Not If, But When! Preparing for Natural Disasters

The Big Cold One, Twister, Toad Strangler, or Tremblor, are all common names for natural disasters that uproot families, destroy homes and lively hood. No matter what part of the country you live in there is always a season that can bring destruction to your front door. Making sure you are prepared for what type of disasters are in your area can bring peace of mind and help restore your life quicker when it is safe to return home.

First step is identifying what disaster can occur in your area along with identifying secondary disasters that could happen because of the initial disaster. For instance, after an earthquake you may have, fires, power outages, additional earthquakes or landslides. Click here  to search the National Center for Disaster Preparedness map to see what the hazard risk is for your county.

Once you have identified what natural disasters are likely to occur for your area review the information from the Red Cross on how to prepare for emergencies and how to safely return home.

Red Cross How to Prepare for Emergency

The National Center for Disaster Preparedness has created an easy 5 step module to walk you through how to prepare for a disaster. You can review the slide show here.

When preparing for a natural disaster, you also need to prepare how you will return and what supplies you will need to return to your normal life. Texas A&M has written an article on what you may need for cleaning up after a natural disaster, click here to read.  Once you are cleared to re-enter your home after a disaster make sure there is not a gas leak and there are no down power lines. Walk your property look for any trees or other debris that could cause future damage or safety hazard. Re-entering your home walk through the house and assess if you feel that the structure is sound. If you see indication that the structure is not safe, leave immediately and contact the building inspector that cleared your structure and your home insurance company, click here for additional information about working with your insurance company after a natural disaster. Before filing your claim with your insurance company be sure to read this article by US News for how to file a claim after a natural disaster and some things that could cost you thousands of dollars, click here.

Once you have assessed that your home is safe and structurally sound, begin by repairing things that if not fixed would cause further damage, such as boarding up broken windows. For a step-by-step instruction on how to safely clean up click here to read the CDC’s Guide. When cleaning and repairing make sure to stay safe and take breaks so you do not get over tired. Reach out to friends and family for help and reach out to your neighbors to check in on them.

Next week our emergency series will cover what to do if an emergency happens when you are out of the country.

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