Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Natural disasters can happen anywhere in the world – but there’s no need to panic. There are many natural disaster preparedness measures you can take to get yourself and your family ready for a natural disaster, including tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, flash floods, and wildfires. You want to be prepared for any and all emergencies so you can stay safe if and when something unprecedented happens. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a natural disaster.
1. Stay Informed
It’s important to know what natural disasters could potentially affect your area and how to get emergency alerts that will notify you of anything happening nearby. You can listen on the radio or watch your television, social media channels, or sign up to have notifications sent directly to your smartphone. Depending on where you live, certain severe weather conditions could be more likely to occur (and some could never occur at all).
2. Learn Evacuation Routes and Shelter Locations
Learn your area’s evacuation routes and shelter locations as soon as possible. Knowing these things ahead of time will help with the stress and panic that comes with a sudden crisis situation. Set an escape route from your home to the nearest safe space with your family. Drawing a map and hanging it up somewhere will help younger children remember what to do and where to go. If you’re caught away from home, know how to react from different places, like your workplace or car.
3. Stay Connected
Know how you’ll reconnect with people who matter if a disaster were to strike. Your cell service could be affected, which would make it harder to reach family and friends. Make sure you know how to connect with your children if they’re at school, daycare, or any after-school activities. You want to be able to communicate with your loved ones, so always have emergency contact numbers at the ready and prepare different ways to reach out, like a landline phone at home.
4. Have an Emergency Kit on Standby
Put together a natural disaster preparedness kit to be used for emergencies. You’ll need basic necessities like food, water, first aid supplies, and other emergency equipment that you might already have around the house – think flashlights and duct tape. Having all of this together in one place instead of scattered around your home will help you feel organized and ready if anything dangerous happens.
5. Keep Others in Mind
It’s difficult to think ahead especially if you haven’t experienced a natural disaster before, but there are many things you’ll want that you wouldn’t necessarily remember to pack or store. Be sure to have a plan for everyone in your family (including pets). Think about medication, special medical equipment, diapers, and pet food. Make a natural disaster preparedness checklist so that you know exactly what you’ll need for you and for everyone in your life during a natural disaster.
6. Learn Emergency Skills
Learning important emergency skills to help you and those around you in different situations could come in handy, and could even save someone’s life. Get trained in CPR, know how to perform basic first aid, learn how to use a fire extinguisher, and know how to shut off utilities in your house so that there is no damage to your gas, water, or electrical lines.
7. Help Your Community
Find out how to help your community during a natural disaster by volunteering with local emergency response teams or nonprofit organizations in your area. If disaster strikes, there will be many people around you who will be in need. Knowing how to help ahead of time will alleviate things if anything were to happen in your town or city.