The record-setting level of deaths, injuries and property destruction during 2011 provide a stark reminder that no matter where you live, everyone is at risk from natural disasters. However, the important lesson from this infamous year of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and worse is not simply the power of nature. It is the power of human resilience. When people survive and communities endure disasters, they do so because of actions taken beforehand, with purpose, to make structures stronger and people safer.
Prepare Your FamilyMaking sure your family is prepared for any natural disaster is important. Below are some of the steps you can take to prepare your family and protect your home from natural disasters. Your actions can ensure that no matter what Mother Nature brings, you, your family and your community will be resilient.
Here are a few tips to follow from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes – (FLASH®) when preparing your family for any emergency.
• Develop a family disaster plan that includes a list of food and water supplies needed for each member of your family and supplies for your pets. Make copies of important documents like insurance policies, the deed to your home, and other personal papers, important phone numbers and a home inventory. Create a checklist of important things to do before, during and after a disaster.
• Review your evacuation route and emergency shelter locations with your family. Options for evacuation would include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging, or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups in conjunction with local authorities.
• Taking shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering in place is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment, or other location where you are when disaster strikes.
Review your plan regularly. If you make changes that affect the information in your disaster plan, update it immediately.
Protect Your HomeThe power of these natural disasters can be overwhelming. While you can't necessarily stop natural disasters from happening, there are steps you can take to increase your home's chance of survival, even in the face of the worst Mother Nature can dish out.