02 Jun 2014
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While we don’t realize it, evacuation is getting more and more common these days. According to Ready.gov people find themselves in the midst of accidents more than a hundred times on a yearly basis. Disasters are overwhelming and their magnitude and frequency are getting more serious, and at times, even fatal. Disasters cannot be avoided, but preparing for it makes their damage less or more tolerable. To make sure that your family will be able to make it through an emergency, social unrest, or an unforeseen calamity, it is best to arm yourself with an emergency preparedness plan.
Image by Agência Brasil via Wikimedia Commons Communication, a dependable set of warning devices, and an ample supply of emergency food and water will ensure that you'd live to tell your own version of a survivalist's tale.
Here are some ways to arm you and your family with the right information and manageable action plan when faced with the world's worst disaster.
GET TO KNOW THE DISASTER TO PREPARE BETTER
Assess the past disasters in your area or within your state.
What disasters are likely to strike your area? Did you experience any disaster within the last 12 months? If so, how bad was it and what was its impact to you and your family? Assess how you and your family addressed the loss, damage, and stress from previous emergencies and calamities. Note the areas for improvement and incorporate them with your emergency plan.
Familiarize yourself about the community’s warning signals and emergency services.
Note where they’re located and save their contact details on every family member’s mobile device for easy storage and retrieval. Do not forget to update them every 6 months.
Note the special needs of infants, children, pregnant women, elderly, or disabled members of your household.
Make sure that you give prior attention to them, since they are the most vulnerable once disaster strikes.
Do not neglect your pets' evacuation plan as well.
Dogs, for instance, are not only part of our family and home lives as they are nature's alarm systems. Count them in your plan and emergency kit, too. They also provide a sense of comfort, and favorable distraction, especially for children and elders, when all is unstable and unpredictable.
Check the disaster plan in your office alongside your children’s schools.
If you are frequenting a certain place outside your home, do take the time to check their evacuation plans, as well. Knowing where the safety exits are would surely make a huge difference when calamities come.
DEVICE A CUSTOMIZED EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN DURING A DISASTER
Sharing the responsibilities of disaster preparedness empowers every member of your household.
Training your kids to be survivalists is always better than to let them depend on you. Studies show that parents or older and able family members risk and at times, lose their lives to save other family members. You may be able to save your kids, but it is hard to imagine how they'll cope with the possibility of a permanent loss of a loved one.
Inform every family member about the evacuation plan.
You may even quiz each of them, and come up with unique yet easy-to-recall acronyms that will come in handy should disaster strike.
Seek a relative or a friend that could take you in when your family evacuates.
Make sure that you plan your route and have alternative plan to get to them once roads and bridges get congested, or worse, inaccessible.
Agree on a meeting place before you evacuate.
This quick meeting is important since it is also your chance to make last minute checks on headcount and the things that you need on your emergency kit.
TURN THE PLAN INTO MANAGEABLE ACTION
Scan your home and see whether you have hazard zones.
Is your living room or basement vulnerable to flooding? Are your doors and windows easy to pry open? Identifying these spaces would give you more room where you can build the floor plan for your evacuation. A good number of accidents and deaths are met by families who are trapped inside their very own homes.
Seal and secure your entry and exit points.
When disaster strikes, a lot of people panic. More often than not, they do unlikely things like trespass, vandalize, and loot because of lack of emergency preparation and information. Monitor your perimeter with security cameras that can be synced to your phones.
Monitor your home better with the aid of alarm system upgrades like helpful mobile apps. Currently, there are wireless surveillance cameras and driveway entry alarms that are beefed up with a free mobile app to let give you access to your place in spite being away from home. Remember you have to make sure that after the disaster, you need a place to start over again.
Putting smoke detectors in all areas of your home is a good way to prevent fire.
Prioritize your bedroom since it houses materials that could catch fire easily, on top of having a good number of valuables. Food storage rooms must also be well-guarded.
Know the basic of first aid and make sure that each family member knows to administer them properly.
A common hurdle faced by people who are not formally trained when it comes to first aid is that they jump into giving first aid, without looking at the entirety of the emergency. More often than not, victims who collapsed must be checked first before helping them to get up.
Learn self-defense and arm each member with self-defense allies such as whistles and pepper spray.
These handy items decrease the chances of being caught off guard by people who intentionally or unintentionally inflict harm due to high level of stress, panic, and even depression. Deterring intruders and looters is more attainable when you are armed with the skills necessary for planning an escape.
Put markers on the safest areas in your homes.
During earthquakes for instance, it is best to hide under really sturdy areas that are away from heavy things that may crash, or fall to the ground. As for floods, a room that has access to the outside is your safest bet once water level reaches the critical level.
PRIORITIZE YOUR FOOD AND WATER EMERGENCY KITS
Even water has an expiry date.
Stored water needs to be replaced every year and must be placed away from direct light. Water stored in Mylar bags last longer though. Should you find yourself in a situation where you need to drink stored water with a different taste, pour it back and forth between two cups so as to let air circulate better. Doing so makes the taste better, or at the very least, more tolerable.
Purify water with bleach.
Contaminated water is the last thing you would want to deal with during emergency; then again, potable water becomes one main concern during disaster. Boiling water for 5 minutes on top of adding bleach will ensure you get to replenish water loss and save you from dehydration. A gallon of cloudy water would need 8 drops of common household bleach.
Plan your food stock wisely.
Address the special dietary needs of each member of your household. Milk for infants and toddlers and people who have allergy towards certain food must be duly noted. By securing the right mix of emergency food supply, everyone will surely be more relaxed, cooperative, and functional. Disasters are better faced with no accidents that are likely to cause additional stress and panic.
Guard your disaster food from pest and contamination.
Emergency food that are canned and are housed in glass jars abound, but when crossing a flooded road or inching your way to a disaster area, chances are breakage, contamination and pests are your enemies. Food kits that are inside dependable Mylar pouches are budge-proof and disaster-ready. More so, designating food portions for each family member makes it easier to make sure that each member gets the right fill they'd need for each day of uncertainty.
Go for compact and food storage to avoid space shortage.
Evacuation sites and transportation for emergencies usually have limited spaces. To make sure that all your survivalist food is with you during your evacuation, scout for stackable food kits that house generous amount of food. Did you know that some survivalist food kits are designed to fit in a space that is only as big as your washer and dryer? Households with adult members can even get emergency food supply in backpacks to be able to move around better and faster.
Scout for emergency food supply that gives comfort and the energy that would last for more than 3 days.
On the average, Americans who are predominantly complacent and are acquainted with getting everything they need when they want it, only stock their pantry when they run low on food supply. Due to the increasing number of emergencies of all sorts, loading up on dependable emergency food will make your emergency preparedness plan better and more manageable. Being prepared saves you and your family from having to deal with threats to security and safety. Begin your preparedness plan today and see how it can make a difference between survival and the lack of it.