Prepare for Natural Disasters
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Prepare for Natural Disasters

Mother nature can be rough on us sometimes bringing our way the worst disasters in history and leaving thousands dead. Learn how these natural disasters develop and what are some ways on staying safe during disasters. Learn ways on how to prepare yourself for the disasters. It's only a matter of being informed and following instructions to have a chance of life.

Imagine driving to work on a Monday morning, or doing your daily run at the park when suddenly you see everything around you starts to shake. The first thing you think is 'what in the world is going on!' and you freak out! With the high number of natural disasters and the death toll rising, it is important to know where these come from and how to prevent ourselves when they arrive in our area.

There are different types of disasters we are affected by everyday in different parts of the world. These have killed millions of people over decades, harmed thousands of bodies and left hundreds of cities banished. But all we can do is live one day at a time and prepare for the worst.

Types of Natural Disasters, Insight Information and Preparedness

The U.S. government states there are four types of natural disasters, which can cause bigger disasters in the world. There are different ways to prepare for a certain natural disaster but one key way for all is to make a family plan to make sure everyone is safe. In this plan you will have things such as how you will contact one another, how to get to a safe place, and what will you do. It's good to keep track of what close family members will do in tragic situations to be able to reunite later. You can download the Family Emergency Plan sheet, fill it out and send it to family members. Now let's talk about the variety of natural disasters and how you can avoid getting hurt.

  • Dam failure

Living close to a dam can have huge impacts on your life. The failure of one of the dams in your area or state can cause traumatic chaos destroying property and leaving thousands dead. Strong storms passing by will cause rivers to overflow and dams to not work properly causing floods and bigger disasters. The National Inventory of Dams reported 80,000 dams in the U.S. and one third of these to be highly dangerous if they fail.

  • Flood

Floods are one of the most common hazards that can happen when you least expect it. Flooding means the rise of water with a depth higher than 1m. Some may be light and could be caused by an accumulation of consistent rain within a few days. Others could destroy full communities, cities and even states. If an intense storm comes through, flash floods can happen in an instant. Flash floods are considered dangerous because they bring along rocks, debris, and anything in the way.

You should always have a plan to overcome a flood. Communicate with your family to make sure everyone knows how to take care of themselves and fight the flood. Have an emergency kit ready in order something unexpectedly happens. An emergency kit should have some gauze, athletic tape, bandages, disinfectant wipes, peroxide water, medical alcohol etc. In regards to your home, make some modifications such as setting the furnace, water heater, and electric panel at higher levels where the water wouldn't reach them. You can also build barriers around the building and doors to keep the water from getting in.

Click here to see the risks of flooding in your area.

  • Hurricane

Living in tropical places is the dream of many, but the risks out weight the fantasy and the comfortability of warm weather. Hurricanes are tropical storms, like a cyclone that forms from large bodies of water. These happen in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Thunderstorms and winds will provide a scary feeling for those who live close by. A hurricane can take whole cities if big enough and if it lasts for a long period of time. The hurricane season varies depending on the area, and at different times of the year the highest chance for hurricanes occur. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website reports that the Atlantic hurricane season happens from June to November, and from mid-August to late October we experience the highest risk. On May 15 starts the Eastern Pacific hurricane season which lasts until the end of November.

During a hurricane you have to stay informed as much as possible. Make sure you listen to the radio or watch the news to know which way is the hurricane coming and what are the dangers. If there was a warning call, prepare for the storm by putting everything you have in the patio inside. The least you want is for objects to be flying around, possibly breaking windows. Be sure to turn off electrical equipment, gas and water pipes, but ensure you collect a big quantity of water before doing so. This water will be useful for drinking and sanitary purposes. Only use the phone if it really necessary. Before a hurricane, it's helpful to check all windows and have permanent storm shutters; this will prevent debris from coming into the house. You can also install plywood around the windows to prevent windows from breaking; tape will not do the job. If you want to go the extra mile, tie up your roof with straps or clips to the frame structure, you will avoid extensive roof damage.

  • Tornado

Tornadoes can be one of the most devastating disasters in our earth. They are formed by heavy thunderstorms forming a funnel-shaped cloud that travels up to 300 miles per hour down to the ground, but the average speed is 30 to 70mph. The heavy whirling winds can destroy whole neighborhoods in an instant. They are the most dangerous and common disasters happening right now. It's hard to prepare for a tornado because they often appear very quick without any time for warning, usually between 3 to 9 p.m. Some tornadoes are not visible due to clouds hanging low, but others are easily recognized. Researchers have noticed that before a tornado arrives the wind will decrease and the air may seem very still. Tornadoes usually come at the end of a thunderstorm, some signs of a tornado coming into your area may be heavy hail, a dark sky, a strong roar and a big dark cloud lying low. Be aware for these signs and prepare yourself. Know that there are peak seasons for tornadoes, if you live in a southern state you may experience more tornadoes from March through May. In the northern states you will see them more often from late spring to the beginning of summer. Knowing the time-frame will help you develop a plan ahead of time in case one comes around.

The common rule is to stay away from windows! If you are in a building or your home, go to the lowest level of the building or the basement of your home. This will most likely keep you away from windows, doors and outside walls. If there is no basement, stay near the center of a room in the lowest level of the building. If you are driving when the tornado is arriving, drive to the nearest building; if there are no buildings around, park your car, leave your seat belt on, put your head down and cover yourself with a blanket or something that will prevent you from getting hurt.

  • Earthquake

Sudden moves within the core of the earth release strong energy that has been accumulated over years, and is transferred from rocks to the earth.  This action causes the earth to shake, these vibrations are often called seismic waves and they end up damaging properties and causing many deaths. Earthquakes are found throughout 45 states in the U.S.

A good way to prepare for an earthquake is to set heavy objects onto the bottom of shelves; this will prevent the shelf from falling or moving. Secure objects that can break easily, such as bottled food and glass; lock them up to prevent kitchen cabinets from opening. Have your home examined for cracks in ceilings or floors and have them repaired. It's also good to have a professional check your electrical and gas connections to make sure there are no leaks that could cause a fire. And just remember, sing it out loud; drop, cover and hold on! Drop to the ground, cover under a strong, steady table, and hold on until the shaking stops. Be sure to stay away from windows, walls, and things that could fall. Remember to never run outside, it's always safer inside a building or your home because you won't have outside walls and debris falling onto you. Strong shaking of the earth can cause other hazards such as; landslides, surface faulting, tsunamis, liquefaction, and flash floods. You can click here to view information on the risk of earthquakes in your area.

Natural disasters are a part of life and they will happen every year.The best we can do is be prepared and hope for the best. Having close communication with your family and coming out with a plan is a good start to staying safe and working together to overcome these tragic hazards. There are a variety of disasters; as you can see, being prepared is one of the best ways to overcome and survive these disasters.

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Comments (2)

Great info.... will be back to vote

Good information to prepare for natural disasters.