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Wildfires on the west coast and flooding on the east coast. Both are sober reminders of the devastation that can suddenly and sometimes unexpectedly change our lives. The best protection is to be prepared with a family plan and supplies for a wide range of emergencies.
Start by preparing each household member with a basic strategy:
- How to get to safety
- how you will contact each other
Stay informed particularly with developing potentially dangerous weather. Unexpected disasters such as explosions, earthquakes or terrorism can be less devastating if a plan is in place and children know exactly what to do.
September is National Preparedness Month. Homeland Security has prepared an easy to follow guideline to help families prepare a plan along with printable check lists.
Disasters Happen-Prepare Now-Learn How. CLICK HERE
Weather can change dramatically and often quite suddenly, causing severe destruction, injuries, and even fatalities. In the last few years especially, we have witnessed increasingly violent weather phenomena. Fortunately, today’s improved weather alert services are often able to warn us of impending natural disasters well before they occur. This advance warning allows people to prepare themselves and their homes to weather the storm.
In some cases, the best means of defense is to evacuate the area. This is often done when the scale of the disaster seems too tremendous to cope with. However, at other times people may not be able to evacuate, or during lesser emergencies, they may choose to stay at home and wait it out. In the latter situation, being properly prepared is essential. This means that at least some stages of preparation should be done well in advance, even before there is any warning about a natural disaster.
A key part of family safety during a disaster is having a sufficient amount of supplies, as well as an emergency kit. A basic version is usually built to sustain each member of the household for a minimum of three days. The purpose of this is that people can very easily be trapped within a building without any signs of help for quite some time. A disaster kit typically includes a bountiful supply of water for drinking and cleaning, along with non-perishable canned or packaged foods, a can opener, a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, cell phones and chargers, emergency phone numbers, and a radio. Other useful items to have are prescription medications, supplies for infants and pets, cash, matches, and personal hygiene items.
By creating this kit and packing it ahead of time, emergency preparation becomes much easier and quicker when a natural disaster is announced. It’s equally important to have a predetermined action plan, so that each person in the house knows exactly what to do when a disaster strikes. Without a proper action plan, people often tend to first panic, acting illogically, which may put them directly in the path of danger. Examples of emergency plans include fire drills or deciding on an emergency meeting spot. At least two people in the household should be trained in CPR and know how to deliver first aid in case of medical emergencies. Learn more about home preparedness during natural disasters with some of these helpful resources.