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How to prepare for natural disasters and hazards?

By Heather Protz Subscribe to RSS | March 22nd 2012 | Views:
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Surrounded by the North Pacific, the North Atlantic oceans and sharing borders with Canada and Mexico, the United States disputes one of the world’s largest territory and in turn a wide variety of geographical features. Due to this wide range of geographic features, the United States experiences climates ranging from mildly tropical to temperamental and Tundra cold. Accounting to its varying climate and geographical location, a country like the United States with its diverse ecology and expansive topography is prone to every kind of natural disaster.

Exploding volcanoes, hurricanes, storms, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis destroy bits and pieces of the nation every year. The losses the country faces due to these natural disasters cross billions on a weekly basis. True to its meaning, disasters fall upon us when we least expect it. Even after surviving the hazards, the after effects of the disasters leave us devastated especially when we face them unprepared. Precariously, we think that the probabilities of calamities striking us are close to none because we assume that the area we live in may not be disaster prone. But the truth is calamities occur regardless of the region. Disasters don’t necessarily have to be limited to monstrous cyclones and tsunamis, even a simple house fire when unnoticed can result in a large number of casualties. Given their temperamental nature, it’s safe to take little, every day precautions to protect your family and home.

Preparing ahead:

Disasters occur in many forms, but regardless of what the disaster is, it’s safe to have a disaster supplies kit on hand. Your disaster supplies kit should be equipped with utilities to face every possible disaster- even things like electrolytes and insulators to help you and your family to survive extreme heat or extreme cold conditions. An ideal disaster supplies kit will contain basic items such as change of clothes, a portable telecommunication device such as a radio, batteries, flashlights, emergency medications, bed rolls and adequate food and water supplies that last for over a period of 72 hours. Don’t pack any perishables, stock on instant food like ramen and cereal crackers. Copies of official documents like birth certificate, educational certificates etc, should also be included in the supplies kit. While packing the equipment, don’t forget to take in a first-aid kit.

Not all disasters come with warnings, but the government does take steps to predict the arrival of catastrophes so it’s always good to stay connected to the local news broadcasting company over the radio or the television. It’s true that at the brink of disasters communication lines will be disrupted so set up an emergency communications network for your locality like an amateur radio that keeps you neighborhood connected. Make sure your family members are informed of this network and assign a responsible person from the neighborhood that they have to contact during times of emergencies.

Expecting a disaster:

Discuss with your family members about the possibilities of the types of disasters that might vanquish your area. Protect your home keeping the effects of these disasters in mind. Insulate your roof and make it fire resistant. Don’t hang too many things on the wall. Secure your home’s foundation- the stronger it is, lesser are the chances of it getting ripped up. Don’t clutter your house with unnecessary things; it will obstruct timely evacuation. Don’t pile them in the attic. Pack all the extras and move them to a safer location. There are companies that provide moving resources like Moving Checklist to store your utilities during times of emergencies. While removing the unnecessary appliances enable easier evacuation, you also need to make sure that your back and front yards are clear of potentially hazardous material. For example cut down old trees and discard flammable landscape accessories. During times of storms these trees are in the danger of being uprooted and blocking your way. Evacuation is as necessary as planning before facing the brink of the disaster. Have an emergency evacuation route ready complete with blueprints.

Heather Protz - About Author:
Heather is an active blogger and freelancer. A student by profession, she likes to write about study tips, adventure sports and other things that interest her. As an education major, she likes to share her experience with college to the rest of the world. Her move to college was made easier by moving resources like the Moving Checklist

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