Natural disasters are more common than most people like to admit, and because of that the number of people willing to take precautionary measures to avert or deal with them isn’t as high as it should be.
This may be because of human nature: we may think ‘It’s never going to happen, so why should I plan for it’, no matter how mistaken this feeling may be. Disasters are so sudden that you cannot predict their time of occurrence, or at best a short amount of warning time may be given. Therefore it’s important to have some plans in place to make sure yourself, your loved ones and your family are as prepared as possible in the event of a disaster. Below we discuss 7 things that you can do to help prepare you and your family for a disaster or natural occurrence.
7 Tips You Can Really Use To Get Yourself Prepared for Disaster
1. Explore Your Area And The Potential Disaster
Disasters don’t knock on the door before they break in or send a warning notice so that you can get yourself prepared. It might be impossible for you to know all possible disasters that are likely to come your way. However, you can still identify some potential red flags if you do your research well. Therefore, you will have to explore your residence and interact with your neighbors to know any possible danger or disaster that could come up in your area. This could involve doing regular reconnaissance trips fo your neighborhood, scouting out safe zones, and making sure that you know the local landscape well. This may sound a little over the top, but it will surely pay dividends if the worst happens.
2. Learn The Precautions
Having learnt about the likely disasters that can sprout up at any point in time, you will have to know the precautions you have to take in order to avert their occurrence or to tackle them when they occur. For instance, if you are aware some forbidden areas in your location, you will not dare move near the areas. Similarly, if there is a possibility of some dangerous animals forcing their way into your place, you will have to fortify your home against them. More importantly, you have to get used to your evacuation or escape routes. This is a simple matter of planning, and putting the plans in place will make sure that you are the most prepared that you can be in the event of a disaster.
3. Set Up Emergency Alerts
Listening to news and reading dailies is a great way to stay alert of upcoming disasters. However, these may not cover your immediate areas. Therefore, one of the recommended ways of preparing for this is to set up home and office security systems that could alert you to any impending disaster. Such alert systems include monitored alert system and burglar alert systems. These systems will alert you of any break-in. You may also have to put in place fire alert systems that prompt you of any fire outbreak and much more. In addition, you can keep browsing the internet to get updated. Though many may be a little cynical about modern technology, and wary of the effect that they may have, the truth of the matter is that modern tech such as smartphones, the internet and social networks can actually be an amazing tool in altering yourself to any occurrences in the modern world. You don’t have to become a big fan of the Kardashians or constantly worry about your online presence; just realize that technology can give you an amazing early warning system for some of the things that may befall you in the modern world.
4. Set Up A Safe House Or A Meeting Spot
It is important to establish a safe house in preparation for the time of disaster and ensure that your evacuation route leads to the safe house. For instance, you can have an underground tunnel leading to your safe house. The safe house will also serve as your meeting point because, at the time of disaster, it is not possible for all of you to stick together, but once you have a meeting point you will all converge at the point and chart the way forward. More importantly, all members should be familiar with the meeting point. Again, this may seem like overkill, or that you are over preparing. However, people will not say this when you are ‘safe as houses’ and they are still looking for shelter. As they say, ‘to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail’. You should not forget this.
5. Be Equipped with Emergency Kits
You need to have safety equipment for quick responses to disasters. And not only that, you should know how to operate them. Also, ensure you keep them in the appropriate locations. For instance, in preparation for a fire or every home, office, company and school should have fire extinguishers which must be placed in the appropriate places. As a homeowner, you ought to have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. First Aid kits are a set of health emergency kits that should be an indispensable part of our homes, places of work and even school and health institutions.
6. Get Connected With One Another
Information is power; the more you are connected, the more you have information to be prepared for disasters. As an individual, you cannot be aware of all the situations within your surroundings. In addition, you cannot be at every place at a time. Hence, you may not have the information of the current happenings in another location. However, once you are connected as a family and as neighbors, you can be sharing amongst yourselves prompt alert for an approaching disaster. You get connected via mobile phones, social media or by holding periodical community meetings. Things like walkie-talkies can also help: they may not be the coolest technology, but in a situation when there has been a natural disaster they may just be a godsend.
7. Do Your Practice
If you have emergency devices and strategies but you do not know how to use them, you are vulnerable to disasters than someone who does not have any of them. This is because the person who does not have any safety measure or device will flee for his life as soon as the disaster occurs. As for you, you would still be struggling to make use of your safety strategies or waiting to receive alerts from your safety devices if things go wrong. In addition, train your family members how to use the safety devices. Don’t worry that some may scoff and doubt your preparations. ‘It will never happen’ they may say, or ‘what’s the point’. Expect the best, prepare for the worst; that is a good rule of thumb. If your preparations come to nothing, so much the better. However, if you have to use your skills, at least you are prepared.
As mentioned earlier, disasters neither knock on the door before they take their steps in not give notifications, and you cannot underestimate any disaster. Therefore, you will be wise to make a good use of the above-stated tips so that you get yourself well prepared and avert any possible occurrence of disaster, or at least, you are not caught unprepared.
Leona is part of the content and community team at Specialty Fuel Services - providers of emergency fuel continuation services, in locations affected by catastrophic events.