How To Be Prepared For A Disaster
In the event of a crisis like a natural disaster, you need to have all of the resources that you need on standby, ready and available for quick access. One of the best ways to make sure you and your family are ready and equipped to respond to natural disasters is to assemble a disaster recovery kit for your home.
This kit will be your go-to source of relief in the midst of emergencies, providing you and the others in your household with helpful tools and supplies that can be a major help in aiding in disaster recovery. In this article, we’ll cover the essential steps to follow to get your home prepared for any disaster that may come your way.
Disaster Preparedness Tip 1: Know Your Location
Depending on where you live, you may run a higher risk of being affected by specific natural disasters. For example, if you live in one of the states in the midwestern US such as Kansas, Wyoming, Nebraska, or one of the other states in the infamous “tornado alley” that runs through the midwest, you’ll need to be especially prepared to respond to tornadoes. If you live in Florida, you’ll want to make sure you have what you need to protect and sustain yourself and your family in the event of a hurricane. If you live in California, your disaster kit will assist you in responding to and recovering from earthquakes. If you live in a colder, northern state, you’ll need a disaster kit to prepare for blizzards.
No matter where you live, you and your family can benefit immensely from keeping a disaster kit on standby. Even if the state where you live is not specifically prone to any natural disasters, you still can’t predict what might come your way. There have been documented natural disasters in all 50 states – no part of the country is immune to them!
Based on your location, you may need to make a specific evacuation plan for leaving your house in an emergency. If you live in a state prone to wildfires, for example, you’ll want to make sure that you and your family are prepared to leave your home if it is affected by a fire. This means knowing the best exit strategy from any room in your home, as well as how to avoid being overwhelmed by smoke.
While many of the resources in a disaster kit are universal and can come in handy in any emergency, others are especially useful for certain situations. For example, your disaster preparedness kit should contain N95-style masks, which, in the midst of a fire, can be a huge help in keeping smoke from making it hard to breathe. Even if you don’t live in a state that is prone to wildfires, your disaster kit needs to be stocked with masks – they can come in handy in house fires, as well as for avoiding dangerous airborne dust and debris kicked up by other natural disasters like earthquakes.
Disaster Preparedness Tip 2: Stock Up On Non-Perishable Food
Regardless of where you live, power outages can happen. Whether they’re caused by a blizzard, a tornado, or just a heavy thunderstorm, a power outage can leave the food in your refrigerator spoiled and makes it necessary to keep your pantry well-stocked with sources of food that don’t need refrigeration. Reliable sources of non-perishable food include canned goods, dried fruit, nuts, trail mix, and protein and meal replacement bars.
If a natural disaster like a blizzard, tornado, or earthquake leaves you stuck in your home without power, you’ll need enough resources for you and your family to be sustained until you get power back and can once again leave your home. Staying stocked up at home is important, but you’ll also need highly portable, non-perishable food to take with you if you need to evacuate your home. Our number one pick for emergency evacuation-ready food is meal replacement bars. High in calories and macronutrients, these bars are lighter than cans or bags of food. Plus, they’re sealed and protected until you need them and have a year-long shelf life.
Disaster Preparedness Tip 3: Keep Multiple Light Sources Handy
Since power outages often occur during a natural disaster and can keep affecting you and your family in its aftermath, you’ll need a way to see when things get dark. Your emergency light sources shouldn’t rely on power for use or for being recharged. This rules out the flashlight on your smartphone, which can quickly drain your phone’s precious battery life, a resource you always want to conserve in emergencies.
Instead of relying on your smartphone’s flashlight, stash a battery-powered one in your disaster kit. Make sure to pack extra batteries as well, guaranteeing that you’ll have a reliable way to see if the power goes out. In addition to a flashlight, you can also stay prepared with non-battery-powered sources of light like candles and glow sticks. Having multiple light sources in your disaster kit means you’ll be able to see even if one runs out.
Disaster Preparedness Tip 4: Teach Your Family First Aid
Your disaster kit needs first aid supplies! Stock up on gauze, medical tape, bandages, shears, antibiotic ointment, non-prescription painkillers, and more to ensure that you’ll be ready if someone gets hurt. Ideally, you and your family will be able to get to safety in a natural disaster without anyone getting hurt. However, if someone does get injured, having supplies handy can save a life.
If a natural disaster happens, everyone in your family should know how to use first aid supplies to patch up any injuries that might be caused by the crisis. A natural disaster can damage your home, but it can also cause injuries. Make sure that the members of your household know how to take care of burns, cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries that might result from a natural disaster.
The medical supplies in your first aid kit won’t be enough to address any and all injuries, but they can make a big difference with the smaller ones. In circumstances where professional medical help is unavailable due to a natural disaster, your first aid gear can be used to formulate a temporary fix to keep yourself or a family member safe until you are able to access emergency care.
Disaster Preparedness Tip 5: Know How to Make Quick Repairs
The high winds of a tornado can blow debris around, causing damage to your home. Heavy hurricane rains can cause flooding. Earthquakes can break windows. No matter what the natural disaster is, there’s an inherent risk of collateral damage. Your disaster kit should contain resources that will help you make quick, temporary repairs to your home to keep you and your family safe until you can address damage long-term.
Some of the most important resources for repairs to keep in your emergency kit are duct tape and a multi-tool. Duct tape is one of the best means of temporarily patching up a broken window or sealing a leak that would otherwise cause flooding. In the midst of a natural disaster, a humble roll of duct tape can make a huge difference in your family’s well-being and safety. Never underestimate it! Likewise, a multi-tool is ideal for making quick repairs with its wide variety of utilities and functions. Instead of attempting to store full-sized tools in your emergency kit, opt for a multi-tool – it’s smaller, more convenient, and easier to carry.
If you have additional questions, send them our way!