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Ways to Prepare for a Disaster

Disasters and emergencies are not usually a top priority for most people.  Disaster preparations can sometimes be overlooked, but it is extremely wise to plan to protect your home and your family. Basic emergency preparedness can be a literal life saver during disastrous circumstances.  Protect your home, keep connected, and prepare your family for a disaster with these easy steps:

Get involved

Gather in your community and ask the important questions about disaster preparations. Together, a community can support each other in their efforts to prevent damage from a disaster and encourage and help each other after a disaster strikes.

Volunteer to support these efforts in your community and train with an emergency response team to learn the best techniques. Donate time, money, or goods to a reputable emergency response organization to further protect your home and your community.

Know the facts

In an event of an emergency, you may have to respond quickly.  Do you know the steps for protecting your home and communicating the danger to your family? The more you know about emergencies, the better you are able to deal with their results.

Learn more about these natural disasters to counteract the potentially dangerous effects: wildfires, volcanoes, tsunamis, tornadoes, severe storms, landslides, hurricanes, floods, droughts, blackouts, and extreme heat or cold.

Prepare your home

This is one of the biggest steps you can take to protect your home and your family.  Prepare a plan and a method for coping with a disaster. The best way to do this is to call a family meeting and talk through how communication will go if or when a disaster happens. Emergency situations typically happen without much warning, so review your emergency protocol before the emergency.

Build a kit (the U.S. federal government’s emergency preparedness website) recommends that every home has a kit of emergency supplies on hand. This will ensure you are able to survive for several days without having to leave your home. Consider having these items in your emergency kit:

  • Water and food
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches (in a waterproof bag) and candles
  • Battery-powered flashlights
  • First aid kit
  • Garbage bags and sanitary wipes
  • A manual can opener
  • Maps
  • Medication
  • Cell phone and charger (solar-powered are best in case electricity is lost)
  • Cash
  • Pet food (if you have a pet)
  • Baby formula
  • Sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows
  • Paper plates and plastic utensils

Stay informed

The next step in preparing for emergencies is to stay informed about the situation.   Keep tabs on emergency alerts, know when you must evacuate, and learn about the places you can seek shelter if your home is no longer a safe place to stay. Here are ways you can keep informed about emergencies:

  • Listen to a battery-powered radio (if there is a power outage).
  • Check updates on the news or Internet. Satellite Internet, such as HughesNet rural Internet, can connect you during times of disaster.  Satellite Internet technology was first used by the U.S. government as a tool to communicate when other methods were compromised.
  • Use a cell phone or home phone to touch base with family and friends.  Check on their safety and plan of action when a disaster strikes, but conserve your cell phone’s battery as much as possible in case there is a power outage.

Make a plan

Finally, implement a plan of action for your family to follow when an emergency happens.  Your family and friends will likely not be in the same location when a disaster strikes.  Make a plan for how you will contact each other, how you will find shelter or get back to each other, and what you will need to do or have in certain situations. With a prepared plan in place and a lot of patience, emergencies can be a lot less scary for you and your family.