During and after a major storm or weather event, lines of communication may be cut off, family members may be separated, and things may be chaotic. However, basic disaster preparation methods, including developing and implementing a comprehensive disaster preparation plan, help to make riding out the storm – and recovering from it – much safer.

Here are some of the key steps you can take to execute a disaster preparedness plan:

  • Create an emergency kit and pack it with first-aid supplies; flashlights; blankets; batteries; a hand-crank, battery-operated or solar radio; any prescription medications; important contact info; and pet supplies, if needed, along with enough nonperishable food and water to last five days.
  • Establish an emergency meeting spot; make sure that children know exactly what to do in the event that you become separated.
  • After a disaster, it is crucial to stay away from downed power lines and potentially contaminated floodwater and to operate emergency portable generators in a well-ventilated area at least 20 feet away from the home to eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, be sure to contact an electrician before operating any electrical products or systems that have been exposed to flooding or storm water.
  • It is also important to check for gas leaks and damaged wiring. If a home smells of gas, immediately turn off the gas valve and leave the house before calling the utility company to report the leak.


Photo credit: Global X (via Flickr.com)