Are you certain about the occurrence of a Disaster?
Disasters and emergencies can strike anywhere. It is never certain when a disaster will strike – when you are at home or when you are in office. It could be anywhere. But the main concern always remains the same, Are your loved ones safe when a disaster strikes regardless of the fact whether you are with them or not?
When a disaster strikes, it leaves you confined to where you are or it can force you to stay in a place where no proper arrangements of basic life services – water, food or electricity – are made.
Rescue team or Emergency Medical Service cannot reach to everyone right away. But you can be prepared for it along with your family.
Staying prepared is your best protection and your responsibility.
Four Steps to Safety
1. STAY INFORMED
News related to any calamity or hazard is of prime importance and all the media channels, including TV, Radio, Internet and local bodies make sure that it reaches to each and every local. It’s your responsibility that you STAY INFORMED about all the latest news and updates.
Natural Hazards are geography specific and people living in those areas should be ready for it. For example, people living near coastal areas have high chances of facing threats like hurricanes, tsunami, etc. For safety of everyone, local bodies ensure that each and every individual has the basic knowledge and facilities of surviving these situations.
Community Disaster Plans
Every individual should have the knowledge of response plans, evacuation plans and all the facilities provided by community. Awareness about plans which accessible in public areas like offices, shopping malls and schools can reduce the panic many folds.
Community Warning Systems
Every community has a plan to tackle disasters. You can contact concerned authorities on more knowledge about different aspects of preparedness and survival, which includes providing information during and after a disaster.
2. BE EMERGENCY READY
Surviving a disaster is always a team work. It cannot be done alone. You have to explain every tiny detail of forthcoming emergencies to your near and dear ones. Explanation includes awareness, do’s, don’ts, and emergency responder training.
Choose an “Out-of-Town” Contact: When disaster strikes an area, communication mediums gets hampered the first. It is always advisable that you remember phone numbers of a few of your relatives and friends who live outside the city and contact them in such scenarios.
Communication during and after: If individuals get separated from each other, a pre-decided ‘place to meet’ always helps in reuniting. Keeping phone numbers of work places and school helps in contacting concerned authorities for more information and updates.
Escape Routes and Safe Places: In most of the emergency and disaster cases, you do not much time to plan and react. You just have to find a safe place for yourself and you need to thoroughly remember all the escape routes and places where you can stay safe. It is also advisable to have a First Kit at multiple accessible places.
Prepare for different hazards: It’s not certain always that you might only face a single kind of hazard/disaster. Areas with chances of Tsunami can also get struck by earthquake. Preparing yourself for multiple disasters is always a better option.
Action Checklist – Items To Do Before a Disaster
Fire Extinguisher: Be sure everyone knows how to use your fire extinguishers and where they are kept.
Smoke Alarms: Install smoke alarms on each level of your home.
Insurance Coverage: Check if you have adequate insurance coverage for self and your home.
First Aid/CPR & AED (Automated External Defibrillation): Keep a fully equipped First Aid Kit handy along with AED machine.
Inventory Home Possessions: Make a record of your possessions and store it in a safe place to help you claim reimbursement in case of loss or damage.
Vital Records and Documents: Vital family records and other important documents such as certificates, passports, wills etc.
Reduce Home Hazards: In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Take these steps to reduce your risk.
3. KEEP A SURVIVAL KIT IN PLACE
Emergencies don’t give you time to react. In the event, you are required to evacuate or move to a safer place in no time. You do not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you and your family will need. Every household should assemble a disaster supplies kit and keep it up to date.
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items a family would probably need to stay safe and be more comfortable during and after a disaster. Disaster supplies kit items should be stored in a portable container(s) as close as possible to the exit door.
Home survival kit must contain:
Supplies for your vehicle should include:
4. DON’T PANIC AND STICK TO THE PLAN
Quiz: Review your plan every six months and quiz your family about what to do.
Drill: Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills on a regular basis with your family.
Restock: Check food supplies for expiration dates and discard, or replace stored water and food every six months.
Test: Read the indicator on your fire extinguisher(s) and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to recharge. Test your smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Replace alarms every 10 years.
IF DISASTER STRIKES
AFTER A DISASTER