An important aspect of preparedness is understanding what disasters are most likely in your locale and limiting their impact.
Identify the types of disasters that are the highest risk for where you live.
Ready.gov has identified a number of different types of disasters, including the following:
- extreme heat
- home fire
- landslide & debris flow
- power outage
- snowstorm & extreme cold
- thunderstorm & lightning
They provide additional information about how to prepare, how to survive, and what to do to stay safe after each type of disaster.
Learn how to receive local warnings and alerts about impending disasters.
There are two different levels of alerts: watches and warnings. When a watch is issued, this means you should be prepared because the potential exists for an emergency. Watches usually cover large geographic areas. Warnings on the other hand mean that you need to take immediate action, as the emergency is happening at that time. This is when you put your preparedness plan to use.
Other useful resources:
- Ready.gov “Emergency Alerts” https://www.ready.gov/alerts
- FEMA YouTube “Community Weather Alert” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccyzchpKDAQ&feature=youtu.be
Prepare your dwelling for potential disasters and common hazards.
Many residential areas have building codes. A home that is “built to code” only means it is built to the minimum life safety standard. You may want to take additional steps to better prepare your dwelling to help you survive potential local disasters. Here are some resources that may help you plan and prepare your home:
- “How to Prepare Your Home for Natural Disasters” https://www.expertise.com/home-repair/home-preparation-for-natural-disasters (a very comprehensive list of suggestions)
- “Preparing for Disaster: Is Your House Ready?” https://www.military.com/money/home-ownership/maintaining-your-home/preparing-for-disaster-is-your-house-ready.html
- “21 Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Natural Disaster” https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/21-tips-to-prepare-your-home-for-a-natural-disaster/
Check your insurance coverage.
Your insurance documents should be part of your disaster preparedness kit. You may need them after the disaster to obtain assistance and as proof of claims.
For a little humor at the end of a sober article, here are “10 Unbelievable Events Homeowners Insurance Covers.”