First it was Hurricane Harvey. Then came Irma with Maria on her heals. This was after NOAA declared in April of this year (2017) that “570 tornadoes have been reported (preliminarily), which is almost a hundred more than average [in the U.S.].” As we get ready to publish this post, 14 fires are wrecking havoc in Napa and Sonoma Counties of Northern California with at least 10 killed, over 100 injured, and an estimated 1,500 people displaced.
Sadly, what we’ve witnesses around the country and other parts of the world this year is simply devastating and tragic. When a catastrophe strikes, the damage, injuries, and deaths are heart-wrenching, as witnessed in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and now California. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have or are still enduring a disaster.
The frequency and severity with which disasters strike can be overwhelming. If you watch or read U.S. and international news, it seems like it’s a weekly occurrence. This makes it especially heart-warming and comforting to know that some of the worst of times brings out the best in people. We recently covered this in a post describing how a Central Texas group of fitness trainers from Camp Gladiator (CG) dropped everything to sprint down to Houston and help out after Hurricane Harvey tore through the 5th largest city in America.
Of course, relying on the kindness and generosity of others is not the best course of action. If you take reasonable precautions in order to provide for your loved ones in the event of a natural disaster or other type of crisis, you can take comfort in knowing that you have done your best to prepare for an emergency situation. And if everyone was so diligent, then in the wake of a disaster the amount of casualties, the length of time, and the overall costs could be greatly reduced.
Further, while the news reports after a disaster strikes are replete with accounts of governmental and charitable organizations rushing to the scene offering rescue and support services, their arrival is often delayed by hours, days, and in extreme cases can take much longer. If you have ever waited to be rescued, or to get to shelter or your next meal, or waited in line at a store for food and water while looking at row upon row of empty shelves, you know the wait can be agonizing and for some life threatening. Don’t be among those who regret not developing a plan and making preparations in advance.
We get that you may not have been offered, Emergency Preparedness 101, in college. But this is an important subject you should cover sooner than later — no matter where you live. And it is not complicated and need not be a budget breaker. Instead, start as soon as you can and over time improve the level of preparedness for your household.
At Neighborly Town, we want everyone to be prepared for emergency situations that can hit their neighborhood. We’ve curated the best advice we could find on the subject from both governmental and non-governmental sources. We were looking for the most important and practical things you can use to help ensure that your household and neighborhood aces the next exam administered by Mother Nature or some other “instructor” with a personality like a twister.
So exactly what are some of the best things to do? The following is the list we compiled. It is not meant to be exhaustive and yet it goes well beyond the basics so it’s a great place to start. The list is written in topical format.
- Contacts & Maps
- Get a BOB
- Shelter & Warmth
- Water, Food, and Medical
- Power Generation
- Home & Self Defense
- Review & Update
We urge you to prepare and regularly review your plans and preparation. We also encourage you to talk with your neighbors about this important subject and discuss the planning areas in which neighbors can become more aware and better prepared. While you and your neighbors can’t prevent natural disasters from striking, you can take reasonable precautions to make the best of the situation afterward.
Toward that end, we will publish a series of 10 reports on this subject with each one covering a specific topic. As each one is published, we will hyperlink it. Each report is one step along the way to being better prepared in the event of an emergency.
Please share this report along with the subsequent ones in this series with your loved ones, neighbors, and friends in the hope that more people will be better prepared the next time disaster strikes. By the end of the series, at the very least you should be better prepared to weather the next “stormy” time in your life. Be a good neighbor; be prepared™.