Those who survive natural and man-made disasters have a lot in common, and there is plenty that can be learned from their stories. At the top of the list is the will to survive, along with the implementation of common sense survival tactics that assisted them in helping family, neighbors and themselves survive very difficult situations. Here are some fundamental tips to help be ready when disaster strikes.
Yes, it sounds cliché, and it is even the motto of the Boy Scouts of America. However, the most successful survivors say how they were prepared when they recount the disasters they survived. Taking steps to prepare your home and family against the most likely forms of disaster that can strike the geographical area to the most likely health emergencies a particular family may face is sound advice. For example, people living in areas where tornadoes are common should have an underground place they can go for safety, and those living in regions where earthquakes are threat should have electronics and large items secured to the walls so they don’t cause damage.
Get Proper Training
Knowing how to use tools and skills can greatly help your chance of survival in the event of a disaster. Knowing how to use all the items in a first-aid kit and how to administer help to someone in need, including CPR, can make all the difference. If you are in a remote area or camping, it’s wise to understand how your GPS works and know how to read the maps so you can quickly and safely leave the area when needed. If you are out in the wild, it’s important to know how to properly treat water so you can safely drink it, and what plants you can eat. At home, be sure to know what each item is in your emergency kit, and train your family on how to use everything as well.
Tools and Supplies
Survivors who fare the best are ones that have the needed food, water, medicine, medical supplies and tools nearby when disaster strikes. To be prepared, store an emergency kit in your home, car and at work. Energy bars are small enough to store, and can come in handing if you are stranded on the road. Be sure each kit includes a blanket, first-aid supplies, food, water, medicine, basic tools and extra shoes when needed. Survivors have often used the resources they had to survive. Without any supplies available, you don’t have many options for survival and a way out.
Weather alerts on smartphones or emergency weather radios can save a lot of lives in areas where severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can pop up suddenly. Simple smoke and carbon monoxide sensors could prevent many needless tragedies even today. Early warning allows the opportunity to get out in time or not even be there when disaster strikes. Hurricane and flood warnings allow families time to be somewhere else when the disaster is coming. While some still get get caught in major storms or scary situations, survivors have often said their outcome would have been a lot different if they were still at home and didn’t know about the situation.
Storage of Valuables
A needless tragedy is the delay in evacuation due to someone wanting to preserve family heirlooms, photographs and other items that are treasured. People have gone back into burning buildings to get wedding and baby pictures or to get grandma’s necklace, only to get seriously injured or worse. Safe deposit boxes at banks and storage units outside of the disaster-prone area should be utilized for keeping irreplaceable items safe. Storage units are also a great place to keep some extra supplies such as clothing and tools in case disaster strikes and destroys the home, says the professionals at The Self Storage Place.
The news stories on television after disasters are filled with videos of people recounting horrific losses along with the things they endured to survive. What you don’t hear about often are the people who survived with little incident and clear mind. When families are prepared and can stay calm in a scary situation, they can make choices that will get everyone to safety sooner without incident. Some people die in natural disasters from heart attacks and small fractures, while others survive with critical injuries. Being prepared ahead of time will help you avoid shock and heart failure that comes with a sense of helplessness and worry. Knowing how to make quick decisions, stay calm and think clearly will increase your chance of survival.
Disaster survival in families starts with someone taking the lead to get everyone ready for what may come. Planning for the most likely disasters is usually sufficient for getting through situations that were never even considered.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She enjoys writing about home, family, business and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys spending time with her family and reading a good book when she isn’t writing.