Natural disasters and artificial threats are hazardous and can quickly strike us anytime without warning. People face high risks during these emergencies, and it is imperative to be prepared and have plans for anything that may occur.
The key for your home and family for protection and survival is individual preparedness. That is, when you at least prepared for the worst, then no harm could happen.
Emergency preparedness aims to fulfill responsibilities - that every individual has a role to play. At times, various hazards are faced by every region, home, and basic knowledge is an integral part of being prepared. It is best to know the risk in your area and prepare for different situations. You should also be familiar with the basics of first aid and safety.
THE ESSENTIALS OF GENERAL PREPAREDNESS
Know What To Do
- Before an Emergency
Do you know how and when to protect yourself in case of emergencies (hurricane, earthquake, wildfire, tornado, floods, etc.)? How about your home and family?
You must have heard lots of contradicting information over the years and hoped not to hear the same mishap or damage or broken homes stories ever again. No one can tell what will happen next.
Indeed, and the best weapon during times of natural disaster and artificial threats is to study these phenomena, make a plan and never forget to always prepare for survival or an emergency kit no matter what kind of disaster you might encounter.
- During an Emergency
If you want you and your family to get the chance to survive during times of emergencies, then keep calm. Think before doing anything else and try to comfort others.
Remember that you need to maintain a prudent mind in times of disaster, and it will be handled best without panic and fright. If you panic, then you will only make the situation worse and even perhaps make everyone stressed. Keeping calm and collected can have a positive impact on everyone involved.
- After an Emergency
Being disoriented and confused after a catastrophe or any disaster is a common thing, but remember, the best way to get hold of the situation is to keep your calm.
The feeling of bewildered and shocked can be overcome, and coping with a disaster is a gradual process. Most often, it can be traumatic if the necessary assistance is not available immediately.
Quick Tips After Emergencies:
- Secure yourself and your family if help does not come immediately
- Dealing with Weather Emergencies
- Make a Recovery Checklist
- Cope and Begin to Move Forward
Over the years, hurricanes have turned out to be a home-wrecker, a nature-destroyer, and even a man’s killer that has cost the loss of millions of lives, billions of properties damaged, and these are threatening. If you want your home and your family to survive and recover from this kind of catastrophe, then preparedness and awareness are the keys to withstanding it.
Hurricanes tend to be more intense and destructive, and they do not occur frequently compared to other natural disasters. The good thing is, you can prepare ahead and forecast the event when you will strike. There are things you can do to keep your home, your family, even your business safe and secure from hurricanes.
To prepare your home, your family, or even your business from the wrath of the hurricane and keep them safe and secure. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- When a hurricane forecast has been announced or reported, prepare yourself as soon as possible for your stock supplies. Have a closet or any safe place to keep your goods, clothes, medicines, water supply, or whatever item you need.
- In an emergency, be prepared to be self-sufficient. You need to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours. Paying attention to the emergency radio can help you be informed of the evacuation order in your areas.
- After the calamity, refrain from entering a building or any structure that is flooded. Don’t walk barefoot around. When you are thirsty and run out of water supply, never drink tap water until you have confirmed that it is not contaminated. If there are means to contact local authorities in your area, try to reach them immediately and ask for help or support.
Naturally, when rivers, streams, and lakes overflow due to heavy rainfall, flooding occurs. However, it can also be caused by various factors. For some, it constitutes one of the most recurrent and disrupting weather hazards.
Usually, a flood tends to develop slowly with a few apparent signs of the forthcoming condition. It usually gives enough warning of the approaching danger.
In a highly urbanized area, a flood is inevitable, and the scariest part of it is the rapidity of the water level as it rises, thus creating a flash flood. Sometimes, in a matter of minutes or even seconds, with little to no warning signs, it significantly increases the danger or risk caused by these flash floods.
Indeed, floods can be distressing to a household or business. Thus, it is a must to identify the flood risk in your locale and upkeep yourself and your family on what to do and how to evacuate securely when floodwaters start rising. Below are a few safety reminders to guide us:
- When there is a forecast of flooding, it’s time to be alert. It is best to monitor your surroundings immediately, listen to the radio, watch the news on the television, or go online. As you may know, flash flood develops rapidly, and it is better to go upstairs or to the highest possible place at home. Do not wait for the water level to rise gradually. It is important to know the evacuation route in your area.
