While we may all live off-the-grid one day, in today’s current society, there is little need for escaping into the woods except for vacations or weekend get-aways. However, natural emergencies are real, and it is important to be prepared for every possible emergency in your area. The better prepared you are for the emergency in advance, the less possibility you have of receiving serious injuries during the natural disaster.
Use this handy guide to help determine what natural disasters are in your area and what you should do to prepare for them:
Finding Local Disaster Risks
The first step in preparing for emergencies is to find out what disasters can strike your area. The Internet has thousands of resources that can help you pinpoint the emergencies that can occur in your region. Once you find out what disasters are common in your area, then you can take steps to prepare for each individual emergency. Below is a list of resources for discovering potential hazards in your area:
Once you find out what disasters are likely to strike in your area, make a note of the warning systems installed in your area. Currently, there are three different notification methods that various counties use to notify residents of potential disasters. These alerts include:
- Wireless Emergency Alerts: This is a new alert system that sends warning texts to wireless subscribers.
- Emergency Alert System: This system is used in many places across the United States. This system sends out warning alerts on the radio and TV. Many places use this alert system in combination with a local warning siren.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio: This is a specific radio channel that constantly broadcasts weather reports. A NOAA weather radio is the ideal addition in any disaster preparedness kit.
Creating an Emergency Plan
Knowing your risks for potential disasters is not enough – you should also create an emergency plan for each disaster that may strike your area. Below is a brief outline of the necessary items for each basic emergency. Sites like ready.gov and redcross.org will have more detailed guidelines for each type of emergency.
- Earthquakes: Earthquakes strike the west coast more than anywhere else because of its proximity to the fault line. Since earthquakes strike so quickly, there is little you can do to evacuate or prepare. However, mobile homes and buildings on unstable soil are at higher risk for collapsing than other buildings. When an earthquake strikes, try to get under a sturdy piece of furniture to avoid falling debris until the quake stops.
- Tornados: Tornados are a danger that can level entire towns. Preparation for a tornado includes a tornado plan discussed with the family ahead of time. Choose a safe location to weather the storm, like a hallway or bathroom on the first floor. Mobile homes and vehicles are not safe places during a tornado warning. Your tornado emergency kit should include flashlights and batteries, a first aid kit, and a small supply of food and water. A weather radio is also a helpful tool.
- Hurricanes: Hurricanes have similar effects to a tornado, but they also bring flooding along with the high winds. Often cities will have hurricane evacuations when the hurricane approaches. An emergency kit filled with first aid supplies and a few day’s worth of food and water can be helpful.
Keep Reading for More Emergency Tips!