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How To Prepare For A Natural Disaster

Updated on August 10, 2011
Flooding of Homes
Flooding of Homes

Be smart and prepare

There are many types of natural disasters like hurricanes and sometimes tornadoes where we are forewarned, but yet there are still some people that scramble at the last minute to try to gather up just the basic supplies to get by on for survival. Often times in a panic most of us just can't think that clearly and quickly. On the other hand if you live in a state like California which is prone to earthquakes, then there is no warning at all.

There are also more disasters like the horrible events of 9/11 which are not natural but because of the times we live in are cause for us to really take being prepared for disasters a moral imperative.

Prepare for Disasters
Prepare for Disasters

Plan your Preparedness

Having all the right things for a emergency will mean little if prior plans for your family and other close love ones are not made. The Red Cross is a good start for finding out what supplies are best for a particular disaster. Of course you can up or downsize accordingly to your family size, but it is always better to have more because you never know how long you may be out of your home.

Do your homework and find out what the emergency warnings sounds are in your commmunity and how to react to them. Also find out about the disaster plan at your job, your children's school or day care center.

Keep emergency numbers near your phone.

Have discussions with your children so they will have an understanding about the possible dangers of fire,earthquakes, hurricanes or any other emergency situation and do it in a way that does not scare them. Also teach younger children how and when to dial 911.

Draw a floor plan of you house and mark at least two escape routes out. Go over the plan in a family meeting at least every three months,especially if you have younger children.

In case of a fire at your house, designate a meeting place for the entire family. A neighbor's house close by is the best place to meet. If a disaster occurs away from the home then pick a place outside of your neighborhood to meet. In case the family gets separated have an out of town or even out of state relative be a central contact where all family members can call to give their whereabouts and find out about missing family members who may have called also.

Let's not forget our pets. A plan should also be adopted for pets who many times are not allowed in shelters. (We all know what happened in Hurricane Katrina). In family meetings go over with everyone on how to evacuate a pet.

If you have a disabled person or elderly parents living with you there are extra steps that need to be taken to make sure that they are safe. To get more information on this go to the

One last step for being prepared is to make sure all your home and personal insurance policies are kept in your evacuation bag. Also keep another copy in sealed waterproof plastic bags inside a fireproof safe in case you are not at home when a disaster strikes.

Survival Bag
Survival Bag

What's in the Bag?

Here is a basic list of essentials to have prepared for an emergency when you are at home and have time to get out.

1. Water-a minimum of a three day supply. Allow 1 gallon per person per day. The water is both for drinking and sanitary purposes.

2. Food-again a minimum three day supply per person.Items should include only non-perishables. Keep items on hand like the following canned goods....tuna, meat, fruit, juices, etc. Also carry along high energy goods such as candy and granola bars.For infants have baby food in jars and powdered formula.

Note: Monitor and use items whose expiration dates are coming up. Just keep replenishing your survival bag as needed.

3. First Aid Kit-have a fully stocked first aid kit packed and ready at all times. Also have prescription drugs ready along with the pharmacy and Doctor's phone number for needed refills.

4. Clothing-Minimum of one change of clothing.

5. Flashlight- have extra batteries on hand(no candles).

6.Other Supplies-can opener,paper plates, cups, utensitls, plastic garbage bags and ,disposable wipes. Don't forget blankets,pet food and the list could get longer depending on individual family needs.

Are you and your family ready today if a Disaster took place?

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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      As I told Sufidreamer earlier today, I think the world will be very different in ten years. I believe we are on the cusp of a great evolutionary moment. We may survive it or not. Either way, Earth will be quite another place soon.

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      I agree with you 100%. What has been the normal pattern that meteorologists speak about will be gone; in other words data collected over years and years will mean nothing.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Have you seen the weather that's been happening in Buffalo, NY recently? Philadelphia isn't known for mild winters either. I watched the Eagles beat the crap out of Dallas the other day. The temperature was in the high sixties.

      Where it is cold, snow is falling in record amounts. Why? Warmer air picks up more moisture as it passes over warmer bodies of water. Wherever the precipitation falls, rain or snow, there's going to be more of it.

      In about ten years or so a lot of folks aren't going to recognize the places they've been living all their lives.

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      ColdWarBaby, I agree and we 've already seen very extreme weather already taking place in the many parts of the United States, for instance rain and floods that occured in Illinois earlier this year. They get snow, but not flooding.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Valuable and important information; especially with the wild events that global climate change will be delivering. The next several generations should be prepared to face natural disasters on a regular basis. They will be coming fast and furious.

    • profile image

      johnny yuma 

      9 years ago

      I had a house burn back in the early 2000's and still can't say that I am really prepared.


    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      RGraf, thanks for the comments, and I'm glad that you are taking action are being prepared. It can make a big difference if any of us are faced with an emergency.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      These are good tips. I like the fact that you didn't take it an extreme that many do at times. I see areas that I need fill and will get on it right away.


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hello Gods Child; We all think it's never going to happen to me, so being prepared is often put on the back burner. Maybe start with a small survival pack, because something is better than nothing. What's easy is setting up a family plan though. Everyone should have one. By the way I have family in Missouri. It's nice to meet you. Take care.

    • Gods Child profile image

      Gods Child 

      9 years ago from New Orleans, La

      I was in Katrina and I must say that I am not prepared in case of a disaster. Sad isn't it, that I would not be prepared.

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Yes indeed,preparation seems to many people nothing very pressing but it is most important if a disaster strikes.

    • earnestshub profile image


      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Great post. I am like many Australians somewhat slack in this area.

      We should not be. We have had tornadoes floods and fires a-plenty and earthquakes too.

      One major difference is that our biggest Cities are pretty well located, and not subject to the extremes of our weather.

      We are running out of water, and that may be the biggest disaster for us,

    • laringo profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      allshookup....thank you for the remarks....I do hope many read this because being prepared should not be taken lightly. Of course we don't want anything bad to happen and hopefully it never will but have we all need to have that security in place just in case.

    • allshookup profile image


      10 years ago from The South, United States

      Great hub. I am from tornado territory. We have a concrete underground shelter. We keep some items there and others here in the house to carry with us. One thing I have to make sure of is that I have my medications and plenty of them. I need them to live. I have to have my Coumadin (blood thinner). It's a nescessity of life for me, so I have several months of them in case something were to happen. We also have an emergency frequency radio and a scanner that is nice to have, just in case. This is a good hub every person needs to read.


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