Get Prepared For Weather Emergencies
Severe weather events and bad weather emergencies can be very frightening and often lead to floods, power outages, and other problems affecting health and food safety.
Knowing what to do and having everything ready for bad weather emergencies can help reduce illnesses and life-threatening risks.
A bad weather emergency can be a terrifying experience and leaves people often with little time to think. We cannot stop emergencies from happening, but we can prepare for it to mitigate the damage that it brings.
The best time to prepare for a disaster is now. Here are some of the things that you need to prepare for a weather emergency:
Prepare Your Home For Evacuations
Take photographs of all the items you own in the house, from the smallest to the biggest things. Insurance companies often ask about what you lost. Having proof takes care of that.
You should also clear your yard, move loose items into the garage, and ensure water can flow away from your home to prevent your house from flooding.
Brace every opening, especially windows and doors that can easily blow off when met with high winds. An open hole can cause depressurization which can cause a house to collapse. Closing all interior doors can reduce pressure.
Elevate items that rust or corrode. In case there is a flood, your appliances should be unplugged and be several feet off the ground.
Move bigger and heavier objects into a position that will make it easier to get back down when you return. Turn off power and water lines as well to prevent damage and hazards.
Get Your “Go Bag” Ready
Your “go bag” should include all the necessities that will get you through hours or days of being stuck, trapped, or not being able to go out of your area because of an emergency.
This should be ready and accessible, ideally near or by the front door or the nearest exit.
Your “go bag” should include:
- cash in small bills
- first aid kit
- extra batteries
- dust mask
- wrench or pliers
- local maps
- plastic sheeting and duct tape for temporary shelter
- moist towelettes, garbage bag, plastic ties
- manual can opener
- cell phone with chargers and back up battery
- games and activities for the kids
- ID proof
- contact numbers, including emergency numbers
- thumb drive with important documents including insurance policies and housed in a protective case
- list of items to get when there is time to spare
Get Electronic Devices Ready
Always have your devices ready for emergencies. Charge your phone and have a charger and spare battery towed away in your bag.
It may be optional, but having a battery-powered radio is helpful, especially when network communications are down.
If you need more power, stashing a power strip can also be extremely helpful during power outages.
It would help if you also kept your devices packed in zipper-seal bags to keep them protected, especially from water.
Set up a digital meet-up plan to ensure communications are continuous and that it is easier to check in with each other throughout the weather emergency. You should also set up emergency contacts and emergency alerts.
Get Your Pets Weather Emergency-Ready
Bad weather emergencies can be disorienting to people, but they can be even more confusing to pets.
Pets can get trapped, can run off, and risk exposure to life-threatening perils such as starvation from lack of food.
Find a place where you can stay during a weather emergency that allows pets.
You can also contact your local emergency response agencies and find out which shelters allow animals and what requirements you need to fulfill.
Arrange and make an emergency plan with a family, friend, or neighbor to help evacuate your pet should a weather emergency happen when you are away from home.
You should also prepare a pet “go bag” that includes:
- Your pet’s collar with ID tag, contact number, and rabies tag
- Traveling bag or sturdy carrier, one for each pet
- 3 to 7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food
- At least 7 days’ worth of bottled water for each pet
- Pet feeding dishes
- Extra harness and leash for safety and security
- Photocopies of medical records in a waterproof container
- 2 weeks supply of pet medicine (as needed)
- Disposable litter trays
- Litter and paper towels
- Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
- Disposable garbage bags for cleanup
- Recent photos of you and your pets (in case you’re separated and to document ownership).
- Your pet’s favorite toy, treats, and bedding
Get Power Outage-Ready
A power outage can be expected, especially during severe or prolonged weather emergencies.
People also have to be prepared for such cases in order to survive. Here are some tips for surviving the power outage during weather emergencies:
- Get important information on paper. Your cell phone will only last as long as its battery or your charger does.
- Phone numbers and addresses should be handy in case of emergencies, including hospitals, schools, storm shelters, or other public places that have power sources.
- Prepare to use gas for cooking food that will spoil. Food in your refrigerator can maintain a safe temperature of below 40° F for about 4 hours on average. Cook those that spoil easily and don’t keep remaining cooked for more than 2hrs.
- Have a generator ready (if you have) and use it safely. Improperly running a generator can kill people in less than 5 minutes if the carbon monoxide concentration is high enough.
- Generators should be as far from the house as possible (at least 20 feet), with the exhaust directed away from the doors and windows.
Be Prepared For Medical Emergencies
A bad weather emergency can put people at risk of health emergencies. You should plan what actions you should take, what to expect, who you should call, and where you should go should they arise.
According to consumer reports, medical or health emergencies can include “breathing problems, chest pains, bleeding that can’t be stopped with direct pressure, severe burns, broken bones, coughing up or vomiting blood, sharp abdominal pain, an unexplained seizure, and signs of a stroke (facial drooping, arm weakness, or speech difficulty).”
- Know which are the nearest healthcare facilities or hospitals in the area and keep a record of the address and phone number.
- Check with your doctor if you can just call for specific medical emergencies that don’t require you to a hospital.
- Always have handy an updated list of medical conditions and current medications, along with any over-the-counter drugs or supplements you take.
- Keep a list of your contact information, your next of kin, your doctors, and other vital information with you at all times.
- Keep relevant and important documents together and accessible.
Insurance Policies In Place And Updated
Ensure that your home insurance, flood insurance, and emergency fund are updated and prepared to avoid the trouble of explaining, pulling up information, and waiting for updates.
Pre-disaster financial planning is key in tiding over a bad weather emergency.
Preparing means winning half the battle. Weather emergencies, like any disaster, can cause people to panic, making it difficult to remain calm and have a clear mind.
But when you are prepared and planned out well enough, what to do during emergencies becomes natural that it requires little to no thinking.
Your chances of surviving are significantly increased if you take the time and effort to prepare.
Editor’s Note on How To Prepare For Bad Weather Emergency:
This article is created to inform you of the news about how to survive a bad weather emergency.
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