not be able to keep them with you during that time. If possible though store food for them as well so that you won’t be sharing the food you stored for your family with them. It’s a good idea to keep some extra dry food for them in case you are rescued and can’t take them with you immediately. It may sound cruel, but rescuers may not have room for pets immediately in rescue boats or aircraft because of limited room and the need to carry as many people as possible. The same will go for bulky personal belongings.
A natural disaster can be very scary for everyone, but especially for children. Make sure that everyone is able to get plenty of rest and that children are allowed to openly share their feelings. Too many parents think it is best not to tell them what is going on but that tends to make them more afraid as they definitely know something is going on. A deck of cards can be a great help to keep children occupied and calm during a disaster, and it takes up very little room in a disaster kit.
Hopefully you will never have to experience a disaster, but it is wise to be prepared. Having essential items that you will need in case of disaster can make the difference between survival or becoming another statistic. It is a good idea to practice emergency procedures for disasters with your family as well. You don’t have to scare everyone to death, but you do need a plan for such things are communication (cell phone towers may be offline or clogged with traffic), and where to meet up should you be separated. Having a plan in place will give you and your family peace of mind should the unthinkable happen.