Health Relationships

Preparing for Natural Disasters

Summer is a wonderful time of year, but it also provides perfect conditions for tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. If you live in a vulnerable area, it’s normal to be anxious, but you can reduce your anxiety with the right preparation. Even if you live in a relatively safe place, familiarize yourself with our tips.

Develop a Family Emergency Plan

Your plan should include at least one safe location where your family can go, or meet up if you are separated. It can be a church, a relative’s house, or a neighborhood spot where you know many people will be gathering to meet with their families, such as a shelter. All family members of age should carry disposable cell phones, which can come in handy if services go out. Place certain family members in charge of different things, such as medications or pets. Many websites offer downloadable plans you can customize.

Stock Up

No matter the hazard, you’ll need to stock up on basic necessities. These include:

  • Water (at least one 20-oz bottle per person)
  • Non-perishable food, such as canned goods
  • Batteries, flashlights, and candles
  • Blankets (at least one per person)
  • Filled medications
  • Pet care items/carriers

Keep your stock in a safe place, such as a cellar, and in air-tight containers where applicable. If weather or news reports indicate a disaster is imminent, have everyone pack a bag with some of these essentials (such as a water bottle and blanket).

Have ID on You

Ideally, families won’t get separated and everyone will stay safe. However, emergency situations are chaotic by nature. Make sure everyone, including pets, has a valid ID. If anyone has special needs, he or she should wear a necklace, bracelet, or other form of ID that explains these requirements. Identify shelters where your family members or pets may go in the event of a separation so you know where to search.

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