BEFORE DISASTER — PREPARE!
The significant thing to surviving a disaster is planning ahead of a possible disaster. How do you prepare for a disaster? Where do you begin?
Many individuals refuse to accept the fact that disaster can befall them. It has never crossed their mind that a disaster can befall them or their loved ones. This mind-set has left some not planning any strategy for survival in an event of a disaster. When a disaster strikes, it is too late to prepare. You could become panic-stricken, not knowing what to do. Therefore, you must know what to do beforehand. So in this article, we will analyze the possible disasters that can strike, and see what measures we can take to survive when they occur.
Do you live in an earthquake or hurricane prone area? Look around your home and see whether the construction and its location are safe. If possible you could reinforce the pillars supporting the building. Know the exits in your building, and rehearse with the kids the plan of escape in the event of emergency.
When you overload your switch plugs with too many electricity attachments, you are providing a recipe for fire outbreak. Remove all fire hazards from your home. Install smoke detectors, particularly the type that sounds alarm when the batteries are running down. Know where the assembly points or shelters are and plan an escape route.
Prepare some food, water, and an emergency survival kit ready in your home, so that if any hint of a disaster like hurricane or tornado is dropped, you could grab it and off you go to a shelter that the authorities will announce you should go to. Do you own a car? You may leave some fuel in the fuel tank, at least at the half mark.
Do you have the phone numbers of your friends? It is important to have a list of telephone numbers of friends. Should the family be dispersed during a disaster, where do you plan to meet? This must be known by the family. It could be a school nearby or outside the neighborhood. When these measures are put in place, then there is the likelihood to survive a disaster. What will you do during a disaster?
DURING DISASTER – ACT FAST
Knowing what action to take during an event can save your life. When fire breaks out, some people become stricken with panic. Others become hesitant. Some will try to salvage some items such as their valuables. Why is it important to respond promptly? Because you may lose your life! Possessions can be replaced not life. Nothing, absolutely nothing can buy life! Therefore, leave everything behind and go. Act fast, but do not run. Walk briskly so that you do not bump into someone, or cause stampede at the exit point if that happens at the workplace.
What should you do when you are in a fire upstairs? Don’t use the elevator. Electric power can fail and you could be trapped inside. Moreover, the elevator could be filled with smoke. Smoke inhalation is the cause of deaths during most fires. Use the stairways instead. When your cloths are on flames, “stop, drop, and roll” over with your hand over your face. Stay close to the floor, and move quickly to the nearest exit.
What about during an earthquake? Go under a furniture immediately. Aftershocks could possibly occur, so get outside fast and move away from the building. If trapped, remain calm and hopeful and wait for rescuers.
During a Tsunami
Whenever you are on the shore and you realize that the water suddenly rushes away into the sea, move fast and quickly to higher ground. Disaster is looming ahead! Know that higher and larger waves may rush down the shore at a terrific speed. These waves can wash away everything in their way. So, as fast as you can, leave the area. Don’t delay!
During Tornadoes and Hurricanes
Unlike earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes can be predicted long before they occur owning to advance technology. Whenever this phenomenon is forecast, secure your home as much as you can. Then without delay grab your prepared emergency survival kit and go to a storm shelter. This is the wisest thing to do regardless of how long you have lived in your area. What is the point in waiting till calamity strikes before trying desperately to save your life?
Whenever there is a heavy down pour in your area and the place is getting flooded, as a result of the incessant rainfall, don’t delay. Get your emergency survival kit ready. Move out of the flooded building. Don’t wade in the flowing water, nor drive through rushing water. Note that floodwater can contain sewage and carry debris that can cause harm to you.
Also, open manholes, gutters and downed power lines can be covered by the flood and you could be drowned or be electrocuted. So watch out! Remember, just a knee-high of moving water is capable of carrying a car away. So don’t drive through the floodwater. Many people have lost their lives as a result of trying to drive through moving water.
But the question is, why should people wait till their houses are flooded before they go up to their rooftop calling for help? Why should they procrastinate till rescuers have to save them in a boat? Don’t they love their life? It is important to note that you can replace every property but life.
During Chemical or Biological Attack
In the event of chemical orbiological attack, what survival measures should you take? The following measures must be observed:
When you are in an area struck by a biological or chemical attack, what must you do? First and foremost, check the direction of the wind. If the wind is blowing from the north or south, go to east or west, and vice versa. This is what is known as escape of crosswind.
Stay indoors. Turn off your ventilation. Seal off all doors and windows. To reduce exposure to radiation, move to the lowest interior part of your home if that is possible. Listen to radio or TV for news on the event and for direction. Remain indoors until it is announced that the threat is over.
AFTER DISASTER – STAY SAFE
Try to avoid disease and danger. It is better to live with acquaintances than to be in a camp. Should you be in a emergency shelter, make sure that your living space must be cleaned thoroughly. Wear protective equipment such as gloves, sturdy shoes, hard hat, and nose mask when clearing debris. Watch out for electrical wires, they may have power in them.
Remain calm and positive. Accept help, and be willing to help others, particularly the elderly. Do not dwell on the loss. Focus on helping people to survive, not on replacing your lost items. We need just clean water, food, clothing, and shelter to survive.
Some people especially kids are traumatized after their ordeal thru a disaster. So be alert to address their emotional needs. How do you recognize that? The symptoms that show that they are traumatized and need help includes anxiety, depression, difficulty thinking and sleeping.
Practice hand washing. Wash your hand often and thoroughly to avoid contracting germs or virus whether you have come into contact with anyone or not. Your clothing that come into contact with people must be gotten rid of. Keep bottles of sanitizer handy, and use frequently.
You should boil water before using to kill the biological agents. Always wear disposable gloves and put on mask so as not to breathe in contaminated air.