Download this easy to follow step by step plan so that you and your family are prepared and ready for the next Natural Disaster. Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water or downstream from a dam.
Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if your area is prone to flooding.
Contact community officials to find out if they are planning to construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the homes in your area. They can also be rolled and placed in toilets to act as a plug to prevent sewer backup through the toilets.
Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink. Be very careful when entering homes or buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations. Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible.
Get rid of wet porous items and run strong fans if possible, mold can grow very quickly in damp environments.
The East Coast has gotten hammered this year with a Hurricane and one rain  after another. If you have had a significant amount of water in the basement, there are many things that may have occurred, and they can be very dangerous. Some furnaces and water heaters are connected to the electrical system and stepping into standing water in the same area could be very dangerous. Also be aware that if the flooding has come from a river it could contain sewage dead animals or other unpleasant things.. Once a flood has subsided, it is very important that the house be dried out as quickly and thoroughly as possible. If you have a situation in which water seeps into your home through basement windows, under doors or through cracks in times of heavy rains, FloodSax may be the answer to those problems. It is surprising to know that the biggest obstacles to disaster preparedness are some common misconceptions surrounding the true nature of emergency readiness.  Recent disasters in the past decade have given us the wake up call to step up our disaster preparedness efforts, so let’s take a look at some of the myths that may hinder us from making that move right now. The 911 team responds quickly and efficiently no doubt, but in disaster scenarios of a wider magnitude, they can only do so much. Terror strikes and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) attacks can definitely be widespread and may kill large numbers of people, but they won’t wipe out the human race. Transcending all these myths about disaster readiness will hopefully  help you and your family manage better during emergency situations. A rebate will be offered to any resident in the region if they source specially designed “inflatable” sandless bags in readiness for the summer storm season. Mackay Regional Council today endorsed a rebate system to encourage residents to be better prepared and reduce demand on council and SES resources.
Mayor Col Meng said the rebate was a simple, effective way to ensure residents were cyclone or flood ready. Council will offer $5 per bag on the initial purchase of these sandless environmentally friendly “inflatable” bags – a maximum rebate of $25 (five sandbags) is applicable. Once residents have purchased the bags, proof of receipt is required together with evidence of residency within the Mackay Regional Council area, either by sending the completed form to council or by visiting a council customer service center. Cr Meng said the new light-weight “inflatable” flood defense bag will be available at most hardware stores shortly. The new products expand into a usable sandbag by adding water and are about 10 kilograms lighter than a traditional sandbag.
Cr Meng said council and SES resources were often tied up filling and distributing sandbags to the community at the most critical time of a flood or cyclone event. See how they work faster, are easier to handle, last longer – quite simply make more sense.  They absorb up to 45 lbs in 5 Minutes!
Another use for Floodsax is for keeping newly planted trees watered, simply place filled Floodsax around the base of a planting, and let the water seep out slowly. Sandbags are often hard to get when you really need them, plus they have to be replaced regularly, can deteriorate, they are unwieldy to lift and handle, messy, heavy, difficult to transport, and need a lot of people to move any number anywhere. You know, I once saw a commercial with a neighborhood’s meteorologist getting hammered with tomatoes by the locals.  I’ll admit I chuckled seeing everyone on the block carrying umbrellas despite the clear blue skies and the beaming sun. Case in point, Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans Louisiana, the Tsunami that left thousands dead in India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka and 2004’s earthquake that hit northern Sumatra with an astonishing death toll of 300,000 (minimum). Although we can’t prevent natural disasters from occurring, we can prepare ourselves, our homes and our families to safely handle them when they strike. It is said to be the strongest typhoon in the world for  the year 2010, and Typhoon Megi (local code name: Juan) just hit the northern part of the Philippines. Typhoon Megi  almost wiped out a whole coastal town where waves were said to be bigger than the houses, and local officials are considering relocating the whole town itself in the aftermath of the disaster. A large portion of this main area, which is also home to the nation’s capital, is without power and communications facilities. Sounds like the apocalypse, but there just have been 19 reported deaths as of this writing. The wrath of Typhoon Ondoy (international code name: Ketsana) which hit the nation’s capital just a little over a year ago and caused the worst flood in more than 50 years was still fresh in everybody’s mind.
A full report of the extent of damage is not yet available, but everyone knows it is going to be massive. A collective focus on disaster preparedness remarkably shows the sense of urgency for civil defense agencies and the rest of the populace to collaborate their efforts prior to, and during every disaster situation. But the bigger challenge remains not just in the period following a disaster when relief and rescue operations are in high gear. Probably a super-typhoon like Megi will not come in another 5 years, and we may let our guards down once again.
Even with that, structures continue to be built along open spaces that could have provided breathing areas to a crowded metropolis in the nation’s main hub, while poor settlers build makeshift shelters along riverbanks and waterways that function as natural flood catchments.

