Disaster Preparedness

Montage of examples of severe weather. From le...

Montage of examples of severe weather. From left to right, starting at the top; F5 Tornado, Wild fire, Thunderstorm Lightning, Flooding, Hurricane, Ice storm and giant hail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disasters often happen when we least expect them, which makes them even more disastrous! Disaster preparedness is all about being ready for the unexpected, after all, how many tornadoes / hurricanes / floods / earthquakes / volcanic eruptions do we have to suffer before we snap out of this constant state of surprise. Disaster preparedness might not be able to stop a disaster from happening, but it can certainly help out in the damage limitation department.

So what sort of disasters should you be prepared for?

Natural Disasters

  • Earthquakes
  • Drought
  • Extreme heat
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Landslides or Debris flow
  • Severe weather
  • Thunderstorms and lightening
  • Tornadoes
  • Tsunamis
  • Volcanoes
  • Wildfires
  • Winter storms and extreme cold

Wow, that’s a lot of potential disasters to be included in your disaster preparedness plan. But what about other types of disaster?

Technological and Accidental Hazards

  • Blackouts
  • Incidents involving hazardous materials
  • Household chemical emergencies
  • Nuclear power plant disasters

Other Disaster to Consider In Your Disaster Preparedness Plan

  • Home fires
  • Terrorist hazards – explosions, biological threats, chemical threats

If’s a wonder any of us have survived so long, with or without a little disaster preparedness!

Disaster Preparedness Plan

Although there are countless types of disasters just waiting to happen, you don’t need a separate disaster preparedness plan for all eventualities, although one disaster preparedness plan might not suit all occasions it’ll certainly go a long way towards helping.

Your disaster preparedness plan needs to take into account the area where you live and/or work, and which types of disasters you are most likely to have to deal with. Do you live on the coast? Is your home nestled in the shadows of a volcano? Is there a nuclear plant on the outskirts of your town? If you’re not exactly sure about which disasters are most likely to occur in your area then check with the Local Emergency management offices and they will help you to identify the potential hazards and outline the local recommendations and plans in place. Whatever information you find out to help you with your disaster preparedness plan – don’t keep it to yourself, remember to share it with friends and family. Stuff like the warning systems and signals which are in place for your home, workplace, school and other locations. Different communities do use different warning systems as part of their disaster preparedness plans;

  • Emergency radio broadcasts
  • Emergency TV broadcasts
  • Sirens
  • Telephone calls
  • Volunteers or Emergency workers running from door to door


Find out how you’ll be informed of any pending disaster in your area so you’ll be able to implement your own disaster preparedness plan as soon as possible. The quicker you can implement your disaster preparedness plan the better chance there is for your survival, the survival of your family, loved ones and property or business. Your disaster preparedness plan needs to include stuff like;

  • A disaster preparedness kit to include all basic supplies, food, water, first aid equipment and other stuff which is vital to have on hand during an emergency.
  • Remember when you’re making your disaster preparedness kit that your family might not necessarily be together. Think about how you will all communicate with each other in different situations and locations, it’s all part of the disaster preparedness of your family and loved ones.
  • Make an escape plan if you have to get out of your house quick – escape routes. Make sure that your children understand how they can escape from your home in a disaster, and keep remind them (you know how kids have a tendency to forget things, except things like birthday promises and when their allowance is due).  An escape plan is especially important if your home is taller than ground level.
  • Disasters are not only . . . disasters for your home and family, they can also have a pretty disastrous effect on your finances.  Pre-disaster financial planning is an important part of your disaster preparedness plan. For example, do you have any cash in your disaster preparedness kit? You don’t? Well then, you know what to do don’t you – just imagine the power being out in your area rendering all ATM’s unable to function. I know we’ve all come to pretty much depend on our credit or debit cards, but in a disaster every often cash is king!
  • Shutting off the utilities is also an important part of your disaster preparedness . . . or at least, if it isn’t then it ought to be. Gas leaks and explosions cause a significant number of fires after a disaster, so it’s really important that you, and members of your family know how to shut off the natural gas supply to your home, preventing a minor disaster from becoming a major catastrophe. Don’t forget about your electricity supply too, electrical sparks are often responsible for igniting the natural gas leading to explosions and fire. For your own safety it’s important to remember to close down the individual circuits before you shut down the main circuit to your property.  Whilst you’re at it don’t forget to shut off the water too . . .

I bet your head is reeling right about now isn’t it . . . don’t panic, just make sure that you have a disaster preparedness plan in action BEFORE a disaster happens, otherwise it’s just too late!

 

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