Preparing for Natural Disasters

When disaster strikes, will you be prepared? Because it is National Preparedness month, it might be worth thinking about what your solutions are for natural disasters. Often natural disasters occur without warning, and therefore don’t leave a lot of time to react. The best way to insure the safety of you and your family is by preparing beforehand, so that if something terrible does occur you’ll be ready for it. As it would be expected, not every natural disaster is the same and each requires their own kind of preparation. Additionally some may be unlikely to ever happen in your area. Below are a few possible disasters that could happen and a few ways to prepare yourself in case they occur.

Floods

Floods are the most common weather-based disaster across the United States, but few people think that it might happen to them. Flooding can occur from a wide variety of sources, some of which may be unexpected, such as broken damns, hurricanes, major rainstorms, and even rapid snow melt. Floods don’t even need to be massive to be destructive, as even a few inches of flood water can cause lasting damage to your home and property. If you have a basement, consider waterproofing it as this can help prevent damage to the building’s foundation. If flooding does occur inside the house make sure to raise all electronics raised above the ground, as well as large appliances like your washer, drier, and furnace. If you need to evacuate, take an emergency kit or bug-out-bag with you. Only drive on officially specified roads and never cross a flooded area, as fast moving water can sweep you into its current.

photo_18723_20100819Fires

If you live in an area where there are dry or drought conditions, you may be susceptible to wildfires. Additionally, lightning strikes and other flammable mishaps may cause your home to catch fire. While it is always in your best interest to evacuate your home until the fire has been put out, here are a few ways to help prevent your home from catching fire in the first place: build your home or replace materials with nonflammable ones, such as a noncombustible roof. Regularly clean your gutters and roof, as miscellaneous debris can catch fire, too. Remove any tree limbs that may hang over your roof, as high winds might knock a flaming tree branch into your home.

Earthquakes

Most injuries and deaths surrounding earthquakes are the result of collapsing buildings and walls, as well as falling glass and objects. If you anticipate you make be susceptible for an earthquake, make sure your house meets the seismic code and is tightly tied to the foundation, and make sure to secure water heaters and fuel tanks. If a earthquake does strike, stay away from glass, outside walls and doors, and anything that could potentially fall. If you can, remain under sturdy furniture and hold onto it. Stay inside until the quake has stopped completely. Don’t turn on power if there is any sort of flooding from broken pipes.

While there are a vast variety of dangers, they can all have their effects reduced on you and your life by being prepared for what might happen.