There are so many natural disasters that could possibly happen all over the country. All of these possible scenarios require a certain amount of preparedness so that you are not brought to your knees due to poor preparation. The natural likely natural disaster to occur where I live is a hurricane. Here is how you and I can stay prepared for a hurricane hitting land in your area.
1. Talk with friends and family who are in a hurricane safe area about providing an evacuation location. Hurricanes generally give enough notice that you should have time to evacuate to your pre-determined location in enough time to be safe. Be sure to map out your route and try to pick roads that might be less traveled so that you are not stuck in horrible evacuation traffic. Print out the map and keep it in a safe place. Tell the important people in your life where you will in the event of an evacuation and how you will get there.
2. There is a chance that you may not be able to evacuate. Perhaps the hurricane makes a sudden turn towards your area and is coming to land too quickly for you to leave. Pick a place in your home where you can safely hunker down during the worst parts of the storm. This space should be in the inner areas of your home and preferably without any windows. A basement is a good choice if you have one.
3. If your home is not a safe place to wait out a storm, make arrangements to get to an emergency shelter as quickly as possible.
4. Stock up on food and water to last at least a few weeks. If there is a major hurricane in your area there is a chance you won’t be able to get to a grocery store. The grocery store may not even be open. So, during the times of recovery and rebuilding you need to be able to feed yourself safely from home. Take an inventory of your food storage every year to ensure freshness and that it is adequate. Rotate foods through your regular meals so that nothing goes to waste and replace it as soon as possible.
5. Create a Hurricane Kit. You will need flashlights, batteries, candles, matches, first aid kit, plastic bags, wet weather clothing, rope, tarp, blankets, sleeping bags, toiletries, towels, tent, etc. Basically you need to include everything you would need if you are camping because that is probably what you will be doing in the aftermath of a major storm.
6. Prepare your house for the storm. Collect pre-cut plywood for your windows. If you already have hurricane shutters be sure they are up to par. Before you leave town or hunker down inside the house remove all items from your yard that could become projectiles.
7. Listen to authorities. When they say to start getting ready, do it. Don’t wait till it starts raining to do something. That may be too late.
8. Appoint an out-of-state point of contact for everyone in the family. There is chance you could become separated during or after a storm. Have someone everyone can call to check in and for information on other family members. Be sure everyone has that phone number.
9. Be sure your insurance is up to date. Most insurance companies will not write new policies when a hurricane is on its way.
10. Make a plan for your pets. Will you shelter them during an evacuation or will you bring them with you? Plan accordingly.
11. During hurricane season always fill up your car at about half a tank. That way you always have a reserve for a hasty evacuation and you don’t fall victim to price gouging. You do not want to end up in gas lines that are five hours long.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane, About.com
Hurricane Preparedness, National Hurricane Center