Published: 24th February 2020
Living in a disaster-prone area? Here's how to be prepared
Living in a disaster-prone area is even worse because the risks of natural disasters happening are twice bigger. And, you need to be ready at all times
With our planet experiencing major climate changes, natural disasters seem to be happening on a daily basis these days all around the world. From major earthquakes to floods, wildfires or tsunamis, natural disasters seem to follow these climate changes and happen more frequently than ever before.
Natural disasters can disrupt daily life, and, in the worst cases, put people in danger. They can kill or injure people and damage or destroy buildings and the entire infrastructure of a region.
Yet, living in a disaster-prone area is even worse because the risks of natural disasters happening are twice bigger. And, you need to be ready at all times.
With Mother Nature constantly reminding us of its uncontrollable power, it is about time that we learn how to survive and be prepared for disasters to be proactive instead of reactive. Here’s how to be prepared when disaster strikes in unexpectedly:
Learn how to react when disaster strikes
The number one rule when being in the middle of a natural disaster is to make sure that you react accordingly and don’t make your situation worse. What does that mean? It means that you should follow certain rules to keep you and your family safe without taking any risky decision.
First things first, you need to make sure that you stay informed about the event. Follow the news constantly and find out as much information as possible about what is happening. Next, you need to listen to the advice given by the authorities because they are the ones capable of assessing risks properly.
For example, if you are being told by the authorities that you must evacuate your home and seek safety outside of your town, make sure that you do so. Also, if the natural disaster kicks in and finds you unprepared, make sure that you stay inside until the disaster passes or the authorities tell you to evacuate your home.
Prepare an emergency kit
In the case of a natural disaster happening in your region, the authorities will most likely advise you to stay inside until it ends. Or, you may be trapped inside your home for several hours or even days. Thus, you need to have all the necessary supplies to survive inside your home in case the disaster takes longer than expected.
What does an emergency kit should include? An emergency kit needs to include the most basic supplies necessary for survival including food, water, and medicines for the entire family for at least 7 days. Use canned, non-perishable food that can be preserved for long periods and make sure the kit includes at least one gallon of water per person per day.
If you have an infant child, you should also add instant formula and diapers in the emergency kit. Also, if you own a pet, the emergency kit must also include food for your pet. Apart from food and water, you will need supplies such as batteries, flashlights, and a can opener.
Prepare an evacuation kit
Depending on the severity of the natural disaster, you may be asked by the authorities to leave your home and evacuate the area immediately. For the safety of your family and your own, you should be prepared to get in your car and leave before the natural disaster strikes.
What does an evacuation kit should include? Compared with an emergency kit, the evacuation kit must also include some of the most important belongings including documents and money. you can, for example, make copies of your most important documents and place them in the evacuation kit. Also, you should add food, water, pet supplies, clothes, and first-aid supplies in the evacuation kit.
If you do need to evacuate your area immediately, you may also don’t want to waste time waiting at the pump to fill your car’s gas tank. So, always be prepared in case you need to leave.
Insure your home
It should go without saying that if you live in a disaster-prone area you must insure your home to cover the costs of rebuilding your home in case of damage.
Generally, a basic home insurance policy doesn’t cover damages from natural disasters. Meaning that in case your home is wracked by a tsunami or an earthquake, the insurance company won’t provide you with financial support for the reparation costs.
Thus, if you live in a high-risk area of natural disasters, you need to make sure that you purchase a specific type of supplemental policies to cover your home. For example, Florida is one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world. So, all homeowners get home insurance in Florida with supplemental policies for natural disasters to cover the costs of rebuilding or repairing their properties.
Prepare your kids for disasters
If you are a parent living in a disaster-prone area, keeping your kids safe is certainly your first priority. When dealing with dangerous situations such as a natural disaster, kids tend to panic and put their own lives in danger by not reacting correctly.
For example, if your kids are at home alone when a tsunami or an earthquake starts, their first instinct would be to go outside to ask from help instead of staying inside where it is safe. However, this may put their lives in danger as they might get hurt or lost.
So, it is essential to teach your kids how to react in the case of a natural disaster. Show your kids where they should hide to be safe, where they can find the emergency kit in case you are not around, and teach them that they should always listen to the authorities’ advice during a natural disaster.
Being prepared for natural disasters takes more than just preparing the basic emergency kit. It also takes preparing yourself and your family on how to react when disaster strikes, being ready to evacuate the region at all times for your safety and insuring your home to make sure you will get help to fix your property once the danger has ended.