It’s all over the news. Even if it weren’t, it would probably be on your mind anyway. We are referring, of course, to the earthquake/tsunami that hit Japan 4 days ago. The devastation of that incident is hard to imagine. But this was not a one-time disaster. Christchurch, New Zealand also suffered loss in the last few weeks and relief efforts are still going on for the people of Haiti.
Well, it got us thinking. How many people are really prepared for a disaster to strike in their area? Today’s post is all about the things you can do before a crisis to protect yourself and your loved ones.
This list could go on and on. So, we’ll name the ones we feel are most important and then hopefully you’ll add to the comments.
Before a Disaster Strikes:
Check your area for risks. Do you live in a flood zone? Is there a fault line near you? Know what risks you’re facing. Be sure to get your home insured for those scenarios. Most policies do not cover everything.
Become self-sufficient. Consider putting together a 72-hour kit that includes food, water, first aid, and other medical necessities for your family. When an area is hit hard, it could take several days for relief workers to reach you.
Prepare your home. In some cases, you may need to leave your home, and fast. Install smoke detectors and make sure upstairs rooms have rope ladders should you need to climb out the window.
Have a destination plan and point of contact. Thousands of people are struggling to find family members right now. Decide beforehand who your point of contact will be- it should be someone in another state. If your family gets separated, that person can act as the liaison to help you find one another again. You should also plan on a destination for your family to reach as well.
Keep some cash on hand. You don’t need a lot – just a few hundred dollars. In the event of an emergency, banks will be inaccessible and prices for something as inexpensive as water tend to skyrocket.
Learn basic survival skills for your area. If you didn’t have a car or a way to escape the devastation, could you survive? For example, those in the desert should learn how to avoid heat stroke, what to do for snake bites, and how to find water.
As we said, this is not a complete list, but it does cover the basics. If you have other ideas to share, we’d love to hear them. No one expects a disaster to happen but it’s always a good idea to be safe rather than sorry.
Note: You may want to check your policies now to see what scenarios they cover. If you’re not satisfied, then we can help you find a policy to better fit the area you live in as well as the unique needs you might have.