How To Prepare For A Natural Disaster In Advance
When a state of emergency is announced most people immediately respond by stocking up on food. Although you will certainly need a store of non-perishable goods, food may not be as essential as you think it is. A state of emergency can result from a terrorist threat, a natural disaster or even military action. You may expect to stay in your home for only a few days, but there is no way of telling how destructive a disaster can be until it actually occurs.
The majority of people already have enough food in their homes to eat for weeks. Bottled water is far more important than food because you will need to stay hydrated, clean cooking utensils, maintain your hygiene and potentially to tend to your wounds. In addition to purified water you will need batteries, a radio, flash lights and plenty of warm blankets. If your home is damaged then you and your family will be at the mercy of the elements. You may be able to fashion a makeshift structure that will help to protect you and your loved ones from rain, hail, snow or prolonged exposure to sunlight, but using blankets is much more practical.
Using a battery operated AM/FM radio you will be able to tune to a station that keeps you abreast of the latest developments. The power may go down completely or sporadically. If you are notified of a current rescue operation you will be able to learn what steps you can take to get to safety.
Most states of emergency are precautionary in nature, but you should still be prepared to take refuge in your home for an extended period of time if conditions deteriorate. Develop an emergency response plan with your family and practice it often. If you have nearby neighbors you can also include them in your plans if following an alternative plan becomes necessary.
Familiarize yourself with the emergency escape route and learn where all shelters are located in your local area. Don't attempt to go shopping for supplies at the last minute, and instead search your home for appropriate substitutes. Keep a fresh supply of water in your storage area and use your cell phone as sparingly as possible. If you follow these simple steps you will increase your chances for surviving a state of emergency substantially. Most importantly, use a buddy system if you and your family are forced to separate for any reason.