Let’s face it, as long as there is nature, there are going to be natural disasters. As much as we would like to escape its clutches, we can only go so far. As far as nature’s wrath is concerned, we can run but we can never hide. Regardless of the place we live in, it has become amply clear in recent times that potency of these disasters have increased manifold. Blame it on climate change, greenhouse effect or industrial revolution, nature is not going to give us a breathing space once she starts going. It is therefore crucial to be well prepared to face the fury while bracing yourself for the aftermath of the rage.
Disaster preparation need not be restricted to governments and authorities. Every individual should be astute enough to prime his or her family to not only live through the disaster but survive after it. Every home is unique in terms of its occupants and possessions. Here are a few very important pointers to prep your family to ensure and outlast any natural disaster
List out disasters and plan ahead
Depending on the area you reside in, do a little research, contact respective authorities and list out the kind of natural disasters that your area and house may be prone to and draft a contingency plan accordingly. All state and federal websites will have state-wise or area-wise disaster lists and evacuation plans. Draw on those to guide you through yours. Plan separately for specific disasters, be it flooding, earthquakes, fires, hurricanes or intense snow or blizzards.
Create a plan for your family to execute at times of emergencies. From common meeting places to quick routes and government shelters, make sure every member gets a list of these details. In case of a natural calamity, you will not be able to contact your family members because a natural disaster will very likely take out cellphone service. Choose a location ahead of time to meet up, in case your family members get separated. You can choose to meet at your home but under certain circumstances, your home might not be safe place, so you must have a contingency planned. A spot outside the city might serve as a good meet-up location. You and your family should be familiar with CPR and basic first aid.
In case of a flood or an earth quake, it is important to shut off the supply of gas and electricity. So you and your family members should know the location of their respective access panels. Electrocution is an imminent threat during a flood. So is the threat of a gas leak resulting in a fire breaking out.
It’s a good approach to familiarize yourself and your family members, with all possible evacuation routes – As some of the roads could be blocked, it will be a good idea to learn alternative routes too. And memorize the locations of disaster shelters near, so when the calamity strikes, you know where to head instead of panicking.
With the level of connectivity today, it is possible to keep tabs on local weather reports and government announcements through TV, Radio or Social Media. You should also sign up for severe weather alerts in your vicinity. Save important emergency numbers in your phone. Utilize those where available and keep personal tabs on the rest.
Record your possessions
Most of us have insurance to our house and its possessions, keeping a pristine record of all your possessions with exact dates and receipts of purchase with photographic or video evidences will help in insurance claims. Keep the records and list on multiple devices and places including safe deposit boxes.
From educational, house, insurance and other documents to professional credentials, keep all the vital papers in water or fire-proof containers and a copy of the same in safe deposit boxes elsewhere.
Pick an outside emergency contact
Pick any friend or family member from outside the state to be your emergency contact and make available his or her contact details to every member of your immediate family. From phone numbers to email addresses and social media addresses, make sure there are multiple ways to reach the person.
Create an emergency kit
Put together some crucial supplies in a waterproof case and store it somewhere it will be easily within your reach when disaster strikes. Ideally, an emergency kit should contain, at least a three day supply of nonperishable food items, clean drinking water –rationed for each family member, food for your pet, prescription medicines, blankets, clothing, can-opener, a radio, flashlights, batteries, and a first aid kit.
Fortify and take care your house against disasters
Regularly make repairs to cracks in the walls, to brace it against earthquakes. And if they’re wood-based, apply fire-redundant material on them as well. Same should be done with fences or decks. If your house is in a risk-zone for wildfires and your roof is made of wood or shingles, consider getting it reroofed with metal or tiles. Windows can shatter from wildfire or debris from strong winds. So it is a worthwhile investment to install tempered glass panes on your windows.
Designate a safe room to take shelter in case of a disaster. Ideally, it should be windowless and away from the hallway. It should also contain your emergency kit.
Cash, Coins, Bartering Supplies
Banks and money machines might not work at all times, so it is better to save up a bit by way of cash, silver, gold, or bartering supplies and store it away for use during emergencies. 90%+ silver coins are good to have on hand, but when a real disaster happens, other essentials are needed, like clean drinking water, alcohol for bartering or taking care of sanitizing or wound care, medicines, and other things like stored foods and even bullets can be lifesaving items.
“Prevention is better than cure” is an old adage. We might not exactly be able to prevent a natural disaster but we can certainly be well prepared for it.