Disasters usually strike unexpectedly and without any forewarning. It can force you to evacuate your suburb, workplace or school or can confine you to your home.
Have you ever wondered what you might do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity or telephones-were unavailable?
Local officials and emergency responders will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately and the sad truth is they will be overstretched when you need them the most.
Therefore, the best way to make your family safer is to be prepared way before disaster strikes. This is the heart of prepping.
Here are some pointers for preparing for natural disasters:
- Get to know the types of disasters that can occur in your community. Are you close to a fault line? Or are you in a low lying area with a river or dam nearby. Knowing the geography for a potential disaster can help you prepare intelligently.
- Make a family communications plan that includes an evacuation plan and coordinate with your school, work communication plans. Practice this plan with your entire family.
- Create a disaster supplies kit that includes enough supplies for each family member for at least three days. Remember to check your kit every six months.
- Make sure your children know what smoke alarms, fire alarms and local community warning systems (horns, sirens) sound like and how to respond.
- Teach your children how and, equally important, when to call for help. Even very young children can be taught how and when to call for emergency assistance.
- Children should memorize their family name, address and phone number. They should also know where to meet in case of an emergency. Some children may not be old enough to memorize the information. They could carry a small index card that lists emergency information to give to an adult when an emergency situation arises.
If you commute to work, make sure you know alternative routes and carry appropriate supplies, such as a disaster supplies kit in your car and a compact kit with bare essential items such as a flashlight and whistle on public transportation. If you have a smartphone look for “apps” that supply local emergency information.
The key is to be aware of what emergency might most likely occur and then prepare for them.
The Red Cross has tips and tactics to help you prepare. The time to get ready for unexpected situations is now-while you have time.