Thinking about disaster preparedness can be a downer and that is why so many people do not want to think about it. No one wants to dwell on things that could go wrong. However, it is wise to be ready in case something unexpected happens like a fire, tornado, earthquake or hurricane. Those who prepare are at an advantage when an emergency strikes. Here are some things that can be done in advance.
Have a meeting and discuss developing a disaster preparedness plan with everyone living with you. Each person can contribute suggestions and can be given instructions to help implement them. Make sure that all present know what to do, where to go and who to contact in the event of an emergency.
Get organized. Write down each step for disaster preparedness and post it where it can be seen by all involved. Know the evacuation routes and go over when and how to leave. Designate specific meeting places both at home and far away in case people are separated. Ask someone living outside of the area to be a contact. That person will be contacted and kept up-to-date on how everyone is doing and any other important news.
Do a home inventory. Take pictures or make a video of all valuables in the residence. Walk through each room and make a list of furniture, electronics, collectibles and clothing. Estimate the value of these items. Save the list, pictures and video and give a copy to the contact for safekeeping. Make sure that there is adequate insurance as part of disaster preparedness.
Have important records where they can quickly be grabbed in case of a quick evacuation. This information can be kept in a binder or even a laptop computer. Keeping it handy may be vital in case something devastating happens. That way, others will be able to have access to it.
Part of any disaster preparedness includes an emergency kit with the essentials for survival. After seeing the problems that have occurred in recent disasters, people have learned that emergency situations can continue for several days. Victims have had to survive on their own for a while. Items that are needed include water, food, personal hygiene, cell phones, flashlights, radios, first aid supplies and some cash. Each person needs enough of these items to live off of for 72 hours. Keep all of these things stored in a waterproof container. If evacuation is needed, make sure the kit is easy to find and can be transferred to a vehicle.
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