Are You At Risk for an Emergency Disaster?
Certain areas of the country have become synonymous with certain types of disasters. When people think of California, they think earthquakes. When they think of Louisiana or Florida, they think hurricanes. If you don’t live in a high-profile disaster area, you may feel pretty safe with regard to emergency preparedness. In reality, however, you need to take steps to prepare for an emergency no matter where you live. Flood plains extend all throughout the country, and at least one earthquake has occurred in 42 out of 50 states in the last 30 years. Knowing the risk is half the battle. Don’t let a false sense of security lead to catastrophic loss for your family.
Identify Possible Emergency Disaster Hazards
Check with your local disaster management office to determine what potential risks exist in your area. Emergency risks include natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes as well as man-caused disasters such as chemical spills, nuclear waste problems, and radiation leakage. Each of these incidents will require specific actions to reduce risk, prepare for disaster, and recover from an emergency situation.
Take Advantage of Emergency Disaster Information Provided by FEMA
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides maps that detail disaster-prone areas including flood plains, hurricane risks, earthquake risks, and tornado threats. Take some time to find out what natural disasters typically threaten your area of the country in order to know what steps you should take to prepare for an emergency disaster. FEMA will also provide up to date information on declared states of emergency such as severe storms and flooding, chemical spills, wildfires, and dam breakages.
Evaluate Your Property for Emergency Disaster Risk
Even if you don’t live in a disaster prone area, certain features about your property can place you at risk for an emergency. Dry wood and underbrush near your home can put you at risk for fire; a nearby river or stream can overflow and cause flooding, especially for homes with basements; and living in mountainous areas can place you at risk for landslides. Stay in tune with the potential hazards around your home, including seasonal hazards such as snow storms in winter and fire after a hot, dry summer.
Before you can begin preparing for an emergency disaster, it’s vital that you know what possible dangers may present themselves so that you can take proper precautions. Don’t be caught unprepared. Know what your risks are and take steps to plan for them. Make sure to stock up on emergency food and water as well as first aid supplies and lighting and heating. You can never be too prepared to save your family.