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Care to Click: The disaster blog

Emergency Action Plan: Preparation key to surviving natural disasters

natural disasterWhen natural disasters strike the key to coming through with as little inconvenience as possible is preparation, which is why every family should create their own emergency action plan.
Be it from hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes or tornadoes, every area of the country is susceptible to natural disasters. Creating an emergency action plan allows everyone in the household to understand their role should such a disaster strike.
To begin with, understand which types of natural disasters are most common in your area. Californians have to be prepared for earthquakes. Residents who live along the ocean or gulf should be prepared for hurricanes. Floods can happen anywhere, but anyone living near a river or flood plain needs to be ready for rushing water. Each spring tornadoes can devastate the midwest and south.
After determining which of the natural disasters are most likely to strike your area, create an emergency action plan. Elements of the plan should include.

  • Pre-disaster preparation: What needs to be done to the house to prepare for the potential natural disaster? What supplies (food, drink, gasoline, tools, sanitary products, baby products) are needed during the disaster and in the days afterward?

  • ¬†During the event: Where is the safe room? When do you go to the safe room? Where are the radios that allow you to monitor news updates about the situation? What are the emergency numbers in case something goes wrong?

  • The aftermath: Is there a meeting point if the family gets separated? How will the food be dispersed? What are the emergency numbers to call for disaster relief.

After creating the emergency action plan, it's time to assemble an emergency preparedness kit. This should include a basic first aid kit, any prescription medicine that a family member might need, flashlights, batteries, a radio and other necessities. The Red Cross has a store that sells several different kinds of emergency preparedness kits.

Even with an emergency action plan and an emergency preparedness kit, injuries are still a big problem when disaster strikes. That's why it's a good idea to have at least one family member trained in basic basic first aid, including CPR. In pressure situations, being ready makes it easier to take action.
Finally, remember that during times of crisis, everyone is in the same boat. Take steps to ensure the community is safe, too. Don't be afraid to invite trusted neighbors into your safe area. After the disaster, check on neighbors who may need help - but don't leave your home unless you've been advised that it's safe to do so!  Downed power lines and other hazards await after the actual storm, earthquake, etc. has passed.
Everyone hopes they will never have to face a natural disaster, and Care To Click hopes all of these steps prove to be unnecessary. However, we are realists who understand that natural disasters affect millions of people each year. Following these steps will help keep families safe and make it easier to deal with the resulting disorder of natural disasters.
And remember, when natural disasters strike other areas of the country, those people need all they help they can get. By visiting the Care To Click Disaster page and donating a free click or printing a useful coupon you can help disaster victims across the world. At CareToClick.com, your small actions prompt our donations toward disaster relief.
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