Disasters are dangerous events that can destroy homes, possessions, and lives. They can come in many forms, although some may be more common in specific areas than others. For example, weather-related disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes may occur in certain parts of the country more frequently than others. On the other hand, there are other types of disasters, such as fire, that can occur regardless of where a person lives. Despite whether a person lives in an area that is prone to certain types of disasters or not, it is important that they learn how to properly prepare themselves and their property. Preparing for an event can lessen the amount of injury or damage that is ultimately sustained.
- Flash flood preparedness is the subject of this page on the government of Ohio's website. Evacuation plans, common terminology, and flood insurance are some of the topics that it covers.
- Prepare for Floods and Flash Floods - The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) contains tips on its website about how to be ready for a flash flood. The subjects that they discuss include disaster plans, warning signs, and instructions for creating a flash flood ready kit.
- Flood Safety: How to Prepare and Protect Yourself From Floods - This news release by the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs addresses what to do before, during, and after a flood. For instance, it advises readers to stock up on food and water, move to higher ground, avoid swimming in fast-moving water, and look out for live wires.
- Flood Preparedness: Preparing for Flooding - The government of Ottawa County offers readers tips in this PDF on how to prepare for and survive flooding. It includes an extensive guide on how to create a flood preparedness kit.
- What to Do After a Flood or Flash Flood - This PDF talks about how to survive in the aftermath of a flood. Examples of the advice it gives includes avoiding buildings that haven't been inspected by authorities, helping neighbors in need, wearing sturdy shoes, and watching for gas leaks and fire hazards.
- Pre-Earthquake Planning - Caltech University offers its students advice on preparing for earthquakes in this PDF. First aid, emergency food and water supplies, and securing furniture and appliances that can move or fall are among the subjects that it covers. There are also tips for students who are at home or on the road if and when an earthquake strikes.
- Top Ten Tips for Earthquake Safety - This is a list of the ten most important preparedness tips according to the University of California, Irvine's police department. It is broken up into three sections, which are before, during, and after an earthquake. Before getting to any preparedness advice, it offers information on what earthquakes are and how they're measured. Visitors will also find information on earthquake terminology. Following that are tips for safeguarding one's home and contents as well as what to do during and after an earthquake. Finally, there is a section that pertains to the concerns of agricultural businesses.
- Disaster Types: Earthquakes - Readers will find a wealth of earthquake information at this Ready.gov page. In addition to providing information on how to prepare for an earthquake in advance and how to survive during a quake and in its aftermath, it also has a "more information" section with additional links to other earthquake-related sites.
- Protecting Your Family From Earthquakes - The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety - This PDF brochure by the U.S. Geological Survey offers earthquake safety tips in English and Spanish. Additional topics that it covers includes how earthquakes will affect their victims. Identifying potential indoor earthquake hazards, disaster preparedness planning, and fixing potential structural weaknesses in the home are among the preparedness tips that readers will find in this brochure.
- How to Prepare Your Home for Earthquakes - Popular Mechanics magazine offers some basic preparedness tips on this Web page. It also features a diagram on quake-proofing water heaters.
- Hurricane Safety Tips - This informative article by the University of West Florida covers hurricane preparation and survival tips. Readers will find information on how hurricanes form and their classifications. They will also find tips on how to react to hurricane warnings, when to evacuate, what to do when one cannot evacuate, and how to care for others who may be injured.
- Natural Disasters: Hurricanes - Tufts University gives general disaster preparedness tips on this page, including hurricanes. It includes information on what to do before, after, and during a hurricane strike.
- What to Do in Case of a Hurricane - Hurricane information and tips are the subject of this page by the Lafayette, Louisiana, Office of Emergency Preparedness. It includes information on hurricane categories, the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning, how to prepare in advance for a hurricane, how to respond to an actual hurricane threat, and what to do afterward.
- Be Safe After a Hurricane: This is the emergency preparedness and response page for hurricanes on the CDC website. This page reviews how families can stay safe indoors and outdoors following a hurricane. Pet protection is also discussed on this page. Read further for information regarding safety before and during a hurricane by clicking on the appropriate link on the page.
- Preparing Pets for Hurricane Season - This is a PDF about protecting one's pets in the event of a hurricane. Vaccinations, emergency pet supplies, and how to safeguard one's pet after a hurricane passed are some of the subjects that this article covers.
