Ten Things to Consider When Preparing for Natural Disasters
Natural disasters can occur in the form of a hurricane, earthquake, flood or tornado. These affect thousands of people per year. The key to survival is the ability to identify possible threats and taking proper precautions to protect oneself, one’s family and community. This involves proper planning and preparation ahead of time. These ten tips will help you to prepare for any emergency.
1. Compile a Kit
First of all, buy a natural disasters list (check out what it is below). Next, purchase an emergency kit from the Red Cross at affordable price and keep it at a proper place. You can also make a kit using a large 20-gallon container with a lid. This kit should contain a supply of semi-perishable and imperishable food, first aid materials, batteries and a radio. Also, include some cash in this homemade kit. Tape a card at the top of the container; this will serve to remind you of the expiry date of food and other supplies.
Your mom must teach you what to do in case of a disaster. An effective communication strategy will prove useful in an emergency. An adult must ensure that the child knows the telephone number, so that he or she could contact the parent at the time of emergency. Make a card with your plan for each family member. This should include contact numbers and an emergency location. Provide a copy of this to your child’s school or daycare. Whistles with lanyards will be useful in locating each other in the event of a power outage.
3. Lifejackets and an Axe
If you live in a flood-prone area, having an axe and lifejackets will be useful for your survival. Store these on the highest storey of your home. In the past, many hurricane victims have died in the attics of their homes due to rising waters and no way of getting onto the roof. Investing some extra bucks in an axe and some lifejackets may actually save your life.
4. Clean Water
Make use of chemical water treatments and water filters to ensure that water is safe to drink. After heavy rains, the water quality in reservoirs can be reduced due to increased turbidity. This is caused by suspension of settled sediments resulting from agitating the water. Invest in a water filter that has a carbon core to remove waste, foul odors and tastes. This will provide a clean supply of water that you will be able to drink in occurrence of any natural disasters.
5. Waterproof LED Headlamps
Headlamps are a necessity in cases where there is no electricity. Not only will these keep your hands free to climb or assist others but also they will work even if they are exposed to water. They are also shock-resistant, more durable than traditional light bulbs and consume only a small amount of energy. Another benefit is that, they will allow you to see more easily as they are perched on the top of the head.
6. Know Your Neighborhood
Knowing your neighborhood is important for your safety at the time of a natural disaster. This means knowing the locations of emergency shelters in your neighborhood, as well as the natural disasters, which affect it. A natural disasters list has the list of disasters, which have affected the country as a whole and the various states. This will give you a better understanding of the disasters for which you have to prepare. This can better aid your planning and preparation.
7. Personal Hygiene Products
Personal hygiene products such as antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, tampons, sanitary napkins and toiletries are necessary. These will help to keep the family clean and make your stay at the shelter less problematic in the event of natural disaster. Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers will kill bacteria and reduce the risk of any disease. If you have a newborn baby in your family then you should also include some diapers to your kit.
8. Medical Supplies and First-aid
A first-aid kit and a supply of medication are essential to surviving natural disasters. Ensure that there is enough medication to last at least a week. Include Over the counter medication such as children’s painkillers and ointments to your kit. Other crucial medical supplies include insulin, prescription drugs and an inhaler. The first aid kit should contain bandages, iodine, alcohol, gauze, tape and gloves. Purchase other essential items, which do not come with the first-aid kit from a local pharmacy.
9. Protect Your Personal Documents
Protect your personal documents such as birth certificates, travel documents, insurance policies and other such documents by placing them in a clear, undamaged, airtight bag. After placing them in a waterproof bag, store them in a safe place, out of the reach of water. Your emergency kit is a safe place to store these in the event that you need to evacuate your home and seek refuge elsewhere.
Your food supply should include non-perishable food items that are easy to prepare; canned soup, meat, fruits and vegetables are examples of this. To prepare the food, charcoal or canisters of propane will be needed. It is important to have a two-week supply stored at home and an additional three-week supply in the event of evacuation. List the expiry date of all the canned food materials on the date card, which is attached to your survival kit.
Natural disasters are inevitable; however, with proper planning and preparation, you can ensure the safety of your family and yourself. Having regular communication with family members about proper strategies can ensure proper preparation. An up-to-date survival kit with all the necessities is vital. This should include medication, a first-aid kit, and a kit of non-perishable food items, clean water and personal hygiene products. In flood prone areas, life jackets and an axe may also be useful for safety and evacuating the home.