Preparing for Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are phenomena that we have no control over. Although varied and diverse they cause considerable devastation and may result in loss of lives. Being prepared for any natural disaster will reduce damage and save lives. There may be slight differences in the preparation made for each disaster, however, the basics are the same.

Here are some general tips for preparing for a disaster.

Get as much information as possibly as to the disasters that can affect your area. Listen to advisories and warning on any impending disasters.

For any disaster, a family plan is essential. Ensure that you have a family plan in place and that each family is aware of it. Every family member should know what needs to be done, how it will be done, and why it should be done. The family should decide on how they will contact each other in the event of a separation.

All important documents should be secured and kept handy in the event there is a need to move from your home or from the area. Sealing them in plastic is the best option.

Ensure that you have a disaster supply kit. This should include medical supplies, flashlights, batteries, a battery powered radio, food and water. You should have at least three days’ supply of food and water. Keep a generator on hand. If this is not possible then stock up on candles, lighters and matches or battery powered lamps. Also, include extra clothing, and if necessary, infant items.

When building in disaster prone areas, ensure that building standards and regulations are adhered to by architects, builders and contractors. Secure your home as much as is possible depending on the disaster that is approaching. Retrofitting your home for the impending disaster may be necessary.

Be aware of emergency centers in your area and plan the route needed to get there. Also, plan evacuation routes so that it will be easier to get out if it becomes necessary.

Get insurance if you do not already have. Review policies that you possess and ensure that you are aware of the amount and the extent of coverage. In addition, take inventory of your home possessions for insurance purposes. This can be done by taking pictures or videos of your home.

Make certain that family members are aware of how to shut off utilities. Gas leaks, broken water pipes and electricity can all cause greater damage during a disaster.

Keep some ready cash on hand since bank services may not readily available after a disaster. Additionally, ensure that you keep a full gas tank when there is impending disaster.

Putting these measures in place will keep you and your family safe and will reduce damage to property.