Planning for Natural Disaster Safety



Although they are rarely something that you want to think about, natural disasters seem to happen constantly across our country. From small lightning storms that destroy trees to major hurricanes that wipe out entire neighborhoods, natural disasters are common occurrences every year. These four suggestions will improve your safety and give you guidance for how to react to catastrophes in your home or business.

Know Your Area

First, be aware of which natural disasters are most common in your area of the country. If you live in the southeast, hurricanes may be common. Throughout the Midwest, tornadoes are often common during the summer months. Blizzards and ice storms hit throughout the mountains and in the northern Midwest. Wildfires can pop up during the dry summer and fall months in the southwest. Severe thunderstorms can occur most anywhere. Once you know what type of event is most likely to affect you, you can create a plan that will keep you safe and that will help you evacuate quickly from an affected area.

Make a Plan

Your plan should involve all the members of your family or all of your employees if you head a business. A plan should include evacuation information or plans for safe hiding places to ride out a storm. Consider what the quickest route would be to evacuate from your city. Plan for how you will communicate with family members who are not at home. For example, if cell phone service is down, you might still be able to use social networking platforms to communicate. Additionally, designate safe meeting spots.

Have Supply Stocks

The supplies you need depend on the natural disaster most likely to occur in your area. However, food and water are necessary for survival. Always have a stock of bottled water and food with a good shelf life. You will also want to have a permanent stock of flashlights, batteries, basic toiletries and first aid supplies on hand. Consider keeping an extra AM/FM radio and cell phone charger in a safe place in your home, and keep important paperwork in a fireproof file.

Be Aware of Cleanup Issues

After a natural disaster, you will need to take precautions before reentering damaged buildings. If you own a business, consider hiring a disaster recovery team, such as DKI, to help with cleanup. Never reenter a building until you have been assured that it is structurally sound. In addition, get out of a building immediately if you smell gas or feel the floors shifting. Wear safety glasses and a helmet when in damaged buildings, and never use lighters or matches until you know that there are no gas leaks.

Even the strongest buildings cannot withstand some of the natural disasters that sweep across the country. Therefore, it is wise to have a plan for protection during bad weather and to ensure that family members are aware of this plan. As your children age, you can continually give them increasing responsibilities during bad weather, such as gathering supplies and staying in touch with you when they are away from home. While you may not want to think of a natural disaster destroying your home or business, it is best to be prepared for these events to mitigate loss and damage should they occur.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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