Natural disasters such as flood, fire, earthquake, tornado and windstorm affect thousands of people every year. You should know what your risks are and prepare to protect yourself, your family and community.
Recognizing an impending hazard and knowing what to do to protect yourself and your family will help you take effective steps to prepare beforehand and aid recovery after the event.
Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling a supply kit and developing a family emergency plan, are the same for all types of hazards. However each emergency is unique and knowing the actions to take for each threat will impact the specific decisions and preparations you make. By learning about these specific threats, you are preparing yourself to react in an emergency.
1) Organize your Emergency Supply Kit
Prepare yourself for a minimum of 3 days. Due to
overwhelming need or no road access, emergency services may not be available for up to 72 hours after a major disaster.
First Aid Kit
Choose a location, such as a closet or “safety corner” in the garage, where it is cool and dark. If you live in an apartment or have limited space, be innovative. Other possible storage locations include under the bed, under stairways, or even in a large box or plastic tub that is clearly labeled with contents. Put a reminder on your calendar to check for outdates every six months. Write date on water, etc and rotate.
Layer supplies, and keep them together in a container such as a plastic garbage can with wheels. Check every 6 months for food expiration dates, children’s clothing sizes, etc. Start with what you already have. If you’re a camper or backpacker, you’ve got a head start. Your tent, cook stove, and other gear can double as emergency supplies.
2) Making a plan for what you and your family will do in an emergency.
Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.