Disaster Preparedness: Simple Tips For Survival


Disaster Preparedness: Simple Tips For Survival

Where ever you are when disaster strikes, common sense will help you prevail.

Before the Storm – Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
Indoors During a Tornado -  If you are inside a structure, put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
Vehicles & Mobile Homes – If you are in a vehicle or mobile home during a tornado, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building.
Outdoors During a Tornado – Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover you head with your hands,  Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Indoors During an Earthquake – Stay inside.  Research shows that most injuries occurs when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location.  
Outdoors During an Earthquake – Stay where you are until the shaking stops.  The greatest danger exists directly outside of buildings, exits, and alongside exterior walls.
In Your Car During a Flood – Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
Outdoors During a Flood – Avoid moving water at all costs.  Six inches of moving water can cause you to fall, Use a stick to check the ground firmness in front of you
Indoors During a Flood – Remain indoors and away from windows and glass doors.  Close all interior doors, secure and brace external doors.

Make an emergency preparedness kit

Successfully getting through an emergency weather situation or disaster can mean surviving on your own for a time. Although water and food seem like obvious things to plan for, here are other essential items that FEMA suggests families pack in their emergency kit, should a disaster strike:

  • Water, one gallon per person per day
  • Food, a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • A weather radio
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Whistle, to signal for help
  • Dust mask
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to keep out contaminated air
  • Moist towels, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench/pliers, to turn off utilities
  • Can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, if access to a portable generator is available
  • Pet food and extra water for pets

Have an emergency plan
Because family members may not be together when disaster strikes, and communication lines could be fractured, it’s important to have a solid plan in place to contact one another and regroup, the Ready Campaign suggests. It’s best to make a plan ahead of time so everyone follows the same protocol and stays on the same page.

Some things to consider in your plan are:

  • Establish a family emergency contact. That person can act as a point person for the family members who can coordinate subsequent directions.
  • Identify an out-of-town contact. Depending on the situation, it may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than a call in town. The out-of-town contact could be in a better position to coordinate with separated family members.
  • Ensure every family member knows your home phone number and has access to a cell phone to call the emergency contact.
  • Teach family members how to use text messaging, which can sometimes get around phone network disruptions that can hinder phone calls.
  • Subscribe to alert services if available. Many communities offer emergency alerts via e-mail or text messaging that inform users about bad weather, road closings, local emergencies, etc.

Visit www.ready.gov for more tips on keeping your family safe during emergency situations.

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