Submitted By H.D.
What is it that makes a natural disaster so dangerous? Is it the fact that, we can’t prevent it from happening? Or does it have to deal with our inability to recognize the signs? The answer is neither. The reason why a natural disaster is so dangerous, evolves around preparation. To put it another way, they’re dangerous because we don’t prepare for them. A large percentage of the American population goes throughout their day-to-day lives without ever thinking of a natural disaster occurring. A beginners guide is something we all need to make us aware of what we need to do.
With that being said, ask yourself, “How can we survive something we’ve never prepared for?” it would be equivalent to taking an exam in a subject you’ve never studied for. The answer is simple, you can’t! This is why earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornado’s rip cities apart, taking thousands of lives and causes billions of dollars in damage.
According to DoSomething.org, between the years of 2000 and 2012, natural disasters caused $1.7 trillion in damage and affected 2.9 billion people. The researchers later discovered that, 2012 marked the third consecutive year worldwide natural disaster damage exceeded $100 billion.
Believe it or not, natural disasters like wildfires can strike at any time, without warning. In other words, even if we tried to recognize all the signs before a disaster hit, one could still strike unexpectedly. Those are the ones that cause the most destruction.
Here are some things to keep in mind before a natural disaster hits your home.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
- Preparing For A Flood
Like most natural disasters, flooding can affect anyone, regardless of where they live. Within the United States, it’s actually the most common type of natural disaster. As a result, flash-floods has caused about 200 deaths annually, according to LawHelp. In order to make sure you’re protected, get to higher ground. Don’t attempt to operate a motor vehicle no matter what – otherwise you risk the chance of getting stuck, or even swept away by fast moving water.
Ways To Protect Your Home
- Seal the basement walls with waterproof compounds.
- If possible, have a sump pump, as well as a backup one that operates on batteries.
- Check and make sure that all electrical components are no less than 12 inches above any assumed flood levels. This will help prevent you from getting electrocuted.
- Tornado Watch
A tornado is a combination of wind and water that can travel anywhere from 250 to 300 miles per hour. Needless to say, a tornado can destroy any and everything it comes in contact with. Turning everyday household objects into dangerous projectiles that can kill people and damage property. Before strengthening your living environment, check and make sure your home is out of harm’s way. To emphasize, make sure you live somewhere that isn’t within arm’s reach of the windstorm.
Tornado Proof Your Home
- If you live in an area that’s prone to tornado’s, make sure you cover your windows to protect them from shattering. Garage doors should also be checked and reinforced. Just because it’s one of the heaviest and most powerful pieces of machinery in your entire house doesn’t mean it can’t be blown away by a twister.
- Schedule a home inspection to have your house and roof checked.
- Make any repairs necessary in order to ensure your safety.
Despite the fact that tornado’s are commonly known to occur in the springtime in areas of the U.S. known as “Tornado Alley,” the truth is, tornadoes have been known to occur in every state and in every month.
- Hurricane Season
Anytime a hurricane is approaching the coast, you will more than likely witness people scrambling to hardware stores buying whatever they can get their hands on. Although this may sound like a good idea, the reality is if you wait until a “hurricane watch” has been issued, you’re too late. During a hurricane, homes might get damaged or even destroyed by high winds and high waves. Meaning that, windows will be shattered and homes can even fall to the ground if they’re built on a weak foundation in extreme storms, like Hurricane Katrina.
Don’t Waste Time
- First and foremost, don’t wait until a “hurricane watch” has been issued to the public before grabbing the hammer and nails.
- Remove weak and dead trees or tree limbs located on your property.
- Have a backup plan in case you have to evacuate your home. Also set aside some cash, and make a “grab” and “go” bag that has all your important paperwork, and personal information stored inside.
- Lastly, make sure you have a battery-powered radio, so you can keep up with the latest news.
- Tectonic Plates Shifting (Earthquake Preparation)
Let’s be honest, if you’ve ever experienced an earthquake you know how scary it can be. According to Ready.gov, earthquakes are defined as sudden rolling or shaking events caused by movement under the earth’s surface. These events happen along cracks within the earth’s surface called fault lines resulting in a release of energy that causes the earth to shift and move; shaking buildings, bridges, and homes. In the United States, earthquakes are more commonly known to occur throughout the western region, however, other states have been known to experience this disaster as well.
Since earthquakes are unpredictable, make sure your home is sturdy enough to withstand intense shaking, no matter where you live. In the case of an earthquake, it’s always better to assume the worst and have too much rather than not enough.
Don’t ignore the signs.
- For heavy items that can fall over, secure them to a wall or floor.
- Breakable items should also be moved closer to the floor or placed on lower shelves as well.
- Check your foundation for cracks, and any loose wires that may cause a fire. Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes come without warning. Therefore, you should make repairs to your home immediately after inspection.
- For families, make sure your children and other loved ones know the earthquake safety drills.
- The Do’s & Don’ts For All Natural Disasters
|● Stock up on food.
● Don’t forget to purchase lots of water.
● Assemble a first-aid kit for cuts and bruises.
● Pack spare clothes in case you’re away from home longer than you expected.
● Sanitize whatever items you use properly.
|● Drink water you think might be contaminated.
● Forget to wash your hands as much as possible.
● Hold on to food items that may have come in contact with contaminated water.
● Forget to protect important documents. After all, once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!
● Store food outside.
As a final point, even if a natural disaster isn’t threatening you or your family, it’s still a good idea to stay prepared for whatever comes your way. If you live in areas that are prone to disasters, never second guess leaving your residence if you have to. A home can be replaced, but a life can’t.
Be safe out there!
Thank you again for taking the time to read my article. I would like to know, have you ever experienced a natural disaster before? Or, do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’ll be checking for comments, so feel free to express your thoughts on today’s article.
H.D. loves taking advantage of the sunny weather outside. If you can’t catch him online reading whatever he gets his hands on, you might be able to catch out playing football with friends, or cheering on the Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241.