The best way to get through a natural disaster is to have a plan and to be prepared before it strikes. Early warning systems and home automation systems are always improving, but the fact is, by the time you're certain a disaster is coming, it is often too late to prepare adequately. Taking simple precautions now, will keep you, your family, and your possessions safe should the worst happen.
Know Your AreaEvery area has certain natural disasters that are more common, and each natural disaster has its own unique challenges. If you live on the coast, it's a good idea to become familiar with what happens in a hurricane. If you live in the Midwest, you may be more concerned with tornadoes, while those in California should have a plan for earthquakes. Those in the north should keep heavy thermal blankets on hand in case of power outages during blizzards or ice storms. Know what to expect from your living area before you start preparations.
Keep Supplies on HandFEMA states that families should be prepared to care for themselves for at least three days without any government assistance following a natural disaster. This means having enough food, water, and medication in the house for each family member and any pets you may have. Water is especially important for survival, and you can expect to need at least one gallon per person, per day. If you live in a hot climate, you may need as much as double that amount. Water purification tablets can also be a good addition to your disaster preparedness kit, should the crisis last more than three days.
Food StorageKeeping non-perishables in your home, such as canned goods, will also serve you well in an emergency. Keep in mind that the power can go out for anywhere from a few hours, to a few weeks and any items that need to be refrigerated may spoil. Keep in mind, grocery stores often run out of non-perishables and bottled water either shortly before or directly after a natural disaster, so it's a good idea to prepare ahead of time. Other disaster supplies, such as a first aid kit, battery operated or hand crank radio, candles, flashlights, and solar chargers, should be kept together, and every member of the family should know where these supplies are kept.
Keep Your Home SafeHome disaster-proofing, such as earthquake resistant construction, or hurricane shutters on windows will help protect your property. Home security may help you monitor the situation at home should you need to evacuate. This can give you an idea of what to expect when you get home, and also discourage looters following a disaster.
The best way to keep you and your family safe is to prepare and have a plan. This takes some of the stress out of going through a natural disaster, and will help you weather the storm with as little damage as possible.