Hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods happen and are on the increase. In the U.S. alone there were 1,000 tornadoes reported in the first half of 2013. This is what climatologists have been predicting. With more people moving to hazardous areas there is a greater chance that they will be involved in a natural disaster. Taking some preparation time now can mean the difference between a family challenge and a disaster. Here are some tips:
1.) Pick a emergency contact. Someone far away that you can contact in the event of a disaster. Many times the local cell and local phones services fail but you can reach long distance either by pay phone or landline. Have all family members memorize this person’s number and make it understood they are to call this person and let them know where they are. A disaster doesn’t usually happen when everyone is together so it is good to have a person to call that is at a distance and can help reunite the family. Put this number on school information also so this additional family member can be reached.
2.) Prep a disaster kit. Have this kit ready to go. Blankets, clothing, towels, food, water, a battery operated radio, and anything else you feel you will need for the first three days or so. Put the food in two big plastic containers and the rest in a snap lid 30 gallon garbage can. Check and replenish this once a year to up date outdated items.
3.) Create a family plan. It is time to go through the steps you would follow if a disaster was imminent. Write down all the people (and animals) that are dependent on you. Hold a family meeting and go over each person’s plan. Also check for your state and local governments plan. These things rarely happen when everyone is together so it is important to add this to your plan. A place to meet. A person to call with your information so you can all reconnect.
4.) Document your possessions. Go through your home and document your belongings. List the name of each item, it’s model and serial number, and when purchased. List this on your computer and put it on a flash drive that you can put in your self deposit box. Photograph any important paperwork like birth certificates, vehicle registration and home deeds. To prove ownership take photos and also go outside and photograph such items as gas grills or lawnmowers. These can be invaluable if you lose everything.
5.) Identify your regions top risks. Know what the hazards are in your area. This way you will know what to prepare for and be more prepared. By going to Ready.gov and clicking on your state you find out what the top weather dangers are in your area. If there is something specific to your neighborhood you can call your county or city office of emergency management. (The first number you come to in your directory under local government can point you in the right direction.) Its a good idea to check- There may be other hazards you don’t know about.