Disaster preparedness is not just about being ready with survival gear and emergency measures and contingencies when disaster strikes. The Philippines is a small archipelago that lies along the Pacific typhoon belt in Southeast Asia, so it is no stranger to heavy monsoon rains and occasional howlers during the 2nd half of the year. Three major regions make up this country of over 7,100 islands – Luzon Island in the north (which hosts the nation’s capital Manila), the Visayan Islands in the mid-section, and Mindanao down south.  Both Luzon and the Visayas are prone to these severe weather disturbances.
In October, the strongest typhoon in the world for 2010 barreled straight toward the northern part of Luzon Island, packing more than 175 kph of center winds, with gusts occasionally reaching 210 to 260 kph.
History and past experience has taught the Filipino people to know and respect nature’s wrath. We were fortunate that while Megi was quite powerful, it stuck to its storyboard and followed every line of the script.
Gone are the days when a small TV set or a carabao (water buffalo) could have been the cause of someone getting swept away by floodwater because he just had to go back to save the family’s most prized possession. So now it seems that both government and the citizenry have finally learned about what typhoons and other natural calamities had been trying to teach us over the years. Hurricane Katrina held so many heart-breaking stories about residents having to abandon their pets at the height of the disaster. It’s a good thing that Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act in 2006 after noting the inadequacies demonstrated on pet rescue and safety during Hurricane Katrina.
Pet crates were made available at evacuation centers and other pick up points, and owners and their animals were banded with matching codes.
Although animals have natural instincts for survival, domesticated pets will rely on their owners to keep them safe during a disaster. First, make sure your pet has proper identification at all times, not only when disaster strikes. Put together an emergency pet packet or bag containing pertinent records and supplies your pet will need in a disaster situation. Keep a proper-sized pet carrier nearby so it will be easier and safer to transport them during emergency situations. Our local United Way has a long tradition of helping people with basic needs – food, clothing, shelter and safety – and changing lives through strong, well-managed programs. The Volunteer Center at United Way is the place to start if you want to get involved or donate through our website. Services are both free and confidential to those seeking help regardless of age, life-style or issue.
This section of our site contains information you can use to conduct a successful campaign, find login and resources for staff, as well as United Way logos and videos.
A few important supplies can assist you in dealing with power failures, weather and business closures. As disaster reaches, it is recommended that you collect medicines that are going to be useful for you and your family members. Available quite easily at camping stores, a pair of these can play a prominent part when it comes to supplying a complete family with drinking water for two to three days. Increasingly, though, your most pivotal gadgets are not powered by substituted batteries and therefore make sure that you keep your laptop and mobile topped off as storm makes it presence felt. When disaster strikes, you may not have ample time to respond and ensure the resources you and your family need to survive are available. In any major disaster scenario, it may take 72 hours or more for emergency personnel to reach you. Flood effects can be local, affecting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and through multiple states.
If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. They are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters next to fire, so knowledge and preparation is extremely important and will help keep losses to a minimum. Rivers and streams are overflowing their banks almost weekly, and many homeowners may find themselves having to deal with damp, soggy homes, flooded basements and the dangers that go with it. Call the power company and tell them to disconnect the service, or have an electrician check to make sure it’s safe.
These are also very effective in removing moisture from wood floors, or if the framing in the walls has been saturated. Personal security and safety begins at home just like charity does, so it is a wise idea to put together an emergency plan for your household.  In large scale disaster situations, you will most likely be on your own for a few days, so it is best to be prepared. But the world and the environment are changing and we’ve seen disasters take place in locations we never expected them to happen.  Terror attacks or widespread riots, for example, can happen anywhere. There are many locations that provide basic training or give an overview of the subject for free or at very minimal costs. Most of all, apart from getting yourself all geared up, it is imperative that you have a comprehensive emergency plan for your entire family and conduct drills or rehearsals occasionally.
People need to pay attention and be aware of the strength of nature’s wrath.  No one ever knows when disaster will strike. Other nearby towns sustained 50 to 80 percent damage, not even sparing school buildings that were supposed to be used as evacuation centers. Weather-beaten for about a third of the year, the northern region of the Philippines is so used to heavy monsoon rains and typhoons, seeing devastation come and go year in and year out. Several villages and towns remain completely isolated and only reachable by helicopters or small boats. By providing reliable and frequent updates on weather developments, effective civil defense measures can be put in place to prevent loss of lives and property.
It all goes beyond that when the flood waters have receded, power has been restored and roadways have been cleared. But the fact is, the nation lies within the western Pacific typhoon belt and is swept by up to 20 tropical cyclones each year. It is about working parallel to and not against the inherent characteristics of nature and its occasional wrath.
The rainy season in this tropical country begins in June and lasts up to the early days of December.

