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Basic Disaster Preparedness Checklist

Are you a person who gets easily rattled in an emergency? We know for a fact that there seem to be at least one hundred things that need to be done during an emergency. Panicking and being unprepared can multiply serious damages during a disaster. What we also know is that panicking is mainly due to being unprepared. Thus, to avoid or to minimize damages, one should strive to be as prepared as possible in order to face imminent and sudden disasters. Follow this basic disaster preparedness checklist to guide you on your preparations.

At Home: Disaster preparedness checklist

  • Prepare an emergency room. This room should be the strongest and safest room in your house. In times of disasters, like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, you should be able to rely on the relative stability and security of the room.
  •  Compile an emergency kit. The kit should contain all your necessities in case you get isolated or trapped due to a disaster. It should contain:
  • Food
    • Drinking water
      • Candles
      • Medicine
      • First aid kit
      • Radio
      • Flashlights
      • Batteries
      • Warm clothes
      • Waterproof bags.
  • Establish an escape route. Knowing a safe place where you can run or drive to in case of evacuation will help organize your flight.
  • Have communication tools ready. How are you going to keep in touch and monitor disaster bulletins and updates? You will need:
  • Transistor radios/Communication
    • mobile phones
    • computers

This can keep you and your family updated. Make sure to fully charge all gadgets and keep an extra set of batteries.

  • Be sure to have ample supplies for the baby. Enough to last at least a week.
  • Formula
    • Baby food
      • Diapers
      • Other essential baby supplies
  • Be sure that everyone in the house knows how to dial 911 and other emergency numbers. Designate an emergency contact person who does not reside with you. This way, your respective families can keep tabs with each other. This is like setting up a central command and information center.
  • Obtain insurance and make sure it is currently in effect. Preparing for any disaster should also include recovery plans. Insurance coverage may help you regain whatever property you've lost during the disaster event faster.

The Car:

  • Be sure that your car is in perfect running condition. Many times during disasters, we have to depend on the running condition of our cars. Stalling cars are a trap putting us into more hazardous condition.
  •  Always have your gas tanks full. We just cannot afford to be caught in a dead run with the car fuel gauge on empty.
  •  Be sure to have tools in your car. Always have basic troubleshooting tools and a spare tire with you. You never know when you're going to need those, to save your life.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car. You likely will not have the time to put together the all-important emergency kit. Having one in your car will save you a lot of time, and worries.

At Work:

  • Know exactly where the emergency exits, medical kits and fire extinguishers are located.
  •  Know the fastest route out of the building from your desk.
  • Keep all the necessary contact numbers with you. Store them in your phone and maintain a paper copy, laminated if possible, as well.
  •  Prepare an emergency kit you can easily pick up and carry when you need to run.

Family:

  • THE MOST IMPORTANT PREP YOU CAN HAVE IS A FAMILY PLAN. Write it up, talk to your immediate and even your extended family about the plan. Make sure everyone knows what to do and who is doing what.

This is just the basic disaster preparedness checklist. It is not specific to one area or location. You should research and inquire as to the type of disasters that you and your geographical area are most prone to. Specific preparations for those need to be covered as well. You might also need additional plans for family members with special needs, like the elderly, small children, pregnant women and people with disabilities.

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