Natural disasters are major catastrophic adverse events that originate from atmospheric, geological, or hydrological changes. Natural disasters include hurricanes, typhoons, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, landslides, earthquakes, floods, and drought, etc. In simple words, any disruption in Earth’s natural process might cause a natural disaster. These disasters are fueled by unfavorable climatic reactions like the emission of greenhouse gases, urbanization, deforestation, etc. Natural disasters can cause fatalities, environmental destruction, and mindless vandalism.
Moreover, these disasters can occur at any given time without a prediction. Warnings can be given for disasters like storms as the weather changes are easily comprehendible. But they are not necessarily given before disasters like earthquakes. Therefore, you won’t have much time to prepare for anything ahead of time. It might be terrifying to think that the odds of surviving a natural disaster might be nearly zero if you are not prudent.
The best way to keep yourself out of harm’s way is to know what precautionary measures to take before, during, and after a natural disaster. Having a plan ready before it strikes is the only way to keep yourself secure because if you are not ready, the devastation afterward might take a toll on your mental health.
In this article, we will discuss some important tips that will assist you in preparing for any natural disaster.
These tips are divided into three parts.
How to Plan Ahead?
This is the first part that discusses points on how you can start preparing and what things are mandatory for you to have before a natural disaster occurs. These include,
- Pinpoint the type of natural disasters you are at risk to and take measures to reduce them. Risks can be reduced by eliminating all things that could cause more damage. Regularly checking safety alarms (like smoke alarms) at home is a good precautionary measure to take as well.
- Have a basic insurance plan ready that covers natural disasters like catastrophe insurance or hazard insurance. Most people might disagree, but having an insurance plan helps cover your loss of property, vehicles, and other valuables. It is a great investment to regain your lost assets in case of a natural disaster. Just make sure that it covers all of the risks you are exposed to.
- Make an inventory or checklist that includes all your valuable belongings down to their very last detail. This will make it easier for you to locate them during a disaster – and if lost, you can easily claim them in insurance.
- Have a safe location already in mind that you can go to in adverse circumstances. Emergency management authorities might be able to help locate safe locations if you have nowhere else to go to. Discussing these locations with your family and neighbors is necessary.
- Knowing people in your community or residential area is also quite important. You should all have a common plan along with each other’s contact info so that it is easier for you all to communicate and evacuate.
- Communication and knowing the exact plan is necessary to help reunite when your family is separated during a natural disaster. That is why planning ahead of time is necessary, so everyone knows the plan. All the family members of your home should know how to communicate and relocate when separated.
- Sometimes, there is not enough time to evacuate, and this is where planning ahead helps, once again. You would know what to grab and go along with all the essentials you need. This mainly includes your emergency bag.
- Knowing basic first-aid procedures and learning from emergency medical books might help in terms of minor injuries. Also, knowing how to switch the power supply and gas off is necessary as well for all the family members.
- All the steps of communication and evacuation should be practiced in advance, along with activities like quizzes related to your plan should be added to engage and educate kids.
- The best way to make your plan foolproof is to discuss it with your emergency management authorities so that they are able to fix any minor flaws and guide you about evacuation routes, medical centers, and shelters.
Things to Remember
This is the second part that discusses some important things that you must memorize and remember both before and during the time of a natural disaster. These points can be printed in the form of a checklist as well to keep track.
- Keep listening to local radio channels and carry a handheld or NOAA radio with you.
- Have a well-stocked food supply covering all essential nutrient needs.
- Unplug your electrical devices and put them on the highest tier of your home.
- Save your precious pictures and videos on a memory card and keep it safe. They can also be backed up on a Google account, so it is always accessible.
- During the disaster, keep your phone on power saving mode at all times and only use it when deemed necessary to conserve power for emergency use. Keeping a power bank in your emergency kit might be a lifesaver as well.
- A go-to bag and emergency kit with all essential items must be kept prepared and safe in advance.
- Put all your important legal documents in a waterproof bag.
- Save and carry drinking water in huge hydro flasks and water bags.
- Make sure your car’s gas tank is full.
- Take extra measures for your pets as well.
- Learn to swim.
- Help out the community. Take care of the elderly and infants.
- Prepare and carry a list of emergency contacts.
Items for Your Kit
The last part of these tips includes items that are to be stored in your emergency kit. Prepare your kit based on things you and your family will need to survive on their own for up to a week. This is a general outline of all the things you should carry along with you in an emergency kit.
- Water for drinking and sanitization. Prepare beforehand and store more than five gallons.
- Preserved food for yourself and your pets (if any), along with a can opener.
- Radio to listen to weather conditions.
- Flashlight with extra batteries.
- First-aid kit.
- Towels and garbage bags for sanitary purposes.
- A long-lasting power bank
- Hand sanitizer.
- Disinfectant and baby wipes.
- Prescription and non-prescription OTC medications.
- Diapers and baby formula if you have an infant with you.
- Plastic waterproof bags for important family legal documents.
- Sleeping bags or blankets.
- Lighter and matches.
- Feminine personal hygiene products.
- Safety gear like helmets.
This emergency kit should be appropriately stored in a known location and checked every two to three weeks to replace expired items. The things mentioned above are fundamental, but depending on your family needs, things can always be added to the kit.
Despite many warnings and counseling, many people all around the world do not prepare for natural disasters.They don’t understand why it is so vital, and the thought of it happening to them never crosses their mind. This refers to basic human behavior, where you avoid thinking of worst-case scenarios. Regardless of that, the best way to safeguard yourself from any natural disaster, as mentioned above, is to plan and prepare ahead.
Even if you don’t carry a ton of supplies with you, having just enough for your necessities might be able to keep your head above water. We should always remember that something is better than nothing. Being even the slightest bit prepared can make a huge difference.
During times of natural disasters, you might find yourself in unimaginable conditions, which might test your patience and damage your mental wellbeing. It is best in these times to stay positive and keep calm. However, it might be hard to overlook the bad try focusing on things that make you happy and be thankful for being safe with your friends and family.
Thanks to technological development, most natural disasters can be predicted ahead of time, which makes it less alarming, and more people approach it in a well-ordered way. Try your best to follow simple, cheap, and easy ways to prepare. Going through video documentaries on how to survive natural disasters might also help you prepare more and guide you about the dos and don’ts. We hope that this guide will help you be more organized, equipped, and safe.