One of the best ways to deal with any natural disaster is to be thoroughly prepared, especially if you are responsible for an organisation such as a school, business or clinic or even just your home. Having an emergency plan that can be implemented when severe weather warnings come in can save a lot of damage to property, as well as protect human and animal lives.
What should my emergency plan consist of?
In order to prepare a thorough emergency plan, you should conduct an investigation of all possible hazards around your home or place of work. Knowledge of appropriately signed evacuation routes at schools and workplaces is essential.
Make sure that all family members or organisation stakeholders are able to provide input into your procedures, so that you have the most robust reaction framework possible.
Record important details on your plan, such as emergency contact numbers, where to hire a generator, evacuation meeting points and descriptions of any medical needs within your group.
Ensure that everyone within your household or place of business is aware of the emergency procedures that are in place. This could involve drills at work or at home. Training in first aid is also an essential part of being prepared.
Your local or state government will have information available on how to effectively plan for potential disasters. Make use of this information to ensure that you are prepared at all times.
What equipment could be used to prepare for incoming weather events?
If you are made aware of an impending serious weather event, such as a thunderstorm or hurricane, it is prudent to make sure you have all of the supplies and equipment necessary to weather out the storm, especially if the supply of power or water is interrupted.
A top priority is tinned food and bottled water - stored in such a way as to be accessible in an emergency. An emergency supplies cupboard in the garage or hallway is a good idea. Other useful items include a first aid kit, camping stove, matches in a waterproof container, a torch and a radio which can be operated on batteries.
Hiring equipment such as a generator and flood lights can help community centres and businesses be prepared for losing power in violent weather. Hiring a pump can also help if you know your property is prone to flooding.
Remember that planning for disaster is not an alarmist thing to do - it is a very practical step for making sure that you are prepared. When the storm is on the horizon, you want to be sure you have taken all possible safety precautions.