Natural disasters seem to be ever more prevalent in our everyday lives. Whether it’s discussions involving natural disasters to come due to climate change, or environmental events felt by communities, from worsening hurricane seasons to raging California wildfires, people have to think about these issues more and more frequently.
While the media continues to talk about these events and national policy strains to keep up, it’s time to consider what you should be doing at this time. Ask yourself the following question: am I ready for a natural disaster?
What does natural disaster preparedness look like? Where do you start if you’re currently unprepared?
If you’re looking to get ahead of a disaster, it’s in your best interest to prepare before an unfortunate event strikes. The following can be a set of guidelines to help make sure you’re ready for a disaster before it happens.
Do your research
Before you start buying tools to prepare for an environmental apocalypse, consider doing some research to better understand what is a real risk to you in your geographic region.
Consider researching which natural disasters are most common in your region to determine what products will be essential for planning ahead. Furthermore, look into ways to best protect yourself against such events. The CDC’s Public Service Announcements page provides a great deal of information that identifies best practices for responses to natural disasters and public health issues.
Begin planning ahead
Once you have an idea of what natural disasters to expect within your region, the time comes to create a response plan. Your plan should involve the critical elements related to the type of natural disaster you’re dealing with and how you—and your family and neighbors—should entrust one another to remain protected.
Planning should involve some of the following considerations:
- Determine who will collect your stored survival gear for familial usage
- Decide upon a pre-selected meeting place both in your home and outside of your home—depending on the environmental circumstances—to safely stick together for ultimate protection
- Make sure that every member of your family knows where the protective supplies are and the techniques needed to remain safe and in communication with one another in the event of an emergency
- Consider running practice drills to ensure you are properly prepared in the event of sudden panic
Have a “bug-out” kit ready
Whether you’re preparing for a natural disaster, worldwide pandemic, or man-made terror, it’s important that you have a set of survival supplies at the ready. A “bug-out” kit is the most common way of storing survival supplies in a ready-to-grab package for a crisis.
Kits are designed depending on the scenario you’re expected to deal with, but a general rule of thumb is that you should have enough survival supplies to help you survive for at least two weeks. This kit is meant to be grab-and-go. All items are stored in a bag that’s easy to carry, either by hand or on the back.
What should be included inside of your kit?
While the needs will depend on the natural disaster most likely to strike your area—you’ll want waterproof gear and clothing for hurricanes and an N95 respirator mask if you’re going to be dealing with wildfires—here are some essential items that should be included in your bug out bag:
- You should have an immediate supply of nonperishable food and water stored in your bag, with enough to provide for your family and any pets you have in tow. Inside should also be basic food utensils and a can opener—which you won’t want to forget. Emergency food kits are a great option to ensure you have an essential amount of food on you, as they’ll provide you with lightweight dried goods that can easily be stored in your pack and transported.
- Besides your emergency food kit, you should also have first aid kit supplies stored away. This kit should include some of the basics of survival supplies related to health—a water purifier, dressing gowns for wounds, antibacterial cream, and more.
- Have a form of communication and lighting available. Consider storing a pre-charged cell phone charger, which can be recharged with solar power, and a flashlight with extra batteries stored in an airtight bag. Better yet, have an solar powered survival radio on hand.
These are just a few ways to guarantee you’re prepared for a natural disaster. While there’s no perfect method, there are ways to ensure you and your family are protected. Don’t wait. Take action and make sure you’re ready today.
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