- When it comes to your water supply, like drinking water, do not settle with tap water. Storing safe and clean water is vital in times of disaster. Before an emergency like flooding, stock up on food and other supplies or an emergency kit. Put up a checklist and a plan. Make sure that your family and friends are familiar with the plan as well for you to use when an emergency strikes.
- The moment you notice a slow flood occurs, secure your home and your family. In this event, you may have time to prepare and help lessen the damage before evacuation. Never walk to moving water. In case there is a need for you to walk through the water, then use rain boots. Call 911 immediately if you’re incapable of evacuating in time. Make sure you provide pertinent information about your condition.
- In the event of being rescued, stay safe. You may only return home once the authorities have declared that it is safe. It is important to listen to the news about whether your place is secure and stable. Also, check if the water supply is safe to drink. For your safety, boil it for 10 minutes. Throw away the things that have been contaminated with the floodwater.
Observation of Flash Flooding
People are exposed to natural hazards wherever they live or work. Many of these hazards may be familiar to you but possibly without full understanding. Earthquakes, as we may know, occur without warning. It strongly affects every individual, every home, and every region, even the whole nation, within seconds of massive destruction. Thus it is imperative to prepare no matter where you live or work.
No one can tell when it will havoc on our lives or our home. The good news, however, by understanding the danger, you have an edge to take the right steps and reduce or shun injuries, damage, or longstanding financial liabilities. With this, being prepared and doing whatever you can so you will survive and recover quickly is very important. Here’s how to get started:
- The shaking of an earthquake can move almost everything: from small to large, from light to heavy. Try to imagine your home or workplace being picked up like a toy and shaken sideways, or no constant direction – what would be thrown around? Can you prevent it? Secure your safe and start right now by first identifying the hazardous items. Secure all movable furniture like bookshelves. Move heavy objects to the lower shelves. Find time to study if the area or place you live is within the active fault line and check if your ground is likely susceptible to the strong impacts of the earthquake.
- Automatically apply the drop, cover, and hold during an earthquake, especially when you are indoors. According to the reported cases where injuries and deaths are caused by earthquakes, it is often due to falling debris or flying objects, and it is rarely because of the collapsed building. If you are outdoors, find a clear spot, especially in a wide-open area (away from buildings, trees, and power lines). Drop to the ground, then stay outside and try not to go inside a building.
- Keep in mind that earthquakes are often followed by aftershocks. It usually lasts for days or even weeks when a major earthquake strikes. Remember, you need to check your gas lines and make sure there are no gas leaks. It is better to wear shoes because there might have broken glasses or chemical spills. Never walk on the floor barefoot until it is safe. Hence, without warning, indeed, an earthquake can shake an entire state. Remember, when you prepare and take preventive measures for something unpredictable like an earthquake, your chances are greater in keeping your family safe and secure.
Fire is a threat that occurs indoors and outdoors. If a fire blast in large areas, it becomes a wildfire that can occur both in the countryside and rural areas.
Knowing and learning the basics of the dos and don’ts when to shun this kind of hazard during the occurrence and recovering from the disaster are very helpful to save lives and shun casualties.
- Now and then, you have to master and review the evacuation plan, especially in identifying the emergency exits, whether you are at home and in your workplace. You may speak to authorities in your town to learn the evacuation route in your area and then deliberately discuss this with everyone in your family and your employees. Safeguard family members who live nearby who know the route and have the means of transportation. Ensure that you have all that you need to know how to handle and operate the fire extinguisher and where it has been stored while there has no wildfire yet.
- When there’s a wildfire, stay calm and get ready to evacuate safely. If you are inside your car, park in clear vegetation; while on foot, leave as fast as possible before you are told to evacuate. Be prompt in leaving your home or workplace, and make sure to clear the roads and trails to give way for firefighters to ensure immediate action of the disaster.
- Keep in mind that you need to return only when it is safe. Going back to your property can only be done once the officials or authorities declare it safe to do so. If you are injured and need medical attention, seek immediate help and treatment of smoke inhalation, burns, and other kinds of injuries. In a practical sense, contact your insurance company to assess the damage to your property and file a claim.