Do you ever think about disaster preparedness? Let’s say it’s a nice summer afternoon, the sun shines, the sky is crystal blue, the birds sing, everything is green; Does the thought of preparing for disaster come through the mind? We know that the answer will be no in 99.9 percent of the cases. It may be a bit extreme to ask you to think about a bad situation when everything is pretty and pink, but the idea of being prepared for a disaster should be very present in our mind.
You never know what and when it will happen, and a person without training will be among the first victims. If you have a family, it is your duty to protect them and train them to protect themselves. We are sure that you tell your children not to talk to strangers, why do not you also talk about disasters?
It will probably never happen.. If this is the first answer that comes to mind when someone tries to talk about disaster preparedness, it is time to change their attitude. Disasters do not affect specific areas and do not protect anyone. How would you react if tomorrow there was a F5 tornado warning in your area? What would be the first thing you would do when you hear this news? How do you make sure that your whole family comes out of this alive? Do you think you would survive such a monster?
There are more than tornadoes for those who need to prepare. The Earth is changing and the Universe that surrounds us is also changing. You, your home and your property sit on a planet that is spinning at incredible speed around a burning planet. Simply by knowing that, you should consider disaster preparedness as your number one free time activity. The magnetic poles of our planet are changing and nobody can predict when this will happen.
The only thing that scientists can say with certainty about this activity is that it will produce innumerable disasters and losses in human lives. The Sun emits every 11 years powerful solar explosions that increase in intensity with each cycle. Such an explosion could fry all our electronic and communication systems and send us back to the Medieval Times in a few hours. Can you find the way home without using a GPS? Do you know where each member of your family will be in a situation like this, without using a telephone?
Times are changing and we have to be prepared for this. We do not pretend to scare you, but disasters can happen every day. People die in disasters and many may have a better chance of survival if they are prepared. Knowing how to stay calm and how to react in stressful conditions is a valuable lesson to think about before disaster strikes. We are not just talking about tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, extreme temperatures and other natural disasters here. We are also talking about nuclear bombs, gamma-ray poisoning, EMP attacks, etc.
How disaster preparedness can help you.
History teaches us many useful things, so we decided to talk about some of the worst disasters that have happened on our planet. People tend to forget bad situations once they reach safety, but they must be remembered. It is a way to make sure that disaster preparedness is an active thought in our mind.
Disasters are generally cataloged by the number of victims and the amount of total material losses. There may have been even worse disasters in the history of our planet, but we only have access to those who were recorded in archives. Regardless of how they are cataloged, the disaster you really have to go through will be the worst for you.
The earthquake that struck Egypt in 1201.
Earthquakes are some of the most difficult natural disasters in history. It is difficult to predict them in time to evacuate them and they do not respect any pattern. There can be different directions of movement (up and down, from left to right, up and down and then left to right) in an earthquake that weakens the structure of buildings and collapses them.
The deadliest earthquake in history was recorded in Egypt and Syria on July 5, 1201. This disaster killed more than 1.1 million people and was felt in many major cities in the near east. The material destructions were immense and the reconstruction took a long time.
We know 1201 was a long time ago and probably nobody remembers what happened, but it is important to mention this event. If people had been prepared for such a situation and buildings were built to withstand large earthquakes, perhaps the number of victims would have been smaller.
The best thing you can do when everything around you moves is to find a resistant piece of furniture that you can pass through. It is not recommended to try to leave the building or stay in the door frame. Try to find a desk or a large table to get under and wait for the movement to stop.
After the earthquake stops, try to get out, but be aware of the parts of the roof that may still fall. If you block under the furniture and can not get out, try to make noise to attract someone’s attention. Having an emergency whistle will help a lot in a situation like this.
The most important thing during an earthquake is to try to stay calm. If you do not allow emotions to get in the way, you can evaluate the situation and find a good place to protect yourself in time.
The deadliest flood in China
Floods are normal natural events that can occur in any region of the world. It just happened that the Chinese would still experience the worst. From July to August 1931 and after a severe drought that lasted two consecutive years, they suddenly began to rain torrentially in the country. As a result, three major rivers were flooded, killing nearly 4 million people and destroying crops in a wide area. The destruction caused by this flood was continued by the famine due to the destruction of rice crops.
We do not say that this situation could have been avoided; Mother Nature does not like to play games that she simply attacks. However, if people had known how to react in case of flood, there could have been fewer victims. In addition, if everyone had considered building an emergency food supply, the famine could also have been avoided.
Floods are difficult to avoid when they have already started, so it is important to receive warnings on time. Local authorities issue warnings to inform the population when it is time to evacuate. Make sure you have a radio or TV on all the time and listen to weather forecasts.
If the rain does not stop, you must be prepared to leave at any time. Try to gather everything you have in the house so that you do not take the water and move everything of value as high as possible. Valuable papers, photographs and anything that can be destroyed by water should be packed in plastic bags and hung from the ceiling.
