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Thursday, March 27, 2014

10 Things You Need for a Weather Emergency

Original Article

English: Outdoor backpack Deutsch: Outdoor-Ruc...



by Code Name Insight
It's been a pretty wild winter what with massive snow storms and now heavy rains and flooding (example here).  What is consistent among all of these weather emergencies is the necessity to be prepared in advance of such occurrences.  Here's what you need:

  1. A bug out bag.  You never know when the sheriff will show up on your doorstep and inform you that everyone needs to evacuate ASAP due to flooding, a wild fire, avalanche hazard, etc.
  2. A bug out plan.  Should you need to leave in a hurry due to the aforementioned weather emergencies, what is your plan?  Where will you go?  How will you get there?  Do you have the cash to sustain you while you are gone?  Can you work remotely?
  3. Forewarning.  Generally you will want to keep an ear on your local news, receive updates from NOAA on your phone, have a weather radio, etc. so you will know ahead of time if a tornado or hurricane is headed your way.  This will give you enough notice so that you can take precautions/evacuate ahead of any disaster.
  4. Foreknowledge.  No matter where you are--whether you are at home or on vacation--you need to study up ahead of time and be knowledgeable about the sort of weather-related disasters that are common to your area.  You need to know what to expect and how to prepare and how to, pardon the pun, weather the storm.
  5. Mitigation efforts.  Now that you know what to expect, say, when a tornado is heading your way, you should also be ready to mitigate the impact of any sort of weather emergency.  For tornadoes and hurricanes you may want to keep plywood and screws on hand so you can board up windows if necessary, for areas prone to flooding you may want to have sandbags on hand, etc.
  6. Back-ups.  No matter the emergency you want to have alternative sources of food, water, and shelter available in the event that your utilities are taken out by the storm.
  7. Clothing.  You also want to dress appropriately for the weather.  Sometimes the difference between being uncomfortable and having a severe case of frostbite if you are stuck out in the snow is a hat and gloves.  Be sure you have appropriate clothing for any weather eventuality.  Also have appropriate shoes (this could mean heavy winter boots or water shoes depending on your circumstances).
  8. A disaster plan.  An overall disaster plan encompasses many things that may be useful during a weather emergency such as a communications plan so worried relatives will be able to find out what happened to you, knowledge of your kid's school's disaster plan so you can incorporate this into your own planning, the ability for the family to lock down the house in minutes or escape from the house in the same amount of time, etc.
  9. The ability to help others.  Many disasters--including the planning, response, and recovery thereof--may require more than just you.  Working with your immediately family is the first step in working with others to survive a weather emergency, checking on elderly or infirm neighbors before, during, and after the emergency is a nice thing to do, and being able to work with your neighbors--whether making sandbags or boarding up windows--is another ability to have.
  10. Recovery.  After the weather emergency has passed, you will then be in recovery mode.  This encompasses everything from the ability to clean up after the fact (this could be a small or overwhelming job depending on if a bit of water got into the basement or the roof of your house collapsed under the snow) to the information necessary to file insurance claims or seek community or federal resources to fix up whatever was destroyed during the weather disaster.
The most common emergency you will face on a regular basis is a weather emergency.  Prepare ahead of time!
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