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What To Do When Disaster Strikes

What To Do When Disaster Strikes

If you live in a coastal area, you are probably familiar with the devastation that can occur during hurricane season. Other parts of the country may fear tornadoes or blizzards, but regardless of the disaster, dealing with the aftermath is no easy task. Damages to property, landscape, buildings and roadways can throw an entire city or town into chaos. For many, preparedness simply means prepping the location to minimize potential destruction. However, having a plan that addresses the cleanup is also a part of the process.

Keep Safety First

It goes without saying that the most important part of any situation is the safety of all who are involved. Whether you consider the pre-storm planning of nailing plywood over windows or locating the right dump truck rentals for cleanup, keeping everyone out of harm’s way is the top priority. Local law enforcement and government agencies are generally the sources of information for evacuation notices or cautionary “all clear” releases. Be sure to adhere to all instructions both before and after any disaster, as they are designed to protect your safety.

Careful Planning Will Address The Before And After Situations

Depending on your location and the most common weather-related situation, you should always be prepared to take the offensive with prepping. While the Florida Keys often bear the brunt of vicious hurricanes and tropical storms, the Midwest and parts of California are often ravaged by wildfires. Having the right items on-hand when the earliest warning notices are given will be a strong start to protecting your family and property.

The best way to make sure your entire family understands what to do is through the use of a written plan. This eliminates confusion and helps overcome the stress and panic of the moment. Keep your plan in an easily accessible location, and take care to store it in a waterproof container.

Know The Resources Available

Many cities are using the power of technology to develop warning systems that provide mass alerts. There are apps and programs that allow for a recorded message to be released, sirens to blare and informative texts to be shared in real time for concerned citizens. If you aren’t sure that your city or town utilizes such a program, check with your local government. There are some disaster alert apps that work independently of a government agency. Weather apps may also have an alert function for things occurring in your area.

Pack And Locate Your Supply Bag

Long before disaster strikes, you should have a supply bag packed and stored in an easy-to-reach location. Although you might be tempted to load up everything you can and save your family heirlooms, it’s important to remember you may only be able to carry the essentials. Your bag should contain flashlights, extra batteries, matches, candles, first-aid kit, non-perishable food and water.

As you think about food, consider packing items that are high in protein and energy but designed to remain safe for consumption even after a long period of time. Energy bars, jerky and canned goods are excellent choices. Be sure to store bottled water and invest in water treatment tablets or a water bottle with a quality filter. Don’t forget about medicines and prescriptions that are generally taken.

Plan Your Route And Your Return

In the moment of panic when you hear evacuations are mandatory, you might draw a blank on where you can take your family. It’s best to have this laid out long before you find yourself in that situation. Know where local shelters or assistance centers are often established, but consider the possibilities outside of town. Check with family or friends who are willing to provide transitionary housing and keep extra clothes or blankets with your supply bag for these situations. When you return, have a system already in place for what elements will be tackled first. Discuss it with your family and enlist the help of others who may be able to spare some time to get your house and property back in order.

When a disaster strikes, there is no doubt your life will change. However, being prepared before it occurs might save you from panicking and feeling lost or overwhelmed. Having a plan will help everyone stay focused and working together for the safety of all involved.