It doesn’t matter where you live, chances are that sooner or later you’ll face some sort of a disaster that will leave you without power, water, or access to buy more. It could be a natural disaster like a hurricane, snow storm, flood, tornado, or earthquake. Or it could be a man-made disaster that has the power grid failing or requires you to stay put in your home for a few days or even weeks.
The world can be a harsh place, but there’s something we can do. We can prepare for the disasters most likely to occur in our area.
I live in Illinois which a part of the Midwest here in the States. In the Midwest, we often joke “If you don’t like the weather just wait 5 minutes!” The weather here changes so fast most of us gave up watching the Weather Man on the local news.
Do You Know What Disasters You Should Be Prepared For?
Your first step in your own disaster preparedness should be to find out what types of emergency situations you need to get ready for. Take a few minutes to review the types of disasters your area is prone to. This is particularly important for natural disaster.
If you live in Florida or the South Easter US coast, you should prepare for hurricane season. If you live in the North East or south of the Great Lakes, you should get ready for big snow storms.
If you’re in the Mid-West, or South West, chances are you’ll come across a tornado or two. In California, you may prepare for earthquakes.
Next, think about possible man-made disasters. If you live near a dam, you may need a plan of action for flooding. If you live near a nuclear plant, you should think about a way to get out quickly if something were to happen at the plant.
What disasters we prepare for will be different for a lot of us and what sort of emergency plan you have will depend on those variables.
Once you have your list of disasters that you need to prepare for, it may be a good idea to consider if and when you would try to prepare to stay at your home and ride it out, and when it may be time to evacuate.
Obviously those decisions may be outside of your control, such as in the event of a mandatory evacuation, but there will also be plenty of times when the decision is up to you.
Do You Have a Disaster Preparedness Plan?
Think about what makes the most sense to you and your family.
If you are able to stay put, you can take care of issues as they pop up and prevent further damage.
If a storm blows out a window, you can board it up and prevent water from coming in for example. At other times, it may be safer and more convenient to get out of the disaster’s way.
For those cases as well as mandatory evacuation, think about where you would go. Do you have family or friends you can stay with? If that’s not an option, look into an area you may want to travel to and get the numbers of a few hotels.
Things move fast when a storm hits and evacuations are ordered. You don’t want to waste time on trying to make those decisions then and lose out on a hotel room for yourself and your loved ones.
Shelters should always be a last resort. Trust me, it’s not the most comfortable place to make it through a disaster.
Why You Should Have A Disaster Preparedness Plan
One of my biggest FEARS is a shooting happening at one of my children’s schools. My oldest daughter is now grown but she will soon be attending college. A place where she is NOT allowed to be armed. Sadly this gives any active shooter a high chance of succeeding their mission.
When she was younger I make her turn the touch tone off on her cell phone. You know the sounds a cell phone makes as you dial?
I am always thinking the absolute worse. But in all honesty I believe this could one day save our lives.
What if an armed man or woman decided to walk into your child’s school and begin shooting? Would your child know what to do? Has your child’s school held any drills? You would want to know your child was okay, right? Of course you would.
However, you wouldn’t want your child calling for help on their cell phone and the shooter hears the buttons being hit as they call for help.
This is why every time we get new phones the first thing I do is turn off the tones. This could happen anywhere. A grocery store, the movies, even a museum.
Why You Should Take A Disaster Preparedness Plan More Serious
I wish more people took disasters more serious. People die all the time from Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and more.
We need to be more alert! More prepared!
In 2008 we had an Earthquake right here in Southern Illinois. It was small but also strong enough to wake my daughter and step daughter. I apparently slept right through it.
The next morning the girls insisted we had an Earthquake. I just laughed it off only to hear a couple hours later we did indeed have an Earthquake!
The girls told me it shook the entire house so much that their bunk bed was shaking. Still not sure how I slept through it.
That made me realize my kids didn’t know what to do! What if the Earthquake would have been worse? We had no plan?
It made me start thinking about Fires, Tornadoes, and yes Shootings. My uneasiness became so bad it was all I could think about.
That is when I began to hold random drills at home. Fires Drills, Tornado Drills, and Earthquake Drills. It gave me peace of mind knowing my children would know what to do in case…. something catastrophic happened.
But it didn’t stop there. Every time we go to a store, to see a movie, literally anywhere, I always scope out the exits along with the closest bathrooms.
You just never know when you need to run for your life.
I hope after reading this post you are more aware of the everyday dangers we face. We often take everything for granite and forget to stop be thankful for the things we have. This is when a disaster can happen. When least expect it! This is why we need to be more prepared and have a Disaster Preparedness Plan.
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