No one wants to think about natural disasters happening to them or in their town. However, the fact is, it could happen, and it won’t be when you expect it. From blizzards to hurricanes and everything we don’t expect, it’s important to plan and protect your family in the event of an emergency.
Don’t wait until after a disaster strikes to talk to your family. Get everyone together and talk now.
September is National Preparedness Month. It is a good time to go over this list of tips on how to keep you and your family safe in the event that such a disaster occurs.
For a full list of what to do if there is an emergency in your area, check out ready.gov.
There are many different types of emergencies that can strike in very different areas of the country. While the midwest experiences tornadoes and droughts, and the east often battles blizzards and hurricanes, any of these storms can strike nearly anywhere. It is best to be prepared by knowing what each type of emergency entails.
Prepare an Emergency Communication Plan in the Event of Natural Disasters
Have a family emergency communication plan in place. These are the people most important in your life, so make sure they know what to do in the event of an emergency. It is safe to say that the people in your family work or go to school, so if there is an emergency not everyone will be at home.
The family emergency plan details what your family should BEFORE they need to do it. They break it down into collect – household information, school and work information and emergency plans, an out-of-town contact for everyone to reach and let them know they are all right, and an emergency meeting area – share, meaning make copies of all of this information and make sure each family member carries it with them in their wallet, purse, or backpack, and finally, practice your emergency plan.
Include Your Children in Home Preparation Planning
If your children are old enough to understand, get them involved in preparing for natural disasters. This amazing site is great for helping children to understand what natural disasters are and how to prepare for them. It includes facts about earthquakes, tornadoes, and blizzards, as well as what to have ready if a storm is coming. It also has games to help kids prepare and know what to do.
Help kids feel involved by having them prepare a kit like the one listed on the site. This may ease their worries if you live in an area that often gets storms.
Include Any Elderly Loved Ones in Home Preparation Planning
If you have older loved ones at home or nearby, make sure they know how to get in touch in the event of a disaster. This may mean showing them how to text. Make sure your older loved ones are part of your emergency plan.
Regularly check their smoke detectors, floors and rugs, and, if you think it necessary, get them an emergency alert system for their home.
Include Pets in Home Preparation Planning
Our pets are completely dependent on us. There are too many videos out there of animals who have been left behind during a natural disaster because the family didn’t know how, or couldn’t take care of the animal when the storm hit.
Keep your pets safe by including them in your emergency plan. Things like bringing your pet inside before a storm, making sure your have food, medications, and other necessities ready, and having a carrier on hand can make a huge difference in keeping your pets safe in the event of an emergency.
Home Preventative Maintenance Measures Are Part of Planning for Natural Disasters
Emergencies may not be the large scale, town-affecting kind. They may be in your home. Fires and poor air quality are two devastating results of poor home maintenance. Keep your home safe by having someone come out and check and fix any problems with your furnace, hot water heater, and air condenser. Check your smoke alarms regularly and learn about fire prevention and safety.
As always, have a plan in place for your family to follow in the event of a home fire. Include who is grabbing what – pets, elders, young children – and a meeting place that is far enough from the home to be safe.
Natural Disaster Plan Tips
The National Weather Service offers a detailed list of what to do in the case of natural disasters. As they say, police, fire, and other rescue services are not always going to be able to reach everyone during a natural disaster, as everyone will need them. They suggest being your own rescue if you can by being prepared.
Their suggestions include having the weather app on your phone so that you always know what is coming, preparing a disaster supply kit that includes items like food, water, first aid kit, flashlights, and a whistle to signal for help among other things, and have an emergency family plan in place.
There are many kits out there, many websites with different suggestions on how best to prepare for a natural disaster. In the event of an emergency it can’t hurt to be too prepared. This one comes from Ready.gov and FEMA, and includes items for pets and infants.
If an emergency strikes and you need to use your car as a means of getting to safety, there are some things you should be ahead of time in order to make sure your car is emergency ready.
Things like keeping your gas tank full, checking antifreeze levels, and having good tires help protect you and your family.
It is never too early to prepare for natural disasters!
We hope these tips help you be prepared and confident in your ability to plan ahead!