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How to Be Better Prepared for Natural Disasters

Nobody wants to think that they may become the victim of a natural disaster. However, with severe weather conditions such as floods, hurricanes, winter storms, and wildfires becoming more common, it is best to be prepared nonetheless. Being prepared will allow you to have greater peace of mind and will help you minimize your risk of becoming injured or getting sick should a natural disaster occur. Here are a few tips on how to be ready.

Pack a go bag

You should have a go bag packed with essential supplies that you can grab and take with you in the event of an emergency. Consider what you will need over a 24-hour window and pack accordingly. A go bag should contain basics like water, food, a first aid kit, medication, personal hygiene items, a flashlight, batteries, and a charger for your mobile phone. It also makes sense to have cash in small bills and your identification documents such as your passport ready to throw into the go bag at the last minute. Survival gear such as a sharp knife may also come in handy. You can check out survival gear on Surviving Tactics for more advice.

Identify safe zones

If you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters, you should identify the safe zones in your home where you can gather during an emergency. These areas should be above ground level and away from windows so that you get as much protection from outside debris as possible. Similarly, you should know the locations of nearby shelters and evacuation areas so that you can seek refuge if your home is no longer safe to stay in. It can also be helpful to note down other areas close to your home where you can find fresh water and shelter from the elements—like a camp ground—should you need to spend the night outside before help arrives.

Make an emergency plan

Write an emergency plan with your family so that everyone knows exactly what to do in the event of a disaster. The emergency plan should cover the types of disasters or emergencies that may occur in your area and include information about how to respond to different situations. You should designate an evacuation location and plan how you will get there. You should also decide what to do if family members are separated or if the family pet goes missing. Each person should have an emergency contact card that lists their contact information and phone numbers for emergency services such as the fire department or ambulance.

Practice disaster drills

In addition to identifying the safe zones in your home and creating an emergency supply kit, you should also practice your disaster drills periodically. This will help you and your family become familiar with what to do in an emergency and allow everyone to make the right decisions instead of panicking and potentially getting in more danger. For instance, you could enact a scenario where an earthquake causes a house to lose power and your family must spend a night without heat or electricity. Or you could conduct a fire drill to ensure that everyone knows how to exit the house safely and gather at the pre-determined meeting point across the road.

Get trained in first aid and CPR

You do not have to be a professional medic to be the difference between life and death for a loved one. If you are trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), you will be able to respond quickly and effectively to a medical emergency in the absence of professional assistance. A basic first aid course will teach you basic life support techniques like bleeding control, bandaging, and splinting as well as how to call for help and administer certain medications. A CPR class will teach you how to resuscitate someone suffering cardiac arrest, and you may also learn how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restart a person’s heart.

Collect emergency supplies

Sometimes, a disaster can block or break roads and prevent emergency services from reaching you for several days or even weeks. By stocking up on supplies ahead of time, you will be able to survive until help arrives. Supplies can include drinking water, non-perishable food items, flashlights, portable radios, batteries, candles, blankets, and personal hygiene products. It is a good idea to store these supplies in a designated location that is easy to locate such as a bunker or a separate shed. You should also have disinfecting solutions and water purification tablets or filters on hand in case there is no running water or water supplies become contaminated.

It is not fun to consider the possibility of a disaster happening to you or your family, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If you have young children, elderly dependents, or beloved pets, you must take steps to protect them in the event of a disaster. By being prepared, you can minimize potential risks and help everyone you love get through the aftermath of a natural disaster. If you need extra assistance getting ready to cope with an emergency, consult an organization such as the Red Cross or a survivalist community forum for advice and resources. Stay safe!

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