Disasters can happen anywhere and anytime. They happen suddenly and often bring great damage, loss, destruction, or failure. Most disasters are natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, storms, and tornadoes. Winter storms and hurricanes can be predicted and prepared for, but some disasters, such as tornadoes or earthquakes, happen with no warning. Humans can also cause disasters. Disaster preparedness is intended to prepare and reduce or prevent the effects of disasters. According to FEMA (Federal Emergency management Agency), disaster preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action to prevent and identify hazards, conduct assessments, and reduce potential loss of life and property damage.
Disasters can have a major effect on public health and safety. Preparing in advance for emergencies or disasters is a crucial safety measure. In times of disaster, local relief workers often cannot immediately reach and help all those affected. Preparing ahead can be both helpful and life-saving in these situations.
- Suggested Basic Disaster Supplies:
- Gallon of water per person.
- First aid kit.
- Food for at least three days (Along with a manual can opener).
- Battery powered radio with extra batteries.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Garbage bags
- Wrench or pliers to turn off the utilities.
- Local map and charged cell phone.
- Some cash.
- Infant formula and diapers.
- Pet food.
- Sleeping bag.
- Fire extinguisher and matches (in a waterproof container).
- Personal hygiene materials.
- Paper and pencil.
- Paper cups, plates, and towels.
- Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for kids.
- Identification of facilities and transportation route of hazardous materials.
- Outline of evacuation plan and emergency procedures.