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How prepared are you for a natural disaster?

10 Answers
Imagine your area is struck by a major natural disaster such an an earthquake, flood, or volcanic eruption. Do you have a disaster kit in your home, and how well-stocked is it? Do you have a plan in case something happens - where to go, how to escape the city if need be, and so on - or would you just wing it and attempt to survive moment-by-moment?
W

I don't know if anyone can every be totally prepared for a natural disaster because you never know what will happen or exactly how bad it will be. There are some steps one can take to help themselves though and the first thing is to gain knowledge. There is a wealth of information available online about survival techniques and how to be self sufficient. It also helps to know what are the most probable scenarios for the area you live in so you can prepare for them specifically.

I have lived in the northern United States so we prepared for tornadoes. We had an emergency plan for whenever there would be a watch or warning. We had a storm shelter where we could go to be safe. We also were prepared for severe winter storms. We had alternate heat sources in case we lost power for several days and always made sure we had food stored up and methods of cooking. A simple camping stove or barbecue grill can serve when there's no electricity.

At present, I live in S. Florida, so here we have to be prepared for hurricanes. I was without power for 3 weeks after hurricane Wilma. I cooked on a propane burner and the grill. I had a small generator that I would run for a few hours a couple times per day to keep the refrigerator going enough to keep the food from spoiling. I also have some shelf stable food, MRE style, as a backup too. I always make sure I have a couple of cans full of gasoline on hand for hurricane season also, not only for the vehicles but to run the generator.

Anyway, the general idea is to be prepared for the more common types of events that could happen where you live. If you live near a fault line, prepare for earthquakes. If you live near the water, prepare for floods. You get the idea.

Some of the things you want to have on hand for any emergency include:

Flashlights
Battery operated radio or small TV
Extra batteries for the above
First aid kit
Fire extinguishers
Alternate cooking method (camp stove)
Alternate heat source for a cold climate (fireplace, wood stove, kerosene heater, etc.)
Generator

There are many things you could add to the list. Just think about what you would do and how you would live if you were struck by disaster. Would you be ready if you had no electricity for days or weeks? What would you do if your home was suddenly unlivable due to flood, structural damage or fire? What if there was no food in the grocery stores for a few weeks? How about if you had no water service for weeks?

All of these things can be dealt with fairly easily if you think about it and plan ahead. Buy supplies ahead of time, don't wait until the last minute. Keep the things you need on hand at all times. Just a little advance planning can make surviving after a disaster a whole lot easier.

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E

Honestly, no one can be completey prepared for a natural disaster. However, you can do your best to be prepared for an emergency. This can be with knowledge of survival techniques, life saving skills, first aid understanding, and an ample supply of non-perishable food and drinking water.

The region of the United States that I live in is prone to tornadoes, floods, severe weather, and earthquakes. I have been through a flood and a devastating storm referred to as an inland hurricane. In the storm, an innumerable amount of trees were uprooted and torn to pieces. There were about two percent of roads accessible for travel. The city imposed a curfew and my neighborhood was without power for about nine days. I actually viewed it as a wake-up call for the many consumers of energy and materials. We should not take the many luxuries we have for granted. It was actually kind of fun, it was like camping and it brought the neighborhood and communities closer together.

I have always been taught it is better to be prepared than not to be. Having experienced some minor natural disasters, I do have some storage tubs full of supplies- just in case. They are composed of non-perishable food, gallons of drinking water, solar powered flashlights, a first aid kit, candles, matches, tools, batteries, binding materials, blankets, a radio, disposable eating utensils, cooking supplies, cards (for fun and distraction), all weather gear, and many other items. Having camping supplies like burners, grills, and other things that can use propane tanks are a good idea too. Tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, the list goes on.

The most important thing to have is knowledge of what to do in a crises situation. Inform yourself of fallout shelters and your city's emergency disaster plan. You should also know the basics for first aid and other valuable life saving skills (CPR, etcetera).

Be knowledgable, stay informed and do the best you can do. Be strong, stay calm, and lend a helping hand. I feel it is best to be prepared and if nothing happens at least you know it would have been alright. Peace of mind can be a wonderful thing! Take care and I hope you are never faced with any of the horrible occurences that have been happening recently. Best wishes!

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M

The details of an individual or family disaster plan would have to depend on the area where you reside. With some types of natural disasters there is some time before it happens to make last minute preparations, with others, there isn't.

