Losses can be avoided and lives can be saved when there is a formal, well-coordinated plan set-up beforehand for a natural disaster. There is much to be gained from efficient disaster planning. Emergency procedures can only do so much, but having a list of things to do in preparation for a natural disaster sets you up mentally and physically for any emergency.
Natural disasters come without warning, and this underlines the need for disaster management – for a company, store or even for your family. Natural disasters may range from hurricanes to earthquakes, any of which may claim lives or damage crops and properties without warning. Emergency management can lessen the damage and save more lives than if there are no systems set up for disaster security.
There are steps to take when you plan for a natural disaster. Here’s a list of some of them:
- Ask your local Red Cross chapter or emergency management office for reminders for disaster hazards and emergency management procedures. This is also the best time to ask what kind of disasters can likely take place. You may also request a list of emergency procedures that should be done in each type of disaster.
- Each community has its own set of emergency signals. Find out what these are – what they sound like and what they mean. Knowing what to do at once gives you a head start in any emergency.
- Find out about any disaster planning or disaster management plan that your workplace, your children’s school or daycare center, or your church has. It would also be good to find out any disaster management plan for helping the elderly or disabled persons.
- Discuss the dangers of different types of natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Include discussions on what is likely to happen and what should be done in such cases. Plan how each one of you will react and what are the responsibilities of each one, in order to be able to work as a team.
- Set a target meeting place in case of a natural disaster, one within the vicinity of your workplace or home, and one outside your immediate vicinity. This is the place everyone should try to reach when a natural disaster happens. Agree on a contact out-of-state that everyone should try to call. After a natural disaster, it is sometimes easier to call long distance.
- Prepare a disaster supply kit. Stock it with first aid supplies. Prepare water and food caches (these should be replaced every six months) that should be enough for three days. Prepare emergency lights like flashlights with batteries (be sure your batteries are brand new) or flares. Include a battery-powered radio in the kit so you can listen to updates.
- Review the plan you prepared regularly and visualize yourself putting the plan into action.
There are several more ways to plan for a natural disaster that would match your particular situation. Those who have infants or small kids will need milk and other food in their food cache along with diapers. Elderly or disabled people may also have special needs that would have to be considered in the plan.