All About Disaster Preparedness
Disaster preparedness is all about anticipating any disaster which can strike at any time. If you want to keep yourself and those around you safe when a disaster suddenly strikes, you need to make sure that you have all of the necessary information you will need to survive the disaster in the first place.
There are generally two types of disasters: natural disasters, and man-made disasters.
Natural disasters include hurricanes, typhoons, floods, and volcanic eruptions.
Man-made disasters, on the other hand, can include biological attacks, hazardous materials incidents, and even terrorist attacks.
In any disaster, it is possible to keep yourself and your family safe.
General guidelines for disaster preparedness:
1. Create an emergency supplies kit for the entire family. Supplies included in this kit include: complete changes of clothes for each member of the family, at least one gallon of water for each family member, flashlights or rechargeable LED lamps, food supplies that won’t spoil easily even without refrigeration, important personal documents such as bank account records and birth certificates, extra cash (not credit cards), sleeping bags, blankets, mattresses, pillows, and any prescription medication that you or any other family member may need.
2. In the event of a disaster, you have to be aware of any public announcements, or bulletins, from the local authorities. By local authorities, we refer specifically to emergency services personnel, such as the police, and the fire brigade.
These departments may periodically send out bulletins to inform the public of any changes in the situation. Local agencies often transmit bulletins over the radio, television, and these days even over the Internet.
3. If you have to drive to a safe location during a disaster, make sure that the roads, and all of the other areas that you will be passing through, are safe before proceeding. Driving through flooded areas is generally not a good idea, but if you really have to do it, try to measure just how deep the flood is.
If the flood is less than six inches in height, then you can probably drive through it and survive. But if the flood is more than six inches in height there is a good chance that your car will stall.
If the water is more than six inches in height, that amount of water has been known to stall, and even carry away sports utility vehicles. Do not underestimate the power of muddy water, because you can really get hurt doing it.
4. In case there is a man-made disaster (such as a biological attack, or a hazardous materials incident), staying at a location that is up-wind is best.
Chemical and biological agents can actually travel through the air, so it is best to steer clear of the affected area until the authorities have announced that the emergency is over, and people can resume their normal activities without any fear of contamination or disease.
If you think you have come into contact with any hazardous waste or any biological agent, go to any hospital’s emergency unit and have yourself checked out. That is the only way that you can be sure that you are safe, and that you won’t need any special procedures after you have been exposed.