We live in an area that might get struck by a hurricane. Usually residents in our area know a day or two in advance that a hurricane might strike, and there is time to be prepared. In our case, we usually have a basic survival kit ready as well as a portable folder of important documents that can be taken along in case of an evacuation. We try to keep gas in the vehicles during hurricane season and have a plan of where we would go and how we would live if we were unable to return home.

In areas that are subject to earthquakes or tsunamis, there is little or no warning. The best that a family can do is to have a family plan of where to go and who to contact if they are separated during a disaster. Be sure that each family member knows to contact someone outside of your area so that the out of town person can relay information to the others.

In the case of flood or volcano, there might be some warning time and a survival kit is a good idea.

In any case, even if one doesn't live in an area susceptible to natural disasters, it's a good idea to have a family emergency plan. It is important to have a designated meeting place or contact person so that you will not worry about other family members if you are separated. One never knows what freak thing can happen - a hazardous waste spill, wind shears, tornados... prepare as best you can!

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M

Should an earthquake occur at this moment, I would just probably panic, run out of the house and leave my bag and everything. That's true because I have always been afraid of earthquakes. If it were a typhoon wherein we are given warnings and bulletins over the radio and television, then I will have ample time to prepare.

Last week, I have compiled the important documents that included birth certificates and other important records. I have also stocked up on some canned goods and instant noodles, just in case something wrong happens. I also have a few candles, lighters cum flashlights and some batteries for a portable radio which I still have to put together in a bag. Considering that these items are just anywhere in the house, I don't think I have really done any real preparations.

My family and I have survived most of the natural disasters that happened in the country so most probably we will overcome whatever else may come in the future. I just have to put more faith in the Lord that He will always be there to protect and guide us.

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S

The truth is that nobody can escape a natural disaster. Today we have all the technology but sadly none of it can accurately predict a natural disaster. All what counts in situations of natural disaster is what decisions you make. Earlier today I seen a video where a guy from Japan had to choose between abandoning his car or staying in it when the tsunami came. Luckily he abandoned his car and went on a roof of a building. He was terrified to see his car being washed away by the strong force of water.

Also we can not say where we are in such situations. We could be on the streets or at home. It is not possible to carry a kit every time with you. If you want to survive, you surely will. No I do not have any such kit during natural disasters.

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P

We're not prepared right now because we don't really have enough space or money to stock up on stuff. But we do talk about where we'd go, if we could get gas for the car...stuff like that., depending on what the actual disaster is.

We're expecting severe thunderstorms the next few days. I can't do anything to stop them, nor can I go any place they won't be. Actually, in this apartment I don't even have a basement to go to. We're kind of stuck on the second floor. The only consolation is the building we live in is over 100 years old and this area is prone to bad weather. So if the building has been here this long, hopefully it will withstand 100 more years of storms.

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C

The biggest disaster I see coming our way is the economy. It can be as real as any natural disaster and can reach far more people.

1) I created my own job
2) I made it portable so I can run it from any computer in the world connected to the internet.
3) All data and software is backup online along with my procedures for running my business
4) I have maps and a gps and cash and a plan if worst comes to worst
5) We don't need as many supplies as most because we are minimalists
6) All important documents are in safe and also digitally scanned and uploaded
7) I also carry data on a thumbdrive with me on a key chain in case the internet becomes disabled

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A

That would be a zero. I really do not think about it often. I live in NJ, and we do not have many natural disasters. Probably the one good thing I could say about this state. Seeing natural disasters on tv, does not have the same effect as seeing it happen to someone in the next county over. Honestly, I have so many worries for today, that it is hard to think about tomorrow. I suppose I could buy a few extra bottles of water just to be on the safe side. I do have ways of defending myself against looters, if that counts for help in a natural disaster?

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H

My family is not prepared for a natural disaster at all. The only thing going for us is that we live on a hill. So we have less of a chance of flooding hitting us. We had a flood hit our state about a year ago and although my car didn't do well with it as I was in the middle of it, our house was fine. We should have a disaster kit just in case, hopefully one day. We would probably just wing it like you said and try to survive. We would probably try to head to Virginia to be with most of our family if anything.

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E

No one WILL EVER BE FULLY PREPARED!

I know I live in New Orleans.

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