You should always have a carry-on bag prepared with food and fresh water that you can grab and carry. Do not try to stay when authorities say it’s time to evacuate! If the flood surprises you, try to reach higher ground. Climb to what you see and if you are in the house go to the roof. Never try to drive through a flood because you can not see what’s under the water. If your car gets stuck in the middle of the torrent, it will be extremely difficult to get safe.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005
This is a disaster that we have all heard about and we can still remember how bad it was. It struck in 2005 on the Gulf Coast and is considered to be the sixth strongest hurricane to hit the United States. The cost of the damage was almost 81 billion dollars, which made it one of the most expensive reconstructions in history.
When such anger hits it is difficult to remain calm, but it is the only way to get out alive. Try to make sure you have time to leave before the hurricane reaches your location and go to a shelter or stay with a friend. Many people do not realize the importance of warnings issued by the government and local authorities. Do not try to stay behind and protect your home. If it is destroyed in the hurricane, you can build a new one, but if you lose your life, no one can revive you.
There are other recent examples of natural disasters that everyone found out about, such as the earthquake in Haiti that occurred in 2010 that caused more than 200,000 lives or Hurricane Andrew in 1993, which caused 27 billion dollars in destruction. These are extreme examples of natural disasters, but even a small, local one can be scary when you’re not prepared. A flood of the local spring can also take human lives if disaster preparedness is not taken seriously.
Security measures to be taken
When a disaster is announced, you should consider two different sets of security measures:
- one for your family
- one for your home
Preparation for house disasters
The first step you take to protect your home against a major natural disaster is insurance. Be sure to secure your home for the most frequent natural events that occur in your area (floods, earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, etc.). Sometimes it is difficult to get good insurance for something that really can happen (not as the people who sell the insurance agree) but there are other solutions with which your government can help you. Be sure to get all your information before signing an insurance contract.
Other things you can do to protect your home from disasters:
- Reinforce the door frame and door – these elements are the first to break in case of powerful winds and earthquakes;
- Reinforce cracked walls. and fix any crack in the base – any small crack is a weakness that an earthquake will explore;
- Use blinds to protect windows against strong winds and heavy rains;
- Try to build small dams. around your property that will prevent floods from invading your home;
- Build a high base in case you live in an easily flooded area;
- Reinforce your roof so a powerful wind could not snatch it, if a tornado manages to take the roof, the walls will collapse;
- Anchoring shelves, filing cabinets, large mirrors, and anything else that could collapse and hurt someone during an earthquake;
- The gas and water lines must be reinforced. with flexible connections that will not break during an unusual movement of the house. In reality, gas lines that break during an earthquake produce a significant amount of damage;
- Make sure to cut any weak or old tree. around the house. If these are pulled by a strong wind, they could land in your house.
These are just some basic safety measures you can take, but if you are interested in getting more information, you can always talk to the local authorities and request a disaster preparedness plan. They should be able to offer you all the necessary information.
Disaster preparedness for the whole family.
If you want to learn from a professional, you can take courses where the whole family will learn how to stay safe and calm during any type of disaster. Otherwise, there is a lot of information that can help you teach your family about the preparation.
The keywords here are being prepared in advance because when disaster strikes, there is no time for lessons and discussions. If you know there is a flood season in your area or there are frequent earthquakes, do not wait for the event to happen. Start at least a few weeks before everything starts to go downhill.
Here are some points you should follow with your disaster preparedness plan, regardless of the disaster you are preparing to:
- Make a disaster plan with your whole family and make sure everyone understands it completely;
- talk about a safe place where everyone should go in case they are not together when anger occurs;
- talk about escape routes out of the house and out of danger;
- Establish a safe person that each one of you trusts. This person will be your common point in case you get lost and there is no possibility of communicating with each other. Teach each member of your family how to use a radio or a satellite phone;
- discuss shelters near your surroundings and teach everyone the shortest way to get there;
- Practice your plan at least twice a year. In this way it will be easier to learn and apply in a real situation;
- Teach everyone about the survival kit and what it should contain. It must be packed and ready to grab and carry;
- Give an emergency whistle to each member of your family and teach them how to use it. This can be very efficient in violent situations too;
- talk about how to attract the attention of rescuers in case someone is trapped under the rubble or a fallen building;
- teach everyone how to offer first aid and how to use a first aid kit to care for their own injuries;
- Learn about personal defense and techniques that can help you get rid of an attacker. During bad times, bad people emerge and you need to be prepared for any situation;
- Talk about finding food and water in case you get isolated in the desert. You must know how to purify the water, especially if floods are frequent in the area. Floods contaminate safe water sources and render them unusable. Teach everyone how to use tablets and filters to purify water;
- Talk about the rules of behavior in a shelter so that everyone knows how to behave in case you have to go in one. Sometimes it is difficult to deal with the idea of so many people gathered in a small place.
There are many other things to discuss according to the disaster that you are most likely to experience, but these should be at the top of your list.
Disaster preparedness is not just a paranoia experienced by some people, it’s real and it’s time for everyone to realize this. It is perfectly normal to be skeptical at first, but as you learn more, you can better protect yourself and your family.
As you can see, sometimes disasters can be of catastrophic proportions, killing millions and leaving behind only pain and destruction. By talking with your family about this and learning survival techniques, you prepare them for such an event, which makes the initial impact somehow easier. It’s time for you to put your doubts aside and start your disaster preparedness today!