A Guide for Survival
A natural disaster strikes seemingly any time, sometimes with very little warning. Properties are destroyed, lives are lost, and recovery is painful and challenging. Today in the world, especially in the U.S, we are facing disaster after disaster making it necessary to prepare ahead of time, so when a catastrophe strikes, you remain calm knowing your plan is in place. This year alone, around 85 federal disaster declarations have been issued, ranging from winter storms and flooding to hurricanes and wildfires. Disaster preparedness is a necessity as it's the only sure way families can ensure they have the necessities needed for survival during long-term emergencies.
Know What to Expect
The first thing to do is to conduct some research to know the type of emergencies and disasters you can expect in your area of residence. Do you live in an earthquake-prone area or on the coast where hurricanes or tidal waves are possible? A great source of information could be the local government; emergency services. These are in a position to provide you with resources that can help you learn and prepare for any natural disaster.
Mitigating the Risks of Natural Disasters
Now that you know the risks figure out a plan of securing your home by making a few modifications that could help reduce the damaged caused. It might be necessary to come up with different options depending on the disaster. It's also a good idea to map out an evacuation route to your shelters ahead of time and how to contact one another if the phone lines go down.
Tips for Emergency Preparedness
In such emergency situations, it's smart to have an evacuation bag ready with basic survival necessities. Stock on food supplies that do not require refrigeration, e.g., Mountain House freeze dried food, canned foods, juices, etc. If you are packing for an infant or pet, remember to stock on baby formula and pet food.
Gather several days' supply of water and food for each household member. Clean drinking water easily becomes unavailable before, during, and after a natural disaster due to supply shortages, contamination, and power outages, so it's good to store it early. Make sure you do so in approved storage containers. Water filters and purification tablets also come in handy during these situations.
If you have anyone on medication, remember to pack all special medical supplies and equipment necessary for their well-being. You will also want to make sure you have a comprehensive first aid kit with bandages, hand sanitizer, and over-the-counter medication you need. Learn basic first aid and CPR too.
Other supplies like extra blankets in waterproof packaging, matches, tents, protective gear, toiletries, flashlights, radio, extra cash as well as a few portable tools should be handy. Don't forget to store your important documents in a safe place like a waterproof container or dry packs. Everyone has different survival needs so pack accordingly, carrying the most essential items.
Most importantly, listen to local authorities and don't hesitate to evacuate when the need arises. If forced to weather the storm, in the case of a hurricane, get inside the most secure building possible and stay away from all windows.