Being Ready for a Natural Disaster

I live in Florida so I am used to updating my list each year. Our storm season begins in June & runs until November, but hurricanes are not the only things we have to worry about here. Florida is known as the lightening capital of the country & the storms which produce it also can produce tornadoes. Florida tornadoes generally occur at night which makes them far more dangerous. Also when ever we don’t get enough rain we have wild fire danger, which is what happened a few years ago when most of the state was on fire.

My family & I have checklist of things we need to have on hand: water,food,flashlights & important numbers to name a few. Experience has taught me to also have on hand cash in the event that power is out as ATM’s work on electricity. After what we went thru in 2004, I realized that even the best made plans can go awry. The storms just came so close together in such a short amount of time it was difficult to stay prepared.

When a major hurricane is announced we practice the routes we would take if an evacuation order is issued,living 25 miles from the coast this is vital as the storm surge can be more dangerous than the wind. Pay close attention to the news cast as that is usually the 1st place to get information on shelters,evacuation areas,& other vital information you will need.

If you live in a mobile home or a low-lying area that is prone to floods know where your escape routes are, have your disaster kit ready to go at a moments notice. If you have pets prepare for them also,not all shelters will allow animals so do your home work beforehand. Have food, water, pet meds,crates to carry them in & where a pet friendly shelter is.

Have enough water: one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation. food :at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Have a battery powered radio, flashlight & extra batteries for both.First aid kit, whistle to signal for help,as well as these additional items:

Prescription medications and glasses
Infant formula and diapers
Pet food and extra water for your pet
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
Cash or traveler’s checks and change
Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.

You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) – PDF, 277Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information. Remember you may need to survive on your own for a few days after ward. Basic services may be out for a few hours or several days, you may need to survive on what you have on hand before emergency workers get to your area. Be prepared, stay alert, stay alive.