- Prep for Hurricanes: Storm Safety Checklist - Visitors to this article can find a list of things they should do to prepare for a potential hurricane. Watching weather reports, stockpiling emergency supplies, and keeping cars fueled up in case of evacuation are some of the tips that the article gives.
- Tornado Safety Rules - This page offers a numbered list of tips for tornado safety. Visitors are repeatedly warned to stay out of their vehicles in the event of a tornado and to seek shelter in a basement, if possible.
- Tornado Preparedness and Response - This PDF covers a variety of tornado preparedness-related topics. These include conducting tornado drills, the difference between tornado watches and warnings, emergency supply kits, what to do in the event that a tornado hits, and defending against lightning strikes. The article also talks about the use of generators to supply emergency power in the aftermath of a tornado.
- Preparing for a Tornado - Missouri's Storm Aware website offers comprehensive information on tornado safety. Basic tips, facts about tornadoes, a home inspection checklist, protecting essential documents, and emergency kits are some of the topics that this article covers.
- Preparing for a Tornado - Before, During, and After - The Virginia Department of Emergency Management covers tornado safety and preparation on this page. Visitors can learn how to prepare for one in advance, what to do if one strikes, and safety tips in the aftermath of a tornado.
- What to Do Before a Tornado? - Readers interested in knowing how to be prepared before a tornado hits can find relevant information on this page managed by the city of Yuma, Arizona. Important tips that the article gives include knowing the location of shelters, keeping yards clear of debris, which can become high-speed hazards in a tornado, and creating emergency survival kits.
- Emergency Preparedness Resources - Prepare Before a Fire - The city of Milpitas, California, offers fire safety tips on its website. In addition to fire safety advice, it also includes some facts and statistics about fires and their threat to human safety.
- Learn About Fire Escape Plans - Those who are interested in the topic of fire preparedness can find a wealth of information on this page by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In addition to advice on how to prevent or escape a fire, it includes a video that instructs viewers to plan two ways out of a burning building. Visitors can also find other PDF-based handouts related to fire safety.
- Preparing a House for Wildfire Season: Open this PDF to view seven ways to protect the home from a wildfire. Each precaution is numbered and explained. A corresponding number appears on a picture to illustrate where the action takes place in or around the home. After the Fire: The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service provides this PDF outlining what needs to be done following a fire. Information on the page includes topics such as replacing money, understanding the role of the fire department, salvage tips, and valuing property.
- Tips for Preparing for Winter Weather: The city of Baltimore, Maryland, offers advice on winter weather conditions such as blizzards. The page covers what to do when there is a winter storm warning, if you're stuck in a vehicle, and after the storm has passed.
- Winter Storms: This page will help readers to have a better understanding of the differences between the various winter storm warnings and watches, including blizzard warnings. The page also includes various facts about hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and frostbite. Tips on how to prepare one's home and car for winter storms are also included on the page.
- Winter Storms: During the Storm: The Weather Channel lists safety tips explaining how to stay safe while indoors or outdoors or while traveling. Readers may click on the "before" or "after" links at the bottom of the page to read what to do before a winter storm or blizzard and what to do after one.
- Winter Storm/Blizzard Preparedness and Safety: Prepare for a blizzard and increase the chances of remaining safe. This link opens a list of things that people should have on hand prior to a blizzard and what they should do in the event of one. Advice is given for people at home, in a building, outside, or in a car.
- Blizzards: Get information about blizzards and other snow storms by clicking on this link. The second half of the page reviews what people should do in the event of a blizzard if caught in the storm outside, indoors, or in a car.
How to Make a Disaster Preparedness Kit and Checklist
- Get a Survival Kit: The American Red Cross lists the minimum items needed in the event of an emergency. The basic items needed for a survival/disaster kit are listed and include basics such as flashlights, a first aid kit, and water.
- Emergency Prepared Checklist: This printable PDF checklist can be marked off as items are completed. The checklist covers work and school, the car, and personal and home environments. Readers are also given a section to write emergency phone numbers and out-of-state contact information that can be torn off and given to members of the family.
- Disaster Preparedness Checklist: Be prepared for earthquakes or other disasters by printing this PDF checklist. The page includes items needed to assemble an emergency kit with enough supplies for three days. It also lists what needs to be done to reduce home hazards, create an emergency plan, and more.
By: Lisa Smith