Are You Prepared for a Major Disaster?
Disasters can strike in many forms year-round: whether it’s a tornado or hurricane in the warmer months, a winter snowstorm, or a sudden earthquake, we Americans have a wide variety of emergencies that can affect the places where we live. So are you prepared for a major disaster? If you haven’t thought about what you would do in the event of a natural or even a manmade catastrophe, then we strongly recommend you take a few minutes to read this introduction to the essential disaster planning considerations – and then spend a few hours and budget a few hundred dollars to get yourself ready in case you don’t have some of the basic supplies. Even if you don’t have this amount of money available right now, then at least you can start to plan and prioritize your savings to set yourself and your family up for success. Nothing would be worse than to face a disaster situation without the critical supplies you need for your family to survive, and knowing that you could have prepared far better.
You can survive for longer than you think without food, and shorter than you think without water. In just a matter of a few days, you could die of dehydration, so planning for emergency water is one of your most important considerations. Do the math for a gallon of water per person per day as a minimum, and then plan how you’ll get this water into your vehicle. (Will you use bottled water, or buy larger jugs or emergency bladders?) Water purification systems for survival are also great purchases in case you’re stuck living outdoors.
Obviously we all like to eat, and life gets difficult enough under ordinary circumstances when we’re hungry. Now imagine fending for yourself in a disaster evacuation scenario, and add hunger on top of the concerns you have to contend with. You can set the conditions now to eat later if you do some calorie math (2,000 per person per day as a minimum) – there are great, compact emergency meal kits available through a variety of retailers, so do some research and figure out what will best fit your budget and, even more importantly, your vehicle’s space.
Whether you plan to travel to escape the disaster, or if you’re caught hunkering down at home, think about where you’ll sleep if your primary residence is destroyed and there aren’t other options available in the immediate aftermath. Exposure to the elements can be deadly, so make sure you’re equipped with at least a basic tent or tents which will house your family temporarily, as well as basic supplies like sleeping bags, flashlights and extra batteries.
Even in the summer, temperatures can dip into cool ranges, and if you’re wet or hungry (and especially if you’re wet and hungry), having a reliable source of heat will make a world of difference for both your morale and your safety. Maintain some basic fire-starting supplies on hand in your emergency kit, including fuel to keep the flames going, as well as a knife and other survival equipment like paracord and simple cooking supplies like pots, pans, plates and utensils.
- ROUTE PLANNING.
Where will you go if disaster strikes and you need to get out of there fast? Even if you have family or friends close by, it’s probably a good idea to ask them in advance if you can come crash with them. If you’ll need to travel a considerable distance, then plan primary and alternate routes to get to the various locations where you might need to evacuate. Keep in mind that panicky people will naturally flock to main roads like interstates, and if the gridlock gets bad enough, you could get stuck on the road just miles from your home. Knowing the back roads could be a lifesaver! (Also remember that you might not have a cell signal, so you’ll want to have an old-fashioned road atlas in your vehicle to help with emergency route selection.) Don’t forget about your fuel situation either – having extra gas cans now could allow you to buy extra fuel on your way out of town and ultimately enough fuel to get your family outside of the disaster zone.
- PREPARE YOUR FAMILY.
Make a checklist with everything you’ll need to remember when you’re stressed out during a disaster situation so that you won’t forget something essential like medications, or pet food, or your family’s critical documentation, or even something as important as a young child’s favorite blanket. Talking through the plan with your family in advance can also ease their minds in case a disaster actually occurs – they’ll know what to do, and this will not only reduce the stress level at least a little bit, but even more importantly it will get you on the road faster. Preposition your emergency supplies and checklist in an easily accessible place like your garage, and periodically review the plan to keep yourself fresh. Hopefully you won’t ever need to use any of these supplies or skills, but in the event of a major disaster, you’ll take heart knowing you did everything you could to be as prepared as possible!
More info? For information on disaster preparation, read: WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN NATURAL DISASTERS STRIKE
Call 877-957-5670 to schedule an appointment with an AdvantaClean water damage specialist today!