Disasters can happen at any time, and you need to be ready for anything. Though this may sound overdramatic, it is a proven fact that setting preparations beforehand saves lives and precious time in the event of a disaster. Here are the key elements of personal disaster preparedness.
Make a Detailed Personal Plan
The best way to prepare yourself and your family for a disaster is to make a detailed plan. Thinking through any possible scenarios is a great first step, but consider writing them out and sharing them with your significant other and children as well. When detailing your personal plan, be sure to include all family members and pets. Also, factor in any disabilities or mobility limitations people have in your family that could impair their ability to evacuate quickly. Have a short list of important medications, basic necessities, and meaningful items to grab in a hurry. You do not want to be weighing which items to take when you’re in a panic. Of course, if there is no time, you will need to leave everything behind to protect yourself and your family. In the event of displacement, have an arrangement with a friend or family member who can house you temporarily.
Have Emergency Tools on Hand
In Missouri, tornadoes and floods are the most common disasters. Though these are weather-related incidents, they are likely to happen during particular seasons of the year, so be sure to have the necessary tools on hand during those times. These tools include basic items like hammers, pliers, and screwdrivers, but also consider including power drills, lock picks, and even a crowbar. If you need new drill bits or single lock pick replacements, get these in advance so that you can unlock doors and act quickly.
Set Clear Lines of Communication
Time and time again, at the personal and institutional levels, communication is to blame for problems in disaster response. If you want to make things easier, set clear lines of communication beforehand so that everyone in your family knows the who, how, and when of disaster communication. Establish who will talk with family or friends who are not in the household at the time of emergency. Designate one person to make quick emergency decisions. Though everyone will have equity in important decisions, it is best to have one person be the central voice amidst the chaos. Also, try to have a radio, phone, or other technology backup option in case of power outages or phone service disruption.
Emergencies can happen at any time, so use these key elements of personal disaster preparedness to get ready today. By preparing yourself and your household for disasters to come, you will more quickly and easily navigate the future.