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
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
FEMA will also provide up to date information on declared states of
emergency such as severe storms and
flooding, chemical spills, wildfires, and
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
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.