Disaster Preparedness: Planning Ahead

WALLINGTON, NJ - AUGUST 31: Debris is shown sc...

WALLINGTON, NJ - AUGUST 31: Debris is shown scattered outside of flooded homes on August 31, 2011 in Wallington, New Jersey.

Planning ahead and preparing for a disaster can really help to reduce the impact that a natural disaster has on your home, your family, your business – hell, your entire life! If you plan before the storm clouds begin to gather overhead or the rivers start rising you will have a much better chance of minimizing the risk of damage, save lives, alleviate panic and fear . . . yes, it’s really that important.

Disaster preparedness plans vary a little depending on the types of disaster which are most likely in your area, although some of the basics are very much the same.

Disaster Preparedness – Planning Ahead

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

  • Non perishable food and plenty of drinking water
  • Important documents, insurance, identification etc
  • Cash (ATM’s don’t always function during a disaster)
  • Blankets, flashlights, medication, weather radio, clothing

Disaster Preparedness – Planning Ahead for a Flood

  • Disaster supplies kit
  • Turn off utilities but be sure not to touch electrical equipment if you are standing in water or wet
  • Avoid trying to drive through flooded areas
  • Remember that floodwaters may be contaminated

Disaster Preparedness – Planning Ahead for a Tornado

  • Shelter in the lowest area of your home, maybe a cellar or basement
  • If that’s not possible, shelter in an inside room which has no windows and strong interior walls
  • If you are in a mobile home then leave immediately and head for the closest, sturdy building
  • Hide beneath something sturdy, a table, workbench, desk, something to protect you from falling objects
  • Protect your head and neck with your arms, use a heavy blanket for extra protection for yourself and your family
  • Never attempt to out-drive a tornado, they can change direction very quickly and lift your vehicle tossing it way into the air – leave your car and take shelter in a sturdy building, or lie flat in the lowest area around

Disaster Preparedness – Planning Ahead with Your Family

  • Talk to your family and create a family plan about what to do if a disaster strikes, make sure that the children know where to go in case of a disaster
  • List emergency telephone numbers and keep them handy for all members of the family
  • Identify someone out of state who can be your point of contact, in case the disaster strikes when you are separated from your family
  • Identify a meeting place where you and your family can be re-united (if possible) if a disaster strikes and you have to leave your home, or get separated


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