Several major disasters seem to hit the US and countries around the world. With the rise in earthquakes, tornados, fires, and hurricanes, communities where you live may be affected at some point during your life time. Knowing what to do in a natural disaster can be life saving. Some of the basic preparations for disasters are seeking shelter, having food storage, and emergency medical supplies. Emergency warnings are common for both local and national levels. Having access to these resources will provide a way for you to protect your family.
Some other disasters that happen are droughts, extreme heat, floods, landslides, space weather, lightning, tsunamis, volcanoes, and blizzards. Recognizing when disasters may occur will help protect your family. Having supply kits and a family emergency plan will assist you in keeping your family safe.
Some manmade disasters may also occur at some point in time. With these types of disasters there can be very little warnings. Some of these disasters are nuclear pollution and radiation, household chemical emergencies, hazardous material exposure and blackouts. Some of these could be complicated or even caused by weather but may also happen unexpectedly due to human error.
When a disaster strikes you will need to decide whether to stay or evacuate. If the area you are in is in danger most local and national authorities will initiate an evacuation. You can also tune in to local radio or TV news for updates. Sirens and emergency workers can also assist in helping you know what is happening.
Disaster recovery needs an immediate and urgent response, but is also long-term and gradual. Safety and assessment is the first priority. You will need to know how to determine your families’ health and safety. Look for injuries and overall well being including mental health. Be aware of dangers that could be caused by natural disasters such as downed power lines or bad roads. Many types of counseling services are available to people who have suffered through a disaster. The stress from loss of homes, loved ones and family, and financial strain can be a very emotional time. Many resources are available to help those in need.
In 2011, there were 1100 fatalities and 8850 injuries form disasters with damage reported close to $24 billion dollars.
Storms- Extreme weather has been on the rise over the last few decades. Some theories have include Global Warming, de-forestation, and pollution. Regardless of the cause, bad weather such as tornados, hurricanes, and blizzards have caused a large amount of damage. Tornados are very dangerous in the south and south east with recent damage across Texas, Alabama, and Georgia and surrounding states. Blizzards are typically associated with temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and strong gust of winds reaching over 35 miles per hour. Blizzards can also snow for over 3 hours straight making it nearly impossible to see.
Earthquakes – Although the largest 5 earthquakes ever recorded were outside of the US, many large fault lines are in the US. Most people associate earthquakes with California but recently earthquakes have been felt in places such as Washington DC, New York, North Carolina and Salt Lake City. Most people don’t know that one of the largest faults lies in Missouri. Earthquakes can strike at any time day or night with little or no warning. When the ground shakes it can destroy homes, buildings, bridges, and phone lines.