By Natty 2 CommentsNatural disaster preparedness: How to prepare yourself and family for floods, hurricanes and earthquakes survival. Certain natural disasters can be predicted or forecast based on current weather situations, seasons and other conditions favorable for a particular disaster. Flash flooding can be caused by storm surges due to heavy winds associated with certain storms along with heavy rains.
Recent and not so recent events in the country have shown that experts can get it wrong when it comes to natural disasters and their effects. Many cities, towns and communities have antiquated infrastructures, patched together power grids, and crumbling bridges and over passes. Failure to properly repair and upgrade infrastructure and power grids has created a domino effect, ultimately affecting communities not even in the path of the storm.
Natural disasters cause more damage today, not because the storms are more intense, but because the infrastructure as whole is weaker. If you live in a coastal area, you know a hurricane will occur at some point, but typically, you have eight or nine months in which to prepare for the storms. Running out when the storm is just a few days away to gather supplies, may mean you come home empty handed and trying to purchase everything at the last minute is an economic burden. Keep trees, limbs, and other heavy vegetation trimmed so it is not a hazard to you or your home during high winds. Water for 72 hours and use the one gallon per day per individual recommendation as a means to calculate amounts.
Food for 72 hours and remember you will have disruption in power and gas, so you will need foods that can be eaten literally from the package or can.
Materials to secure your home and to make emergency repairs, materials include sheets of plywood, waterproof tarps, plastic sheeting and suitable tape. Propane or oil fueled lanterns, most experts now consider candles to be a fire hazard especially in homes with children so use candles with caution, and avoid scented candles as a means of illumination. Communication devices that can be used when cell phone or landline service is disrupted, Devices can include two-way radios (Walkie-Talkies) Citizens Band (CB) radios, or ham radios. The above list is by no means comprehensive and should be adapted for personal preferences. Insulin Storage: According to the American Diabetes Foundation, insulin can be stored at room temperature for up to 28 days.
It is recommended that if you use a generator that it is capable of generating 7,000 watts or more of surge.
If an emergency evacuation order is given for your area you must leave as quickly as possible otherwise you can become trapped.
Flooding causes a tremendous amount of damage to cities, towns and private property every year as well as causing numerous fatalities. If you become trapped in your home during a flood, you will have to retreat to the upper floors and possibly to the roof.
Have waterproof containers for all-important documentation, and make it so you can carry the paperwork with you if you evacuate. Food, water and all other supplies must be protected and if you are preparing especially for flooding store all of your emergency supplies on the upper floors of the home. Do not immerse yourself in floodwaters because they will have displaced wildlife, dangerous reptiles’, marine life and harmful bacteria in them. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes and you have not already done so designate a safe room within your home.
The safe room should have sturdy table that can pushed up against the load-bearing wall and it needs to be big enough where every family member can fit underneath it.
Secure the hot water tank with steel banding or other suitable material to the wall joists so it cannot fall over causing injuries and water damage. Do not mount televisions, pictures or lights on the wall where they can fall on a sleeping person.
Store all chemicals at floor level preferably in a locked cabinet where they cannot fall and cause injury or a chemical spill. Do not place any beds close enough to a brick or stone fireplace where the material can injure a sleeping person as it falls. Avoid the kitchen during an earthquake unless you have secured the large appliances to the walls to prevent tip over. Disaster relief agencies, emergency management experts and many local governments recommend you have at least a three days’ supply of emergency essentials.
To protect your family and yourself you need to be self-sufficient as much as possible during any natural disaster. It is not just the disaster itself you are preparing for, but also the effects of the disaster and the long days after disaster strikes. If you assume the disaster and its effects will last longer than three days then you must plan differently. You will have to increase the amount of water per person to accommodate washing of clothes, cooking and medical care. Storage becomes a problem and it is recommended that you use food grade plastic water barrels for water storage.

