Disaster Preparedness: What You Need to Know

Disaster Preparedness: What You Need to Know

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Disasters are events that occur in nature and affect the life and homes of people and their environments. Natural disasters can strike anytime, anywhere in the world, many times to unsuspecting people. It is vitally important that everyone have an emergency plan in place, even if you live in a part of the world where disasters are uncommon. Part of a successful disaster plan includes ensuring you and your family knows what the plan is. For example, in case of a disaster, you should already have a pre-determined and agreed upon place to meet in the event you are separated. Every family member should know where the local emergency shelters are located. Every home should have an emergency kit available with necessary supplies and everyone should know where the kit is located. The following are three examples of disasters, including what to do and ways to prepare.

earthquakeEarthquake– an earthquake occurs when plates in the Earth’s crust shift and move. These movements generally happen along fault lines, or where the Earth’s plates meet with each other. Earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world at any time. There is no warning and immense devastation and loss of life is possible.

 

What to do During an Earthquake– if you are inside, get on all fours. If possible, crawl underneath a desk or table as close to the ground as you can. Attempt to grab a pillow or blankets and cover your head and neck. This may protect you from falling or flying debris. Avoid standing next to outdoor walls of your home, as they may fall. It’s best to get to an inside wall that offers more stability. If you are outside, try to get inside somewhere safe. If this is not possible, get on the ground and avoid power lines, buildings and telephone poles, as those may fall. Try to cover your head and neck. If you are in your car, stay in the car. Do not attempt to drive. Avoid overpasses, ramps and bridges as they may collapse.

floodFlood-this event happens when too much rainfall accumulates faster than the ground can absorb the water. This may happen during heavy thunderstorms, hurricanes and monsoons. Flooding may also occur during a tsunami. Flash floods happen everywhere and can occur at any time. Weather forecasters have gotten better at predicting these events through advanced warning systems and radar. However, this sometimes is not enough.

 

What To Do during a Flood– Whether inside or out, head to higher ground. If your house floods, go to the highest level of your home. It is important to unplug electrical devices and disconnect gas lines to avoid electrocution and explosions. Outside, it is important to avoid driving or walking through floodwaters. It is possible that even a few inches of water may be enough to sweep you down into a current. Do not move until help arrives.

tornado

 

Tornado-a tornado occurs when a strong electrical storm forms a rotating funnel cloud. The cloud touches the ground and moves at very high speeds, destroying anything in its path. This may include homes, cars, and roadways. Tornadoes may occur anywhere, but the most frequent occurrences for tornadic activity happen in the Midwest portion of the United States. Tornadoes provide little to no warning and are extremely dangerous and destructive.

 

 

What To Do during a Tornado– keep your eye on the sky for rapid changes in the weather. Often a black, low-lying cloud will appear first. Sometimes it is quiet right before a tornado occurs. If you see or hear the “roaring” sound of a tornado, seek shelter immediately. If you are inside, get to the most interior room in your home, especially if it is windowless. Often, bathrooms are the safest place. If you are outside, find a place low to the ground, preferably below the street level such as a canal or ditch and cover your head. Watch out for flying debris.

 

What Should I Have in My Home?

The key to surviving a disaster is being prepared. No matter what type of disaster occurs, you should have the following things in your home:

An Emergency Kit– This should include enough drinking water for every person in your home (one gallon per person per day), three days’ supply of non-perishable foods, a manual can opener, a whistle (You can signal for help), waterproof matches, a flashlight and an emergency radio with extra batteries, garbage bags and wipes (for sanitation), a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit. The first aid kit should include bandages, tape, anti-bacterial cream, gloves, tweezers, and medicines for headaches, diarrhea and upset stomach.

 

Anyone can find himself or herself in a disaster. Planning ahead for emergency situations and good communication is the key to making the best of a bad situation. Pay attention to local and federal agencies for emergency information, instructions and suggestions when an emergency strikes.

 

About the Author:

Kelly Ray is a student from Washington University, where she consults students with different questions about education, everyday life and preparedness process. You can check her blog about essay writing topreviewstars.com and follow her on Facebook and Google+

This article first appeared on American Preppers Network and may be copied under the following creative commons license.  All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.

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