How to prepare for natural disasters is one of those things most of us never think about or put off.
However, if you are a prepper or survivalist, you should always have a game plan in place for this.
The problem with most natural disasters should be obvious: they often strike without warning.
Granted, some disasters can be predicted in advance, such as hurricanes and perhaps winter storms or heat waves, especially if you’re watching the news, but many can’t.
Emergency Preparedness Basics
You want to follow these steps so you will know how to prepare for natural disasters.
Make a Family Emergency Plan
Between 1991 and 2013, the United States experienced 17 natural disasters that cost $1 billion or more in damages.
Earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires are just a few types of natural disasters that can cause extensive damage and leave survivors in need of help.
Emergency Planning is an essential step for families to take when preparing for these types of disasters.
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- What should you do if you can’t communicate? (for example, a meeting point)
- Backup power sources
- Information about where to find reputable hospitals
- Contact information for family, friends, and hospitals that you trust
- Routes and destinations for evacuations
You want plans that are only beneficial if they are followed, so make sure that all family members understand the plan inside and out.
The Ready program offers free templates to assist your family in developing a strategy.
You can get them at The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website for free.
Conduct a Family Meeting
To begin, make a list of the dangers that are most likely to occur in your area.
After that, have a family meeting to address particular requirements.
Consider the following:
- What will each family member’s obligations be?
- Is there anyone in the family who has special dietary or medical needs?
- Is there anyone in the family who requires special access or functional equipment, such as wheelchairs or hearing aids?
- Are there any pets that you may want to add to the plan?
- What are the essential property-specific considerations?
- Is it necessary to shut down utilities or board up windows?
- Who do you call in the event of a disaster?
- Are there family members who will want to know how you’re doing?
- Do you need to call any physicians or disaster relief organizations?
Assemble a First-Aid Kit
Make sure to keep your first aid kit in an easy-access location.
It would be best if you packed the following essential emergency supplies:
- Food and water, as well as a method to open canned items
- Medical supplies, such as enough medicine
- Supplies for pet
- Extra batteries and a battery-powered radio
- Important family records
- First-aid supplies
- Activities such as card games or board games can help keep children entertained.
Most survival gurus suggest keeping additional medicine on hand in case of a shortage or if the pharmacy closes due to a disaster; cash in case ATMs are inaccessible due to power outages or a network outage; a tank of fuel in a shed at home; and potentially a generator.
These factors can be the difference between suffering and just being inconvenienced.
Here’s what emergency preparation experts recommend you do in different sorts of disasters.
If you feel an earthquake, get down on your hands and knees and crawl or get behind a strong piece of furniture, away from shelves and other potentially falling objects.
Hold on to the shelter, especially over your head and neck, to maintain it shielding you.
It’s critical to wait until the shaking has ceased before escaping.
Most earthquake injuries are caused by individuals trying to run outside during the shaking and being hit by debris that will cause them to fall.
It’s also a good idea to practice a routine with your family called – drop, cover, and hold on.
You want this to become second nature to them so everyone can do this in their sleep.
Take a peek at Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills for more ideas on how to prepare for an earthquake with your family.
Experts advise that if you’re going to leave, you should go early.
When a storm approaches, the people in its direct path frequently all flee in the other direction, causing severe traffic congestion to get out of town.
Make sure you have extra gas in your tank and get a head start as much as possible.
Make preparations to carpool with friends or relatives if you don’t have a car.
You can also request a means of transport from the authorities, according to the agency.
During and before a storm, pay attention to all official warnings, especially evacuation instructions.
Responding to an explosion is difficult when the reason is unknown.
It’s best to presume that a secondary danger or hazard will arise due to the incident.
Examples include the discharge of toxic compounds from a meth lab explosion; a natural gas leak explosion might result in additional dangers such as shattered glass if the leak occurs.
First responders will evaluate these secondary dangers; thus, follow their instructions.
If you need to leave, he recommends gathering your emergency supplies, as well as crucial papers (such as identity documents) and cash, and utilizing your communication plan to notify your friends and family of your plans.
Explosions in the United States are very rare, but they are frequently triggered by gas leaks when they do occur.
If you smell gas, get out of the house right once and phone 911 as well as your natural gas supplier.
Ensure he has a mix of gas and carbon monoxide detectors near his gas oven range, gas washer, and dryer, so he can be alerted if there are any leaks he doesn’t notice right away.
Replace the batteries regularly.
When their home is on fire, people frequently rush to the bathroom, hoping that the water supply may be helpful.
However, in most cases, it’s normal to become trapped inside and not make it out.
You’re better off walking to a window and closing every door as you travel around the room – this will assist the fire taking longer to reach you.
If your window is above ground, experts advise you’ll need a way to get down, such as a foldable ladder.
There are several interesting new gadgets for better fire evacuation.
For Example, some detectors contain a guiding voice in addition to an audible alert; that voice can help you and your family take action quickly without having to figure out what a simple alarm noise might signify.
Fire drills should be practiced regularly, according to experts.
In addition, ensure that all family members are aware that they must leave the house promptly without lingering to grab items and that a familiar meeting spot has been agreed upon.
Of course, avoiding a fire is preferable to responding to one.
Therefore, FEMA emphasizes the need for cooking safety and the usage of portable space heaters, fireplaces, and woodstoves.
Flood preparation is comparable to other types of emergency preparation, with one key difference: flood insurance.
Many standard houses and rental insurance plans do not cover flood damage, so check your policy to see if there is an exception.
In addition, FEMA maintains flood maps around the country, allowing you to determine whether your house is at high risk of flooding.
As with a storm, follow all evacuation instructions from local authorities and prepare for a safe place with several days’ worth of supplies.
During a flood, take safety on a high floor, preferably near a window.
Bring some water and food in case your family needs it.
If you live in a one-story house, he recommends putting mattresses on top of a dining room table to provide more height if water is pouring inside.
However, be cautious while entering an attic. You could discover that you don’t have a way out.
6. Terrorist Attack
Stay home and seek shelter, experts say.
Close your windows and doors, and don’t be inquisitive, walking outside to check what’s going on.
If you do this, it might put you at risk. So instead, turn on the news and listen for official guidelines on what is safe to do and when.
Avoiding crowds is especially vital in the event of a terrorist attack.
So this is my standard piece of advice to relatives and friends.
The Red Cross has created a terrorist safety checklist that you may download, including information on how to prepare for the unexpected and shelter in place.
Tornado warnings and watches are the two types of tornado notifications.
Make sure you understand the distinction between the two.
A tornado watch indicates that circumstances are favorable for severe weather such as tornadoes, but a tornado warning indicates that a tornado is likely or has already developed.
Review your shelter strategy during a watch alert.
If it’s a warning, seek cover right away. Always go to the first floor of your home – never go upstairs.
Because many Florida homes do not have basements, choose an inside room with no windows.
Bathrooms are a fantastic choice because the sinks, shower, and toilet may make a safe haven for you if the home falls.
Also, take a battery-powered radio with you at all times to remain up to date on official instructions.
FEMA recommends listening to NOAA Weather Radio.
To sum it up
Having a plan in place for natural disasters and knowing how to handle them is a critical component in being a prepared prepper.
Let’s be honest, you are going to need to know how to handle an emergency or disaster at some point in your life.
Why not be prepared?
I hope this post will help you do just that! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on my contact page.