If you just moved to an area that gets lots of storms or earthquakes, you’re overwhelmed by stories about natural disasters. Here are a few ways to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters and make sure that your family is as safe as possible.
Find Reliable Supply Sources
When your area floods or is devastated by an earthquake, you don’t know how long it will take for normal life to resume. Figuring out what businesses and relief services provide disaster tools and equipment allows you to stay calm even if supply chains are cut for a while. Store these organizations’ numbers in your phone, and keep cash in the house so that you can pay them even if electronic banking services aren’t available.
Create a Family Emergency Communication Plan
Communication is vital during emergencies. Prepare a plan to enable the family to communicate with one another and to call first responders and the authorities for help. Start by compiling essential information, such as everyone’s contact details and those of medical facilities, doctors, schools, and service providers. Prepare waterproof wallet-sized copies of this directory for everyone and place several copies in strategic locations in the house. Hold a regular meeting where you explain to everyone what they need to do and who they must contact in emergencies. Finally, have a contingency plan in case phone lines are down. Consider investing in two-way radios such as citizens band (CB) radios for your home and car to have a way to call for help and get updates on the radio if there’s no mobile reception or internet connection.
Keep Food and Water on Hand
You need to know several disaster relief organizations, but you should also keep plenty of your own supplies at home. Stock up on nonperishable foods that you don’t need to cook; dried pasta won’t do you any good without water or electricity. Trail mix, canned soup, and dried fruit are all good options. Don’t forget about enough water for your family and pets for at least five days. Avoid the temptation to fill up your bathtub with drinking. While you can use it for washing clothes or bathing, bacteria can grow in unbottled water, leading to more health issues.
Identify Safe Locations To Stay
If your house becomes unsafe, you need to know where to go. Your city or county may have designated safety shelters at basketball arenas or local schools. If there are no government-appointed shelters, figure out which hotels or inns are on higher ground or farther away from earthquake epicenters. Designate one room without windows on the ground floor of your house as your safe room if you can’t get to a better shelter.
Learn First Aid
Taking a first aid course from the Red Cross helps you keep your family and neighbors safe until emergency services can arrive. Skills such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, artificial respiration, wound bandaging, and limb splinting are invaluable in an emergency. Stock up on plenty of medication, gauze, bandages, and other emergency supplies so that you can perform all the first aid skills you learn.
Living in an area that experiences extreme natural conditions is nerve-wracking when you’re not used to it. Take these steps to get your house and family ready for whatever disaster comes.