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Accurately predicting the severity of a natural disaster is a difficult proposition. Your local weather experts will give you a good grip on when a storm will take place and an estimate of its strength, but there are many variables that can turn a weak storm into a natural disaster at any time.

That’s why you should always be prepared for the worst.

The particular risks each person will face will differ depending on their geographic location. For instance, coastal states will experience more hurricane threats while the Midwest will face tornadoes, so preparations can vary from state to state.

No matter where you live and what types of risks you face, it is crucial to have supplies and a plan ready.

Safety plan

Your safety plan should be discussed with everyone in your home. This should include what to do in case of evacuation, keeping contact and finding safe places in your home.

Before an evacuation is deemed necessary, your family members should already know where they are going. Make arrangements with a family member or friend in another area about shelter in case of an emergency.

There will usually be safe areas designated by officials outside your area where you can stay if you choose to stay close to home. Sometimes these shelters won’t accept animals, so you should have a separate plan in place to keep them safe.

You also should know how to get in contact with family members if an event happens while you’re apart. Depending on the disaster, telephones may not be working properly. You should have a designated area where everyone will meet after the disaster.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends you quiz children on their safety plan every six months to keep ideas fresh.

Making a kit

Disasters can make restoring electricity a difficult process. You should prepare a kit that has at least a three-day supply of food and water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these items on your checklist:

• One gallon of water for each person, per day;

• Food that won’t spoil. Canned goods, powdered milk, cereals;

• A three-day supply of any medicines you require;

• Soap, oral health items and an extra pair of glasses, if needed; and

• An emergency radio with extra batteries.


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