Luzon gets much of the brunt from June to mid October, while the Visayas gets the impact with changes in wind pattern during the months of November and December.  Mindanao rarely experiences storms or typhoons.
Typical of a mega-typhoon, Juan (international code name: Megi) left widespread damage but with remarkably minimal loss of lives.
While technological advancement has helped us track typhoons and other weather disturbances in real time, people in this nation know that storms can suddenly change courses, make a temporary stopover, or even do a U-turn.  We’ve had several storms behaving this way and our people have acknowledged than no amount of human expertise or cutting edge technology can challenge or alter this. So disaster preparation efforts, which include preparing of survival gear went on according to the plan and residents along its direct path were evacuated way before it hit land. People now know that livelihood and businesses can be rebuilt but lives lost can never be restored. We all need to have a healthy respect for the destructive power of nature.  And we just have to build our world and live our lives with this thought constantly in our minds.
The government can only do so much for us, we need to be proactive in preparing the correct survival gear for ourselves and our families. While the majority of American families may never experience a major calamity such as a hurricane or an earthquake, disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. They were brought to the same evacuation centers, drastically cutting instances of pets getting separated from their owners. It is advantageous to have an evacuation plan in place and emergency supplies ready to make it all easier for you, your family and your pets in case you have to abandon your home during an emergency situation.
The most effective way to do this is through a microchip implant such as a dogtracker, by which you can get information on the whereabouts of your pet through satellite service. Some disaster situations may not enable you to carry your pet around, so identify a place that accepts pets, such as a hotel or motel, or look around for pet hotels or animal shelters where you can book them when the situation calls for such. The siblings come from a single-parent household with their mother, “Sarah,” as their primary provider for a family of five.
In addition, reduce their use so that its life duration is extended as there is a chance of power failure.
Moreover, hundreds of other families in your area share the same concerns, and it will be difficult to get access to the necessities you need due to shortages and competition. Emergency preparedness kits should contain the essentials your family needs to survive during a disaster. But flash floods can develop quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes and without any visible signs of rain. The climate is changing and disasters are happening where they never had occurred before.  Likewise, for those who travel a lot, it is always important to be prepared as you might become involved in an emergency or a crisis situation in the places that you visit. So it must be the responsibility of every head of the family to teach emergency preparedness to members of his household.
And for one to cause widespread devastation, an attack should be carried out under ideal conditions with sharp-edged expertise and precision. They are also very heavy, if it were to fall it would break the glass lining of the hot water heater and ruin your water for drinking.  Also if it were to fall, it would most likely break the gas lines. This can be stored easily in a garage or basement and makes an excellent emergency toilet if your home is damaged or there is no water supply. I sympathized with the now tomato-tainted man because it was obvious that his barometer and weather satellites had failed him.
Lessons from past typhoons have taught residents to always be prepared with well stocked survival gear. But in terms of preparedness, the entire nation has gone a long way from the olden days of panic and chaos. The whole nation knew damage would be extensive, but Filipinos are known to be resilient and value life over anything else. There has been growing awareness on the importance of disaster management and emergency preparedness among American homes nowadays, but pet safety during a calamity is often left out. Keep these in a waterproof plastic bag together with some medications your pet might be on. And to prepare for a worst-case scenario when you have to leave them behind, place a sticker on your front door identifying the presence of pets that reside in your home.
Having two is ideal; a multipurpose kit that with provisions for more activities for the home, and a transportable slimmed down kit with bare necessities for survival when on the go. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water that carries rocks, mud, and other debris and can sweep away most things in its path. That doesn’t mean that the threat of WMDs should be ignored; instead we should get ourselves equipped with things we will need  such as gas masks, gas mask kits and Potassium Iodide for a nuclear radiation event. You can learn to put together your own emergency survival kit here at the Survival Gear Source, all items are available separately or you can pick up an already assembled kit . The natural disasters that result from Mother Nature’s wrath are in a league all their own…some provoking us mercilessly, others taunting us…and all of them leaving behind their footprints. Their contingencies  have kept local government agencies on their toes throughout the entire typhoon season. While a few still choose to challenge nature’s elements, most of the population has learned the value of survival gear and disaster preparedness.
Have a 3-day supply of pet food and bottled water, handy food and water bowls, a pet first aid kit, extra harness or collars and leashes, and a disposable litter box, especially if you have pet cats.
Disaster-time civilian response requires sound decision-making and action to save the lives of families and friends. There are  emergency kits for almost any situation and the cost isn’t much if you weigh it against your chances of getting through a disaster by having these on hand.
As we’re all aware, Mother Nature can be unpredictable and even the resources and technology of our present world can’t keep her from treading on her warpath. Keep the emergency pet bag in an accessible area of the home, preferably near your main entrance door. You see, Mother Nature is the epitome of a woman…when she’s happy,  life is beautiful,  but when she’s angry…oh you’d better look out!

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