Storage is once again a consideration when stockpiling canned goods for an extended period. MRE’s (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) are easily stored anywhere as long as they are protected from insect and rodent infestations. Dehydrated foods are an option for long-term survival if you have an adequate water supply and an energy source for heating water. Hurricanes, for example, can be tracked by satellites and experts can predict, with a great deal of accuracy, when and where the storm will make landfall.
While experts cannot always, state conclusively where flooding will take place, they and you can assume that because of certain weather conditions’ flooding is a possibility. Citizens and governments alike tend to use history as a template when preparing for future disasters.
When bridges, roadways and other infrastructure are well maintained they can withstand extreme disasters. Once the demand increases because of damage to a certain sector the already weakened system begins to fail in succession. City governments and their citizens continually fail to prepare according to the new reality. Preparing over time helps alleviate the economic burden and makes certain you will get the proper supplies and not just what is left over in the days leading up to the crisis. Ensure you keep track of expiration dates and keep your emergency essentials separate from your day-to-day supplies. Each person will need at least one can of protein, one can of vegetables and one of fruit daily. Anyone one of these devices can also be used to monitor for information as well as communication between family members. Make sure you have portable oxygen bottles on hand for those that require them and any other medical devices needed. This means if you have a one-month supply you can safely store it out of refrigeration but if you have more than a 28-day supply, the additional amounts must be kept chilled (American Diabetes Association, 2013). This will allow you to operate refrigerators, radios, lights and small heating appliances at the same time and allows the normal cycling of the appliances.
The recent super storm sandy along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States caused a tidal surge that caught everyone by surprise and the surge caused flooding in areas that had never experienced it before. If you do become trapped in your home, emergency medical and rescue along with law enforcement personnel may not be able to reach your area. Floods can be caused by heavy rains, flash floods from heavy storms upstream, storm surges and by ruptured levees and dams.
However, there are a few additional items that you should have on hand when preparing for flooding in your area. You will need tools stored in the attic or upper floors ahead of time for an emergency evacuation to the roof. Floodwaters typically contain raw sewage from flooded sewage treatment plants and sewage waste piping as well.
It takes less than two feet of moving water to wash a vehicle downstream and even less moving water to sweep a person off their feet. Ideally, one of the room’s walls will be a load-bearing wall, which means it is supported by the foundation and thus is sturdier. Make sure all bureaus and wardrobes are far enough away from beds or sleeping areas so if they tip over they cannot cause injury. Dishes, canned goods and other items can fall from kitchen cabinets causing injury as well. The reason for this recommendation is that government manuals (disaster relief protocol) state that personnel shall be on the ground and operational in any disaster area in the United States within 72-hours. If you prepare with the thought in the back of your mind that relief agencies will be passing out emergency supplies within 72-hours then you may be disappointed. It is recommended you increase the amount to three gallons per person daily for periods exceeding one week.
The barrels once filled with tap water using a marine grade (safe for drinking water) hose; do not need any further purification.
A family of four would need 12 cans daily if you use the recommended amount described earlier. I definitely agree that there are many things that you can do to get yourself, and your family prepared for a natural disaster.
We had to collect a lot of the supplies listed to prepare for the hurricane but like the article said, the earthquake came without notice.
Michaels has over 30 years experience with helping people deal with natural and man-made disasters. Experts can only state that an earthquake has happened in the past and that certain geological conditions are favorable for an earthquake in a particular area.
They essentially do what they did the last time, and this method has proven to be disastrous in some cases. As the years went by however, municipalities performed ad hoc repairs because of financial constraints and various other reasons.

Pick up items as you do your normal shopping, and before long, you will have a sizable emergency supply built up. Move all outdoor furniture to a safe location, and know where your main gas line and electrical breaker panel is located. Use the plywood on the outside of doorways and windows to protect against flying glass and to cover damage in walls and roofs. Speak to your health care professional about emergency supplies of maintenance medications, such as heart medications, insulin, high blood pressure medication and so forth.
Refrigerators, fluorescent lights and some heating appliances have a higher wattage demand on startup and a generator not capable of handling the demand can pose a risk to you and damage your appliances. Generators in some cases where placed below street level and thus were flooded and rendered useless. The surges can contaminate water wells, water treatment plants, and any other surface water sources with seawater. In addition to the above listed emergency supplies, special consideration must be given to your home to prepare it for an earthquake.
The room should not have openings to the outside, fireplaces, hanging chandeliers or skylights.
Most injuries during an earthquake occur as people try to move from room to room or go outside. To prevent this you can install latches to keep the doors closed, but the latches must be such that they automatically secure themselves once closed. Glass that has shattered will be in powdered form in some cases, so if you do have to go outside protect your eyes and wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation of glass particles and other airborne contaminates. If sealed properly the water in the barrels is considered to have an indefinite shelf life.
One thing that I would say, however, is to think beyond a big disaster- sometimes even having a short power outage can throw a wrench in your routines (especially when you have a very young baby)- so even having a plan (even if it’s just in your head) for those kinds of things can be invaluable. His tasks in the past have included going into ravaged areas to teach people from around the world how to prepare for and survive a disaster. Earthquakes can cause tsunamis, which are destructive ocean waves that can reach for miles inland. Each MRE contains roughly 1,200 calories each and comes with condiments and eating utensils.
Use tarps or plastic on the inside of the home’s glass openings and doorways to protect against flying glass and other debris.
Stay inside whatever structure you are in unless you know it is collapsing or the authorities have ordered an evacuation from the building. This is not to say that the agencies have failed or are ill equipped it is simply the reality in certain situations. Additionally, you have to assume, as was the case with super storm sandy that utility disruptions can extend for weeks or longer in some cases. The barrels because of the weight should be filled in place such as in the garage or even a secure tool shed. I also make sure to keep the car stocked with water, as well as jars of baby food and snacks for us adults. Typically, once an earthquake occurs expert will determine the tsunami risk and issue the appropriate warnings. One way is to use the sledgehammer to knock one of the rotating attic fans loose and crawl through the opening. One day we were making a routine trip, and there was an accident and we were literally stuck on the highway for 6 HOURS.
Flooding and high winds can cause gas lines to rupture creating a fire or explosive hazard.
Luckily our little one was at home with my sister- but when I thought about how unprepared I would have been for that to happen had she been there I made up my mind to always keep the car packed with things from then on.
Damaged electrical lines can also pose a fire hazard if the main electrical breaker to the home is not shut off. There were many people with children stuck on the highway, and it really wasn’t safe.
There were some smart people who had water and food in their car, who went around making sure that everyone was okay (especially those with little ones).
Thank goodness they already knew the tips in this article I think this is a must share for anyone with kids!! This article has so much I formation in it, I am going to print it and pick up some more supplies.

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Rubric: Canada Emergency Preparedness


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