Preparing For The Worst in San Diego
Photo via Flickr by Ervins Strauhmanis
Preparing for the Worst: Protecting Your Home and Family Against a Natural Disaster in San Diego or anywhere.
Natural disasters often occur without warning and with little-to-no time to prepare once they’re headed your way. Though this is a frightening thought, there are things you can do now to limit the damage and danger later on. Don’t get caught off-guard when disaster strikes! Here are six ways to stay prepared:
Create a family plan and designate safe places in your home, school, and office. Sit down with your family and establish safe spots for any kind of natural disaster your area is susceptible to. Make sure your children know the steps of school safety drills, but are prepared in the event they’re separated from their class. (For example, if an earthquake occurs while your son is in the hall returning from a bathroom break, it’s important he knows to move away from windows and toward an interior wall.) Choose safe places in your home and practice drills. It may even be useful to create a disaster plan list or chart to keep handy.
Buy emergency medical books. One of the greatest dangers of natural disasters is that injuries can occur with little or restricted access to professional medical care — roads could be impassable or an injury could be too severe to wait for help. Having emergency medical books on-hand will give you a chance to know the basics ahead of time (how to stop serious bleeding, how to stitch up wounds, etc.) and have a resource in the moment for any other major medical emergencies.
Have a plan for your pet. In the event that damage puts you out of your home after a natural disaster strikes, you’ll want to make sure your pet has a safe place to go. Before you find yourself in dire need, choose a trusted pet sitter who will care for your pet post-disaster. When the time comes, not having to worry about the safety and well-being of your beloved fur baby will allow you to focus on getting your home taken care of.
Prepare a disaster preparedness kit. It’s important to set aside supplies designated solely for the event of disaster. Your disaster preparedness kit should include: water (a two-week supply is the standard), non-perishable and canned foods, extra pet food, basic cooking and eating utensils (including a can opener), matches, a first aid kit, battery-powered radio, blankets, hygienic items like toilet paper and toothbrushes, a back-up cell phone battery, battery-powered flashlights and candles, important personal documents like birth certificates and insurance policies, and extra batteries. Keep your kit in a place where it’s safe from curious children or pet noses, but readily available when needed.
Set aside emergency cash. Electrical systems are often down following natural disasters, rendering your credit and debit cards temporarily useless. Set aside a few hundred dollars as part of your disaster prep, though you may opt to store it separate from your preparedness kit for security. Ideally, bills should be in small denominations (nothing larger than a twenty). It may be difficult for businesses to break larger bills, especially during emergencies.
Prepare your home. Have large trees around your home regularly trimmed, keeping branches no longer than five feet long. This reduces the risk of them becoming weak and breaking in strong winds. If your home is expected to be in the path of a hurricane or strong winds are expected in the next 24 hours, move any loose items from your yard or patio area — like furniture and charcoal grills — inside. (But remember, never use a grill indoors!) If you have a lanai, reduce the likelihood of damage by removing screening panels and doors to create a vent for wind to escape.
Natural disasters are no joke, but they don’t mean you have to live in fear. By taking these simple measures, you can be prepared for all kinds of emergencies. Nothing outweighs the importance of keeping your family safe, especially in extreme conditions!
Jennifer McGregor has wanted to be a doctor since she was little. Now, as a pre-med student, she’s well on her way to achieving that dream. She helped create PublicHealthLibrary.org with a friend as part of a class project. With it, she hopes to provide access to trustworthy health and medical resources. When Jennifer isn’t working on the site, you can usually find her hitting the books in the campus library or spending some downtime with her dog at the local park.