Natural Disaster Planning Done Right

A natural disaster isn’t something many of us want to consider. It feels like something that only happens in the movies or to other people - until, that is, it strikes closer to home. From earthquakes to tornadoes and hurricanes to wildfires, the truth is that nowhere is completely safe from the threat of natural disasters. In a world where climate change is continually being linked to natural disasters, it’s more important than ever to be prepared. 

A natural disaster isn’t something many of us want to consider. It feels like something that only happens in the movies or to other people - until, that is, it strikes closer to home. From earthquakes to tornadoes and hurricanes to wildfires, the truth is that nowhere is completely safe from the threat of natural disasters. In a world where climate change is continually being linked to natural disasters, it’s more important than ever to be prepared. 

Putting together a truly reliable emergency plan for natural disasters can feel a bit overwhelming at first, whether it’s for your family and home or your business. You may not necessarily know where to start, especially if you’ve never created one before. What should go into a natural disaster plan? What types of disasters should you consider? What is a natural disaster emergency kit and what should you include in one? Disaster Central outlines what you need to do to protect yourself and your loved ones. 

Planning for Natural Disasters 

Many buildings are not built to withstand modern natural disasters, so one of the first places you can start is by having your property inspected. If you are building a home, make sure it is built to code. Additionally, contact your local politicians and representatives and let your voice be heard. Let them know you want them to require stricter building codes in your area to help protect people from natural disasters. 

There are a few new technologies you can take advantage of to protect your loved ones -- especially the elderly -- even if you’re not involved in a natural disaster. For instance, you can enable the assistive technology on mobile phones to make emergency alerts (and other text) easier to read. If your senior loved one is afraid of or overwhelmed by smartphone technology, consider buying them a flip phone. It may not have the latest features, but your loved one will be more likely to use it, which will keep them safer.

Your planning process should also include thinking through the steps you’ll take after the disaster. For example, you should create a list of local contractors who you trust along with their contact information. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out online service directories where, for example, you can find highly-rated window repair companies in your area, among other contractors. You should also plan ahead around where you’ll go if your home isn’t habitable following a natural disaster. Find out where local shelters are normally located or check with a family member to see if you can shelter at their home should you need to as you wait for yours to be repaired. 

Building Your Natural Disaster Emergency Kit 

Regardless of where you live, the CDC recommends creating a natural disaster emergency kit. The kit should contain a three-day supply of food, water, and medications for anyone in the household. Also, plan to include basic essentials, like flashlights, first aid kits, and batteries. 

If you’re a senior or someone who has certain types of chronic illness, it’s also wise to include specific types of medical and safety information in your disaster kit, such as medical records, information on your medications and prescriptions, and insurance documents (including policy numbers). You should also include a list of important emergency contacts. These could be caregivers, family members, or close friends, along with their names and contact numbers. 

Finally, in addition to having medications and foods for everyone in the house, seniors and those with health conditions may also need to include their walking canes, hearing aids, and extra batteries in their emergency kits. In the event that something happens, you’ll be grateful you planned ahead. 

Even if you don’t believe in climate change or global warming, it’s hard to deny the numbers. The NOAA has been tracking natural disasters since the 1980s, and they’ve found that the number of trillion-dollar natural disasters has been steadily increasing in recent years. As economist Jay Zagorsky says in a recent article, “[W]hat can you do? Be prepared. You never know when disaster might strike.” While, hopefully, you won’t be the victim of a natural disaster, if you follow the advice listed in this article, you will be more prepared in the very likely event that one does strike near you.

By Emily Graham of mightymoms.net