History has proven time and time again that storms can intensify rapidly upon approach and devastate everything in its path. Other disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis can strike with little or no warning.
We may not be able to fully protect ourselves from the full impact of a natural disaster but those of us who are more prepared will fare much better than those who are not.
The most common problems that people face in the wake of a storm or other natural disaster are food, water, and shelter. These of course are essential needs. Then there is the problem of no electricity for heating, cooling, cooking, and light.
Hoping for the best is good but preparing for the worst is wise and preparation should begin with essential needs. Having at least a three day supply of food and water along with candles or battery-operated lights is a good start, which would suffice for a typical scenario that involves power outages and other storm related problems.
However, there have been a number of natural disasters over the last decade that has crippled communities for weeks. People experienced water contamination, empty store shelves, damaged roofs, weeks without power, and impassable roads.
Therefore, preparations should be made to accommodate the needs of our household for a period of weeks rather than just a few days.
Worst case scenario
The best way to prepare for the worst case scenario is to examine the situations that people faced with natural disasters that have happened across the country. If we had been among those who were devastated yet had foreknowledge of the coming catastrophe, what could we have done to be prepared for such an event?
News footage shows people walking through their devastated communities where trees are lying across cars, roads, power lines, and homes. Some streets are flooded and people are desperately trying to protect their belongings.
Many businesses are completely destroyed while others are severely damaged which means that a number of people are suddenly unemployed. Those who were not prepared for such an event are faced with little to no supplies and no income.
Where to begin
Preparing for storms and other natural disasters begins with taking stock of our own situation and the needs of our individual household. Some of us own our own home and some are renters and apartment dwellers.
Having a supply of food and water will do us little good if we have no shelter. Tarps, ladders, and tools can repair damaged roofs and windows but a plan needs to be in place in the event that our home is rendered unsafe or unlivable. Decide in advance of a catastrophe where to temporarily relocate such as family members.
In an emergency situation a campground could serve as a temporary place to stay if we have equipment or a functioning recreational vehicle or camper.
Heavy duty plastic bins should be filled with food items that require no refrigeration. Others should contain clothes, bedding, and candles or battery-operated lights. Tarps could be the only thing between us and the weather so an assortment of different size tarps, bungees, and nails should also be stored.
The best way to prepare for any situation is to examine the experiences of those who have gone through it. If we knew in advance that a storm or other natural disaster was going to strike our community, how would we prepare for it? We would naturally approach the situation in a way that would accommodate the needs of our own household.